Devotees entering into Shri Jagannath temple have to now avoid wearing clothes such as ripped jeans, half pants, and sleeveless shirts.
The decision to enforce a dress code was taken during a meeting of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) and the servitors on the issue at Puri on Monday, and it will be implemented strictly from January 1, 2024.
“An important decision has been taken today. The devotees coming to the Jagannath temple from Odisha or outside are often noticed as not maintaining decency in clothes. Many times they are not entering the temple in a graceful manner. This is bringing disrepute to the temple and ruining its religious significance,” SJTA Chief Administrator Ranjan Kumar Das said.
Das also said it has been decided unanimously that the temple administration will request the devotees to wear decent dresses while entering the centuries-old shrine. He stated that minors below 12 years of age can enter the temple with half pants. “Those above 12 years will be urged not to come to the temple wearing sleeveless dresses, distressed jeans, bermuda shorts and other similar ‘indecent’ attire. This is destroying the dignity of the holy place and the Lords,” he said.
Das also said everyone comes to the temple to do puja and have a darshan of the lords with a sense of devotion. The temple is a religious place, not a park or a beach. “They are free to wear whatever they want while in a park or on the beach. Every religion has such specific rules regarding dressing.”
“We will try to bring awareness among the devotees from Tuesday regarding the dress code till the formal enforcement of dress code decision on January 1, 2024,” said a servitor.
The servitors and Jagannath temple police will keep a watch on the devotees at the entry gates.