Ban on ‘improper’ dresses of devotees seeking Lord Jagannath darshan at Puri comes into force

Devotees must respect sanctity of Shree Jagannath Temple, one of the most revered religious places for Hindus, says Ranjan Dash, chief administrator 

January 01, 2024 05:00 pm | Updated 08:37 pm IST - Bhubneshwar

Devotees, visitors and local people are seen on the queue in front of the Shree Jagannath temple

Devotees, visitors and local people are seen on the queue in front of the Shree Jagannath temple | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

A dress code meant to discourage devotees from wearing “improper” clothes came into force at the Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri, on Monday. 

In October, the Shree Jagannath Temple Management Committee had decided not to allow devotees wearing inappropriate clothes into the temple, from January 1, 2024. In the run up to the the new year, devotees coming to Jagannath Temple were informed of the dresses they should avoid.

Male devotees wearing short pants and torn jeans were not allowed to enter the temple and were provided dhotis instead. For girls and women, skirts, jeans, and sleeveless clothes are prohibited.

“As such, we have not prescribed any strict dress code for entry into the temple. Since Shree Jagannath Temple is one of the most revered religious places for Hindus, devotees should respect sanctity of the place,” said Ranjan Das, chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA).

Mr. Das said, “This should not be viewed as imposition of any diktat. People tend to wear certain clothes on occasion of marriages and other religious activities, and we expect similar behaviour from devotees coming to the temple.”

The SJTA chief said security personnel and priests were asked to be polite while pointing out improper outifts. Moreover, the SJTA has also imposed ban on use of tobacco products while entering the temple. Plastic bags are also barred on premises of the 12th century temple.

The temple town of Puri had witnessed a rush of devotees over the past 10 days and the trend is likely to continue till January 10. For New Year celebrations, the temple gates were open past midnight on Sunday, and more than 3.5 lakh tourists had visited the holy town by 5.30 p.m. on Monday, said the Puri district police. Traffic regulations followed during the annual rath yatra in June were implemented in Puri for smooth movement of vehicles.

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