Kerala Temple Dress Code – Why is it different?
Hindu temples in most of the parts of India, do not enforce strict dress code and allow the devotes to visit in modern, casual dress these days. On the other hand, Kerala is a land which is steeped in traditions. Therefore, prominent temples here strictly follow the Kerala temple dress code. Only those people wearing dress accordingly are allowed to enter the temple. The brahmins and priest of Kerala are known for maintaining age old traditions based in Vedic ethos and the Kerala temple dress code is part of this tradition . The temple authorities of Kerala are hence reluctant to adopt to changes with the times.
Kerala temple dress code for men
Most of the traditional temples do not allow men to enter wearing pants, jeans or any modern dress. Even Kurta Pajama, which is considered traditional dress in North India, is not allowed inside these Kerala temples. Men have to wear white, off white or saffaron Mundu or Dhoti when they enter the temple. Devotees of Lord Ayappa can enter temples wearing black or dark blue Mundu. Generally men are not allowed to cover their upper body inside the temple. However, an Angavashtram or Veshti can be wrapped around your upper body if you do not want to display it. You can get these using following links
Kerala Temple Dress Code for Women
For women, many temples in Kerala have relaxed the dress code, these days, to allow wearing of Salwar suits, which fully cover their bodies. The dress women can wear include Sarees, Salwar suits, Mundu with veshti and Pavadas or long skirts covering legs . Kerala temple dress code is not enforced on small or baby girls. Jeans and modern dress is a strictly not permitted. Any type of dress with body exposure is also not usually allowed. Some prominent temples even ask women to wrap a Mundu over their Salwar suit.
Temple rules in Kerala
Following are generalized guidelines for you to follow when you visit a Kerala temple. Please note that the norms, rituals and traditions change from place to place and temple to temple but generally most of the temples adhere to the following norms.
1. Take a bath and wear clean cloths before going to the temple
2. Do not wear chappals while entering the temple. Keep them at the designated places
3. Some temples do not allow you to carry mobile phones and also remote car keys.
4. Except for small purses or handbags you cannot carry anything inside some prominent temples
5. Women usually avoid entering the temple during their periods.
6. Do not touch the Sacrificial stone or any idols inside the temple.
7. Do not touch the temple poojari or any brahmin doing puja and even the one who is giving you the temple prasadam. If you do so, they have to take bath do cleaning rituals.
8. Take adequate care while taking babies or small children inside. If they desecrate the temple by urination or otherwise, you may have to bear heavy expenses for cleaning rituals in addition to causing inconvenience to other devotees.
9. Wear a mask and carry vaccination certificate.
10. Please note that many temples in Kerala do not admit non Hindu
If you are planning to visit Guruvayur or Mookambika, you may like to read the posts on Guruvayur Temple Dress Code, Special Darshan and Information and Mookambika Temple Dress Code and Information
Wish you a happy temple trip and divine blessings!
You are expected to strictly follow the COVID guidelines issued by Government and Dewaswom applicable at the time of your visit.
For tips and suggestions on travel and sightseeing in Kerala please read post Seven tips for your Kerala trip
For specific tips on vising Guruvayur Temple please read post Guruvayur Temple Dress Code Special Darshan and Information