Protests by a group of devotees marred the historic day at Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.
Women wearing salwars and churidars entered the centuries-old Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday for the first time. The historic day was however marred by protests.
Monica, who is in her early twenties, was among the first few women to dawn a churidar at Sree Padmanabhaswamy. Everything was peaceful till the calm of the temple was broken by a raucous group of devotees who refused to accept this break from tradition.
The protesters demanded that the order should be revoked and the temple should stick to its traditions. A district judge, who heads the temple's administrative committee which has been against the latest move, also wrote a letter asking for the order to be repealed.
But the temple's Chief Executive Officer KN Sateesh, who had issued the order, told NDTV: "I stand by my decision and have informed the Kerala High Court of the same. If anyone has a problem, they will have to file an appeal in court."
The temple had, for the first time, allowed women to wear salwars and churidars inside its premises. According to the earlier tradition, women were allowed only in sarees, long skirts or dhoti.
But after the protests, many like Sunitha Golecha were forced by local volunteers to wear dhotis over their salwars to enter the temple. "I came in salwar kameez and thought I could go in. But now they have stopped me and have forced me to wear this dhoti. But even salwar is Indian wear, not like jeans. So, what's the problem?" a disappointed Ms Golecha asked.