A group of 90 tourists from the United Kingdom were delighted with Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple management for having opened the temple doors, which usually remain closed between 12.30 p.m. and 4 p.m. every day, for their visit at around 2 p.m. on Tuesday. However, they were disappointed as the police did not grant permission to carry cameras inside the temple.
“Then what is the purpose of coming here,” is how Angela, one among the 90, reacted when her travel agent informed her about the ban on cameras for security reasons.
Later she told The Hindu: “I am an avid traveller and nowhere in the world have I come across police banning cameras in tourist places.”
Similar was the reaction of other tourists, including John Brinkley and Judais, who had no choice but to be content with taking pictures with their mobile phone cameras inside the temple.
Those who visited the temple were part of a larger contingent of 364 people on a tour across the country in a cruise. They had already visited Goa, Mumbai and Cochin before reaching Tuticorin on Tuesday.
“Their ship had halted in Tuticorin just for a day. We were informed that these 90 tourists were interested in visiting the Meenakshi Temple. Therefore, we spoke to temple Executive Officer P. Jayaraman and obtained special permission for letting them in at 2 p.m. because only gestures like these can help promote tourism in this region,” said B.S.G. Musthafa, president, Travel Club-Madurai.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Samant Rohan Rajendra, when contacted, said cameras were not allowed in most of the archaeological sites in the country.