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Home Tourist Attraction Tamil Nadu news: ‘Temple not picnic, or tourist spot’: Madras HC bars non-Hindus from entering beyond flagpole

Tamil Nadu news: ‘Temple not picnic, or tourist spot’: Madras HC bars non-Hindus from entering beyond flagpole

by Staff

The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu HR&CE department to install boards stating non-Hindus will not permitted beyond the ‘Kodimaram’ (flagpole) area of the Palani temple (Arulmigu Dhandayuthapaniswamy Temple) and its sub-temples.

The court added that though the said writ petition was filed only for the Palani temple and the order may be restricted to it alone, however, it added that the issue raised is larger and the same ought to be applicable to all Hindu temples.

Justice S Srimathy of the HC’s Madurai Bench gave the judgement while hearing a plea from Senthilkumar from Palani who had filed a petition in the Court. The notice board at the temple, which prohibited non-Hindus from entering the temple, has been removed by the current official. He had filed a petition seeking an order to reinstate the notice.

“While admiring the architectural monuments the people cannot use the premises as picnic spot or tourist spot and the temples premises ought to be maintained with reverence and as per agamas. Therefore the rights guaranteed under the Articles is not granting any right to the respondents to allow the other religion people if they do not have any faith and belief in the Hindu religion. Moreover, the rights are guaranteed to all religion and there cannot be any bias in applying such rights,” the court said as quoted by LiveLaw.

“The respondents shall maintain the temple premises by strictly following the agamas (temple rules), customs and practices of the temple,” the judge said.

Judge Shrimati heard this petition and ordered the placement of banners within the temple premises, reinforcing the prohibition of entry for non-Hindus and those not adhering to Hindu beliefs. The restriction extends only up to the flagpole, allowing non-Hindus to enter after registering their intention to have darshan.

The respondents submitted the said writ petition was filed only for the Palani temple and the order may be restricted to it alone.

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However, the court said, “But the issue raised is a larger issue and the same ought to be applicable to all Hindu temples, hence the plea of the respondents is rejected. As stated supra these restrictions would ensure communal harmony among different religions and ensure peace in the society. Therefore the State Government, the HR&CE department, the respondents and all persons who are involved in temple administration are directed to follow the directions to all Hindu Temples.”

Furthermore, the court said the respondents shall install Boards indicating that “The respondents are directed not to allow the Non-Hindus who do not believe in Hindu religion. If any Non-Hindu claims to visit particular deity in the temple, then the respondents shall obtain undertaking from the said Non-Hindu that he is having faith in the deity and he would follow the customs and practices of Hindu religion and also abide by the Temple customs and on such undertaking the said Non-Hindu may be allowed to visit the temple.”

“Whenever a Non-Hindu is allowed based on the undertaking the same shall be entered in the register which shall be maintained by the temple. The respondents shall maintain the temple premises by strictly following the agamas, customs and practices of the temple.”

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