Jagannath Temple

1. Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha, implements a strict dress code for devotees.
2. Prohibition includes half-pants, shorts, ripped jeans, skirts, and sleeveless dresses.
3. The aim is to maintain sanctity by ensuring devotees wear “decent clothes” upon entering.

Bhubaneswar, Jan 02: In a bid to maintain sanctity and reverence, the renowned Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha, has enforced a strict dress code, prohibiting entry for individuals wearing half-pants, shorts, ripped jeans, skirts, and sleeveless dresses.

The new regulation aims to ensure that devotees present themselves in “decent clothes” that are not revealing when entering the sacred temple premises.

As the dress code came into effect, a noticeable change in attire was observed among visitors. Men adhered to traditional wear, entering the 12th-century shrine adorned in dhotis and ‘gamchas,’ while women predominantly chose sarees or salwar kameez.

The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) took proactive measures to disseminate information about the dress code, instructing hotels to make visitors aware, given that a significant number of devotees arrive from these accommodations.

In addition to the dress code, the SJTA heightened vigilance against the consumption of gutkha and pan within the temple premises. The use of plastic bags, previously permitted, has now been banned as part of the temple’s environmental consciousness initiative.

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On New Year’s Day, the temple doors opened at 1:40 am to accommodate the surge of devotees. By 5 pm, approximately 3.5 lakh people had visited the shrine.

To manage the crowd efficiently, elaborate arrangements were in place, including the utilization of an air-conditioned tensile fabric structure outside the temple.

This facility offered amenities such as drinking water, public toilets, CCTV cameras, and public announcement systems. Adequate seating arrangements were also provided.

Law enforcement reported a significant increase in the number of devotees compared to the previous year, attributing the heightened interest to the forthcoming inauguration of the heritage corridor project on January 17. The enthusiasm was palpable as visitors sought to experience the revamped surroundings of the temple.

To ensure a smooth flow of devotees and maintain the temple’s tranquility, traffic restrictions were implemented in the town.

The area from Market Chakka to Singhadwara (main gate) in Badadanda was declared a ‘no vehicle zone.’ Similarly, vehicle access was restricted on the beachside road from Digabareni to the lighthouse.

Furthermore, Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar has also banned the consumption of pan and tobacco products within its premises, aligning with the broader initiative to uphold sacred spaces and foster a respectful atmosphere.