10 women defy curbs, enter Kolhapur templeApril 13th, 2011 - 9:46 pm ICT by IANS
Kolhapur, April 13 (IANS) Defying a 2,000-year restriction, 10 women entered the sanctum sanctorum of the Mahalakshmi Temple in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur city and offered prayers.
The women, led by Nita Kelkar, president of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Mahila Morcha, trooped in peacefully, taking many by surprise.
“It is so strange that women are barred from entering the holy spot in the temple of a goddess,” said Kelkar.
The women offered prayers to goddess Ambabai. Until now, women were allowed to enter the temple but forced to offer prayers from a point away from the sancturm sanctorum.
But there were no such restrictions on women from royal families as well as celebrities and wives of priests.
“Why do common women have to worship the goddess from a distance?” asked Kelkar.
Giving a brief history of the temple, she said several communities were not allowed to enter the temple until 1978.
Considered one of the six ‘Shakti Peeths’ of India, the temple is associated with the goddess of power.
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Tags: 10 women, bharatiya janata party, brief history, celebrities, curbs, goddess, India, kolhapur city, mahalakshmi temple, maharashtra, mahila, prayers, priests, restriction, royal families, sanctum sanctorum, surprise