Pro-Hindu outfits Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal have asked the Karnataka government to enforce a traditional dress code for the devotees visiting the famous Kukke Subrahmanya temple in Dakshina Kannada district.
In a letter submitted to the Muzrai temple authorities on Wednesday, the organisations demanded that the dress code followed in temples of other south Indian states, including Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, should be implemented at this temple as well. The two outfits also requested the Muzrai Minister Kota Srinivas Poojary to implement the traditional dress code in all state-run temples.
Kukke Subrahmanya temple executive officer MH Ravindra said the letter from the outfits has been forwarded to the Muzrai Department as the temple committee alone cannot enforce a dress code. It is up to the government to take a decision on the matter, he said.
VHP division secretary Sharan Kumar claimed devotees wearing jeans, T-shirts and shorts were seen at the Kukke temple, which, he said, is not desirable. “Devotees should wear Hindu traditional dress or ethnic wear when they enter temples,” he said.
The Kukke Subrahmanya temple attracts visitors from across the world. It is located in Sullia in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. It is located close to the famous trekking spot Kumara Parvatha and pilgrims often cross the Kumaradhara river and take a holy dip in the river before entering the temple.
Earlier in 2018, rigid dress code prohibiting jeans, trousers and shorts were put in place at the Mahabaleshwara Temple in Gokarna in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. Similar restrictions were proposed at Hampi's Virupaksha Temple in the same year, although it is not strictly enforced.
In Andhra Pradesh, temples including the Tirumala Temple, Kanakadurga Temple in Vijayawada and Annavaram Temple in Rajamahendravaram introduced dress codes. Male devotees could wear lungi, kanduva and shirt while female devotees have to wear a sari or dupatta with a dress. The dress codes, however, are not strictly enforced.
In Kerala, Guruvayur temple in Thrissur district has a strict dress code. While men must wear mundu, boys can wear shorts. However, they cannot wear a shirt but can cover their chest with a veshti. Women and girls are allowed to wear saris, long skirts and salwars.