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Non-hindu Visitors In Temples

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by JKewe, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. JKewe

    JKewe New Member

    Please excuse my ignorance, but how does it work for non-Hindus to visit the Hindu temples?

    Assuming one wears appropriate clothing and behaves respectfully, is it okay to walk in? Can one take a guided tour of some parts of the temple, but not enter other parts of it? Or does it just depend on the specific temple?

  2. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    I imagine it's just about dressing and behaving respectfully. Once in Vietnam, I was wearing shorts and tried to enter a temple, and I was told I couldn't enter until my legs were more covered, so I bought a wrap from a market to use as a long skirt and then it was fine. I think in most countries people are happy that you're interested in their culture and customs provided that you are dressed in a reasonable manner and that you are quiet and show commonsense and respect.

  3. Vinaya

    Vinaya Member

    Some Hindu temples do not allow non-Hindus to visit the inner sanctum of the temple, especially where regular worshiping is done. Some Hindu temples allow non-Hindus to the vicinity of the temple. In some temples, you are not allowed to enter the premises with leather items and camera. You need to check the tules of the individual temples.
  4. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    This might be a dumb question (sorry if it is!) but do they literally ask people if they are Hindu? How do they establish what religion a person is before entering?

    And is there somewhere outside the temples that lets you know? I just want to make sure I don't cross a line or do something I shouldn't while I am there! :)
  5. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    It depends on specific temples. For instance, the following temples do not allow walk-in, non-Hindu visitors:

    1. Guruvayur Temple, Kerala
    2. Jagannath Temple, Puri
    3. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi
    4. Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar
    5. Kapaleeswarar Temple, Tamil Nadu
    6. Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu
    7. Dilwara Temples, Mount Abu
    8. Kamakshi Amman Temple, Tamil Nadu

    These are mostly the temples where non-Hindus are not allowed to visit to maintain the sanctity of the place. With the other temples, I assume it's okay to visit them as long as you adhere by their rules. They might have different regulations when it comes to what parts of the temple is okay to be visited and which parts aren't. Good luck!
    amelia88 likes this.
  6. JKewe

    JKewe New Member

    Thank you all so very much, this is incredibly helpful. While I was aware of things like covering shoulders and ankles, I never would have thought of carrying leather items (it should be obvious, I know!). I will definitely check with each temple before visiting.
  7. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    @briannagodess thank you for the details and the list of temples you mentioned where only those of the Hindu faith can enter. I'm glad I know this now before heading over - I honestly had no idea about the restrictions until reading this thread!
  8. Chahal

    Chahal ਜੱਟ ਕੀ ਤੇ ਘੱਟ ਕੀ Staff Member

    I am not a Hindu and I've been to a few temples that you have listed above. You won't miss much if they don't let you in... Trust me on this ;)
    amelia88 likes this.
  9. swalia

    swalia Guest

    Different temples have different rules. While some temples allow non-hindus, some others not. Some temples prohibit taking leather items like wallets, bags etc. inside the premises. Some temples allow only visitors who are dressed up traditionally. In some temples, even women are not allowed. You should google about the rules and regulations about the temples you are planning to visit.
  10. Namaste dear all. There are 0.7 million temples in India and open for all religions but some ancient Hindu temples which are listed above are exceptions. every ancient Hindu temples have two main bodies of a temple first one is open to all but second one is prohibited for non Hindus because when a statue or idol kept in temple to worship before its not more than a stone only but after some ancient holy scripture mentioned rhyms chanted and Yajna (Yagya) sacred baths, rituals,give them life (prana) after that idol founded in temple for worship. if a non believer visits the sanctity
    is affected by his presence other point is beef eaters prohibited once you adopted Hinduism you are agree with the terms its believed that.
    Respect all the religions and faiths this is beauty of Indian Culture some exceptions found in every culture.
  11. Aidan

    Aidan New Member

    This is pretty interesting actually. I had no idea that non-Hindus would not be allowed in some of the temples. I thought that tourists especially would not have a problem exploring them.
  12. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Honestly that sounds a bit like Japan when I went there. I saw so many shrines that they all started to look the same and it gets boring! I'm sure if I see just one in India I'll be content, I don't need to see them all :)
  13. Cookie

    Cookie Member

    Following on from this - for those who have visited a number of Indian temples, which one would you recommend for a person who wants to see just one? I'm a bit of a geek over beautiful architecture and would love to see inside a temple, but I would rather see one really awesome one than visit lots and potentially get a little bored as others have mentioned.
    amelia88 likes this.