Thursday, May 16, 2013

Now, a dress code for devotees visiting the Tirumala temple

HYDERABAD,MAY 16, 2013:--

Next time when you visit Tirumala and have the special break darshan of Lord Venkateshwara temple, ensure that you do not wear bermudas, shorts, mini-skirts, middies, sleeveless tops and for that matter, low-waist jeans and short-length T-shirts. Otherwise, you will not be allowed into the temple.

Starting Wednesday, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) which manages the country\'s richest temple in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, started implementing a \"dress code\" for VIP pilgrims who want to have the break darshan of Lord Venkateshwara in the morning and evening.

According to this code, a woman devotee can wear saree or a chudidar with chunni, whereas a male devotee can wear dhoti or lungi with uttareeyam or kurta-pyjama. \"A simple shirt and trousers are also allowed, but it would be ideal if men wear dhoti and uttariyam. Other than these traditional dresses, no other outfits like bermudas, T-shirts, jeans, shorts and other Western-style dresses are permitted,\" a TTD official said.

And if any devotee forgets to follow this dress code, he or she will be advised to change the dress before entering the queue complex, the official said.

The dress code, which had been under consideration of the TTD for the last two years, was approved by the Trust Board at a recent meeting. \"We have decided not to allow the western outfits only to maintain spiritual ambience in the temple premises,\" TTD executive director L V Subrahmanyam said.

The TTD had received several suggestions from devotees in the past about following a specific dress code for the hill shrine. There were complaints that several pilgrims were wearing \"revealing\" modern outfits that were distracting the attention of other pilgrims in the temple premises. \"Once the pilgrim enters the temple premises, he has to be spiritually attracted to the God and should not get diverted by indecent attractions. That is why we have decided to enforce the dress code,\" the TTD official said.

At present, there is already a dress code in force for pilgrims taking part in special rituals like Suprabhatam, Thomala, Archana and Kalyanotsavam. Now, it has been extended to the general devotees. \"At present, the dress code is being confined to VIP pilgrims seeking break darshan of Lord Venkateshwara. Gradually, it would be extended to all the devotees throughout the day in a phased manner. It would be applicable even to the foreign devotees and they should cover their body before entering the temple,\" the official said.

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