Updated: November 23, 2015 7:49:36 am
The security personnel posted at the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi now have an added responsibility. They now have to keep an eye on women pilgrims, especially the foreigners, who reach the premises in revealing clothes or short dresses that end above knee.
Such pilgrims are either told come “properly dressed” or directed to nearby kiosks where they can wrap a saree before entering the temple.
The temple administration has imposed a ban on the entry of foreign women wearing “revealing” clothes and have introduced a dress code for them. Such foreigners will now have to wear a saree. For the purpose, the temple authorities have so far provided 25 sarees at the two entry points. Female police personnel have been deployed at these entry points to help such pilgrims in tying a saree.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple’s additional chief executive officer P N Dwivedi told The Indian Express that the dress code has been imposed following the demands of the domestic pilgrims, particularly those hailing from South India, who were making objections to the “revealing” dresses of foreigners.
“Devotees from South India had been making demand of saree for women and dhoti-kurta for men on the lines of the dress code in Tirupati Balaji temple. It looks awkward when foreign female tourists enter the temple wearing short dresses,” Dwivedi said.
Dwivedi said they have no objections to tourists wearing jeans and trousers.
The temple administration, he said, was also planning to introduce dress code of dhoti for male devotees in future.
“These changes will be done gradually. First , it has been started with the dress code of saree,” he said. Dwivedi said the dress code is applicable on Indian women too.
The attire of the foreign tourists would be checked at two points — first at the police outpost outside the temple campus where foreign tourists produce their passports before security personnel. Checking will be done at temple counter inside the premises too. Dwivedi said that changing rooms have been set up at both the places for the convenience of the tourists. He said that introducing the dress code will give a good message about Indian attire and foreign tourists “will go back to their respective countries and tell about Indian attire and culture”.
On an average, 60,000 devotees visit the temple every day with around five per cent of them being foreigners.
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