We are living in an era, where the gender equality is a sign of a progressing society. Today, women are working, roaming, earning, and participating in everything, earlier, which was merely reserve for men. The intellectual societies have often been worrying, debating, and discussing their concern to enhance the role of a woman in society.
A society grows if a woman grows. However, some religious places have some different ways to deal with this equality. They discriminate the entry of a person on the basis of gender. Some religious traditions have their own facts, etiquettes, and disciplines. Here we are enlisting some of these religious places of India, where the entry of a woman is strictly not allowed:
1. Ayyappan Temple, Sabarimala:
The first of the religious places of India where women are forbidden is the Ayyappan temple, which is located in the state of Kerala. The temple is a holy place for the followers of Lord Ayyappan. The entry for the female gender is restricted. Interestingly, females between the ages of 12 to 50, who menstruate, cannot enter into the temple. This is because Ayyappan is a Bramhachari (celibate).
2. Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Kerala:
Again from Kerala, here comes the second of the religious places that don’t allow women to enter. This is Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple that follows its customs and rituals. It is okay for women pilgrims to pray, but the entry of a woman is restricted in the temple vault to do inventory. In the year 2012, the temple authorities did not allow a female archeologist from Archaeological Survey of India enters the chamber for the inventorying.
3. Patbausi Satra, Assam:
Patbausi satra temple from Assam follows a tradition of not allowing women to enter in the sanctum sanctorum. Though there are no written instructions to prohibit the entry of any women, but the temple authorities and people are following virtually 500 years old religious tradition.
4. Jain Temple, Ranakpur, Rajasthan:
Several Jain temples are the religious places where women are not allowed. One of these is the Jain temple at Ranakpur that does not allow women worshiper who menstruate. To enter into the temple, there are some other restriction too example, no leather item, no photograph and so on.
5. Jain Temples, Guna, Madhya Pradesh:
The Jain temple leaders of Guna have decided not to allow women wearing western attire from entering the temple. It is also dictated that women should not make-up, lipstick while entering to pray at the temple.
6. Shani Shingnapur temple, Maharashtra:
In Maharashtra also, there are a couple of religious places where women are forbidden from entry. At Shani Shingnapur temple, only male devotees with wet clothes can go up to the platform to pour oil on the idol of Shanidev. Females are not allowed on the platform and perform oil on idol. There is another well from which water is fetched only for Shani Maharaj’s rituals. Women are forbidden to use this well.
7. Haji Ali Dargah Shrine, Mumbai:
Different religions often fight with each other, but at least somewhere they concur themselves. Banning the entry of a woman is one of the aspects where most of the temples and mosques reach out the same conclusion. The Haji Ali Dargah found the proximity of women near the grave of a male Muslim saint- “a grievous sin”. Hence, the Dargah committee restricted the entry of women in its tomb.
8. Jama Masjid, Delhi:
Jama masjid banned the entry of a woman in the minarets area without a male companion. The women are not allowed to enter the masjid after Maghrib prayer.
9. Nizamuddin Dargah, New Delhi:
Women are not allowed inside the chamber where the 14th century saint lived, died and was buried. Women are confined to the door of the tomb.
10. Idgah Masjid, Shillong, Meghalaya:
The Idgah mosque was a restricted place for women followers. Though it was one of the religious places that did not allow women for quite a long time; in the year 2008, the mosque became open to women’s entry and became the first mosque to open in the entire north east.
The Religious Context:
The religious traditions, customs, and rituals are the matter of belief. Bhagwan, God, Allah never discriminates its followers as mentioned in the holy books.
We are not opposing to any belief. A religious community is also a part of society so as the person of all genders. A follower, be it man or woman should respect the customs and instead of imposing the ban on anything, the religious communities should ask its followers to decide.