Except Puri, non-Hindus can enter elsewhere

Bhubaneswar: Gajapati King Dibya Singha Deb of Puri today said there was no restriction on entry of non-Hindus into temples of Lord Jagannath across the globe except the 12th century shrine at Puri. "As Puri is the original seat of the Lord, there is restriction on the entry of non-Hindus into the temple. However, they can have darshon of the Lord in other Jagannath temples elsewhere," Deb told reporters here.

Stating that non-Hindus can pray from anywhere, he said the restriction on people belonging to other religions have continued at the Puri shrine since a long time. The restriction on the entry of non-Hindus has been an issue as views are divided over it. While ISKCON devotees had been demanding entry, the temple administration has denied permission.

The Puri King`s remark is significant in view of the recent dharna infront of the Lion`s Gate of the Puri temple by a group of foreigners seeking permission to enter the shrine. Dibya Singh Deb was addressing media persons on a proposed five-day convention of about 1,000 Jagannath Temples across the country.

"We have been trying one type of rituals and festivals at all the 1,000 Jagannath Temples in the country and also abroad," he said. Meanwhile, the temple administration was also planning to frame common guidelines for all the Jagannath temples so that important rituals and festivals could be held simultaneously, he said.