The decision of the Executive Officer (a government representative) at the Padmanbhaswamy temple allowing women to wear Churidaars at the temple has been withheld following reports of protests by several Hindu groups.  The Executive Officer(EO) in an order on Tuesday had relaxed the dress code for women to enter the temple.

The decision was taken after the Kerala High Court sought his response on a petition filed by a woman devotee, advocate Ria Raji.

Raji demanded that women be allowed to wear churidars and other similar outfits during their visit to the richest temple in the world.  The current dress code norms  only allow women in sarees or a dhoti and blouse to enter the temple.

Here’s the dress code for men and women at the temple as stated by the temple’s website:

There is a special dress code. The dress code for men is Dhoti with or without Angavastra(upper body cloth). The dress codes for women are Sarees, Dhoties or Pavadas with blouse or other coverings as appropriate to their age. Salvar sets and other modern dresses are not allowed. Young girls below 12 years may wear gowns. No other types of dress should not be worn or taken inside the temple.

Rahul Eashwar, secretary of Hindu Parliament told Inuth that the Hindu groups decided to protest against the decision of the Executive Officer because he had not taken permission of the chief tantri (priest) and the Devotee organisation of the temple. “We have nothing against churidars per se. We no Ria Raji and she is a genuine devotee, we want our sisters and mother to wear more comfortable clothes to the temple. However, the way the Executive Officer had taken the decision had angered several Hindu Organisations, that’s why we are protesting against the move.”

According to a report on Manorama online, churidar clad women were not allowed to enter the temple, while many Hindu organisations protested outside the temple to oppose the decision of the EO.