A few of the important temples in Goa have recently laid down a strict dress code for visitors, aimed at, especially, those from the foreign countries; while one prominent temple has banned foreigners altogether.
Why a dress code? Temple authorities say that the devotees were upset over ‘scantily dressed’ tourists in ‘beach-wear’ entering the temples.
Mahalasa Narayani Temple at Mardol, 20 km from Panaji, has put up a board: “Entry Restricted for Foreign Tourists”.
Mangueshi temple at Mangueshi village and Ramnathi temple at Ponda have put a dress code in place.
“We are not against the foreigners, but their dresses and conduct in the temple is highly objectionable, so the management has decided to ban them,” said Vinod Kamat, President, Mahalasa Narayani Temple.
The locals were recently outraged after some foreigners, out of ignorance, wore garlands. The garlands were supposed to be offered to the deity.
“They would wear garlands themselves, and later dump them before the deity; which was highly objectionable,” Kamat said.
“There has to be some discipline.” Before the ban, on an average a hundred foreigners visited the temple every day.
Mangueshi Temple, located next to Mahalsa Temple, has imposed dress restrictions. The temple president, Jayant Mandurkar, said the dress code was same for both domestic as well as foreign tourists.