For many of us, a temple is probably the first institution that we are likely to visit. It is a school, a social gathering point, a confluence of ideas and thoughts, and most importantly a moral hub that places cultural identity in our minds. Just like most of the formal places, temples too have a particular dress code that needs to be strictly adhered. This is no beach party or a club house that would entertain your shabby ganjees and ultra-chic shorts. The dress code is well laid out for both the genders. If you were wondering if the kids would be spared in temples, then you are absolutely wrong. Even kids have to follow the strict dress codes.
For obvious reasons, dress code separates the followers of Hinduism from other religions. When you see a man wearing a mundu and a veshthi, you can easily make out that he is visiting the Guruvayur Temple. Open bare chests and nude foot are part of dress code. Most temples in North India allow only kurta pyjama or a dhoti pyjama and not formal western dressings.
Women are required to wear saris only. With so much diversity in the country, a dress code definitely works well in establishing the cultural ethnicity of a devotee visiting the temple.
Temple premises are cleaned and maintained regularly. Wearing casual dresses for the occasion may place millions of doubt in the minds of the devotees who are following the dress code while you don’t! To refrain from collecting mutual ire in a holy place all because of the dress code, it is recommended that you strictly stay within the limit.
Hinduism is against the use of leather products and consumption of meat, especially within the temple premises. Dress code ensures that luxury items made of leather like belts, coats, jackets and watches with leather belt stay outside the perimeters of the main temple premises. This not only ensures the sanctity of the place, but also helps in harbouring loving affection in the hearts of the devotees and to be concerned about their fellow living beings.
The dress code related to use of leather items strictly prohibits the person from entering the main chamber if he is wearing any luxury item. Some temples even forbid the carriage of gold ornaments, bracelets and nose rings.
You would have noticed that even priests and care takers of the temple have a uniform dress code which has to be followed strictly. To separate the identity of the devotees and tourists from the priests, it is important to set a strict dress code for the visitors.
A formal dress code for temple means that all devotees have an equal chance of getting a darshan of their deity. No matter which segment of society you belong to; if you adhere to the dress code, you earn an entry into the temple automatically.