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New dress code rules in Haridwar Temples; western and short clothes banned

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Upholding Indian Cultural Values: Temples in Haridwar Introduce New Dress Code


Temples in Haridwar have recently implemented a new dress code that prohibits the entry of individuals wearing short or western clothes. This decision has been made in order to uphold Indian cultural values and traditions, as exposing any part of the body is deemed inappropriate. Similar rules are already in place in temples across southern India, and the temples in the pilgrimage town of Haridwar are merely continuing this tradition.

Once this ban is enforced, individuals wearing western attire or short clothes, regardless of gender or age, will not be permitted to enter the temples. Ravindra Puri, the president of Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, explained that exposing body parts is considered unfavorable in Indian culture, which is why a ban on short clothes already exists in South Indian temples. By following this religious tradition, a plea has been made to the sisters, daughters, and mothers who visit the temples of Haridwar.

The objective of this dress code is to ensure that temples remain sacred spaces for self-enrichment and spiritual upliftment, rather than centers of entertainment. The mahant emphasized that appropriate clothing must be worn for darshan, with devotees expected to cover 80 percent of their bodies when visiting the temples. He stated, “As per Indian culture, 80 percent of the body should be covered. That is why we have appealed to young men and women coming to temples that they should come with 80 percent of the body covered or they won’t be allowed to enter.”

New dress code rules in Haridwar Temples; western and short clothes banned

This decision has been widely welcomed by various sections of society, and major political parties in Uttarakhand have expressed their support. The mahant made it clear that the dress code will be enforced firmly if necessary. While there may be a small percentage of people who oppose this decision due to their mindset, it is believed that they will eventually understand its importance.

Individuals who refuse to comply with the dress code will be prevented from entering the temples by force. “There are only 1 or 2 percent of people who will oppose this decision because of their mindset but soon they will understand its importance. If even after implementing this ban, a person refuses to follow the rules, they will be stopped from entering by force,” he said.

The mahant addressed questions regarding specific clothing items such as jeans, stating that he did not object to individuals wearing jeans as long as the body is appropriately covered. However, he advised against wearing jeans during long prayer ceremonies as they could cause discomfort. Instead, he suggested that dhoti-kurtas or other Indian outfits would provide more comfort and relaxation during such rituals.

Many devotees of Haridwar have expressed their satisfaction with this decision, viewing it as an opportunity for young people to gradually embrace Indian culture and traditions. Visitors of Haridwar from various cities have praised the move, emphasizing the importance of adopting Indian traditions instead of blindly following western norms. Some devotees even noted that the prevalence of western clothing in temples indicated a potential erosion of Indian culture and traditions.

The decision to implement the dress code has also brought optimism to local traders selling traditional clothing. Shops offering garments like dhoti-kurtas, readymade suits, and saris, located near the temples and in the main market, have warmly received this development. Mohan Prakash, a local trader, expressed confidence that this decision would help people recognize the magnificence of Indian civilization and culture.

As the dress code takes effect in Haridwar’s temples, it is expected to serve as a reminder of the importance of preserving and cherishing Indian cultural heritage. By adhering to traditional clothing norms, devotees hope to create an atmosphere of reverence and respect within these sacred spaces.

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