Kerala’s famed Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple on Tuesday eased the dress code for women to salwar kameez from dhoti or sari. The temple administration’s decision came after a woman advocate moved the Kerala High Court against the discriminatory rule.
Temple executive officer KN Satheesh issued a notice on Tuesday lifting the directive that women can enter the temple either with a dhoti draped over their clothing or in sari. The petitioner, Riya Raje, had pointed out that customs and traditions demanded “decent clothing” in places of worship, not a particular kind of dress. Regarding the modification to the dress code, Raje told Hindustan Times, “I am really happy. Often women face many difficulties over this custom.”
The temple has more than Rs 1 lakh crore in treasure in underground vaults. The wealth was inventoried following a court order in 2010. The Travancore royal family used to be the custodian of the temple till 2010, when the Kerala High Court constituted a new governing body to run it. Among other things, rare jewels, gold coins, diamond-studded thrones, crowns and gold bars were found in the six vaults around six years ago.