Padmanabha Swamy temple relaxes women’s dress code by allowing churidars

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM,Nov30: Women can now enter the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple, the richest temple in the world, wearing a churidar. Breaking an age-old tradition at the temple, executive officer K N Satheesh put churidars on the allowed list from Tuesday, against the opinion of the chairman of the temple administrative committee, K Haripal, who wanted the present dress code maintained.

The order was the outcome of a petition filed by Thiruvananthapuram native Riya Raji in the Kerala High Court seeking its intervention after her petition to the administrative committee was rejected. However, the High Court ordered the executive officer to consider the petition and give a directive on the matter within 30 days.

Accordingly, a hearing was conducted two weeks ago seeking public opinion on the matter.
Executive officer Satheesh’s order stated that women overwhelmingly supported allowing women in churidars into the temple.

Until the new churidar rule, the dress code for women visiting Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple was either a sari or a skirt with blouse or other top as appropriate to age. Young girls below the age of 12 were allowed to wear gowns. For men it was a dhoti with or without an angavastram. While churidars and pants were allowed, women had to cover up with a mundu before entering the temple complex.

This triggered a campaign by women seeking a relaxation of the dress code and permission to wear churidars as the ‘ mundu’ over the dress made a mockery of the temple dress code.

Despite this several women were stopped from entering the temple by  Hindu activists for wearing churidar from entering Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala.

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