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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Cover up! God is watching

After a Goa temple bans foreigners for indecent dressing, Delhi temples, too, raise a cry for an appropriate dress code.

hollywood Updated: Jan 15, 2013 10:54 IST
Vaishali Bhambri and Aakriti Sawhney
Vaishali Bhambri and Aakriti Sawhney
Hindustan Times

God, or at least his emissaries, are watching how you dress. After one of Goa’s biggest temples, the Mahalasa Narayani Temple, banned foreigners from visiting the premises because they dress in skimpy clothes, temple authorities in Delhi say they too face a challenge in ensuring that foreigners maintain decorum.

In fact, some have set stringent rules when it comes to a dress code. At the Lakshmi Narayan Mandir near Gole Market, there is a Foreign Visitors’ Room where tourists are first briefed on how to conduct themselves inside and given decent clothes, if needed. “Foreigners patle strap waale top aur chhotti shorts pehenkar aa jaate hain. (Foreigners turn up in spaghetti tops and hot pants). We give them dupattas to cover up,” says Rajendra Singh, the spokesperson.

At the Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple near Noida mor, a fine of Rs100 is levied on those who are ‘inappropriately’ dressed. "If any tourist wears indecent clothes, then they are fined and given a large piece of cloth to wrap around them," says a spokesperson of the temple, who did not wish to be named. She adds that tourists visit the temple in skimpy clothes despite clear guidelines on their website.

Authorities of the Hanuman Mandir at Baba Kharak Singh Marg are considering displaying a written code of conduct. “When foreigners wear indecent clothes, some people pass lewd remarks and it makes everyone uncomfortable,” says Vijay Kumar, the manager of the temple.

While authorities at the Lotus Temple in Nehru Place and the Chattarpur Temple say they have no such code in place, the ISKCON temple, which is popular with foreign tourists, keeps an eye out for inappropriate behaviour on the premises. “If we see couples getting cosy, we politely ask them to leave or behave. We also have separate kirtan zones for men and women as we don’t want them to behave inappropriately while dancing,” says Rishi Kumara Das, spokesperson of the temple.

The problem extends beyond temples. A spokesperson of the Rajghat Samadhi Committee says, they often have to remind foreigners that it’s not just a tourist spot but also a samadhi. “Tourists should avoid wearing revealing clothes. After all, Gandhiji’s last rites were held here,” he adds.

we don’t like when tourists do this n “Often tourists come wearing spaghettis and shorts” Rajendra Singh of birla mandir “People come in revealing tops which show cleavage” spokesperson, akshardham temple “Couples hold hands and walk around the temple, but we don’t have rules against it” pradeep tiwari, chattarpur temple Youngsters get inappropriate while dancing, so we have separate zones during kirtan Rishi Kumar Das, iskcon temple

Advisories galore

Most travel websites give tourists clear advice on how to dress while visiting religious places. Here’s a sample: Wear clothes that are not very revealing. Some religious places have dress codes. Tourists are advised to comply with them.... Travel advisory on national portal of india.

Since it is a religious site, you are advised to dress appropriately and avoid wearing short or revealing clothes official website of akshardham.

While visiting places of worship such as temples, gurudwaras and mausoleums you should be fully clothed

To respect the dignity of the temples we recommend modest clothing that covers shoulders and knees

First Published: Jun 07, 2011 15:58 IST

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