After 2,000 years, temple allows women into sanctum sanctorumApril 15th, 2011 - 4:52 pm ICT by IANS
Kolhapur (Maharashtra), April 15 (IANS) Breaking a 2,000-year-old tradition, women were allowed entry into the sanctum sanctorum of the Mahalakshmi temple here Friday. The temple is dedicated to the goddess of power.
The decision to allow women to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the temple from 10 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. was taken at a high level meeting chaired by Minister of State for Home Satej Patil.
“The temple trustees, priests and other officials of the city were present in the meeting chaired by Patil,” said Hanumant Suryavanshi, secretary of the Devasthan Management Committee that runs the temple.
A group of 40 women activists of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), led by legislator Ram Kadam, had entered the sanctum sanctorum Thursday.
On Wednesday, 10 women led by Nita Kelkar, president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Mahila Morcha, had also trooped down to the sanctum sanctorum which has barred the entry of common women in the past two millenniums.
The women walked in peacefully, and offered prayers to goddess Ambabai, taking many by surprise. Until now, women were allowed to enter the temple but forced to offer prayers from a point away from the sanctum sanctorum.
“It is so strange that women are barred from entering the holy spot in the temple of a goddess,” Kelkar lamented.
However, there were no such restrictions on women from royal families as well as celebrities and wives of priests.
Kelkar said several communities were not allowed to enter the temple until 1978.
“Then the members of Sahu community protested and that opened the gates of the temple for all communities, but only men were allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum,” she said.
Considered one of the six Shakti Peethas of India, the temple is associated with Shakti, the goddess of power.
- 10 women defy curbs, enter Kolhapur temple - Apr 13, 2011
- Apex court permits access to Kalighat temple's sanctum sanctorum (Lead) - May 21, 2012
- Apex court issues notices on Kalighat temple entry (Lead) - May 15, 2012
- Apex court permits access to Kalighat temple's sanctum sanctorum - May 21, 2012
- Apex court notice on entry to Kalighat temple - May 15, 2012
- 'Temple rules must not be changed': Kerala devotees - Apr 17, 2011
- Diamond contact lenses for goddess - devotees see red! (With Images) - Feb 23, 2012
- Court bans devotees' entry to Kalighat 'garbha griha' - Apr 20, 2012
- Sabarimala temple averse to suggestion on widening steps, door - Jul 17, 2010
- PM offers prayers at Golden Temple on New Year - Jan 01, 2012
- President offers prayers at Golden Temple - Oct 06, 2010
- Women throng Kerala's Chottanikkara Bhagavathy temple for Makam Thozhal festival - Mar 02, 2010
- Kerala court quashes charge sheet in Sabarimala case - Jul 13, 2012
- Nation is directionless, says Bal Thackeray - May 01, 2011
- PM begins new year with prayers at Golden Temple (Lead) - Jan 01, 2012
Tags: 10 women, bharatiya janata party, celebrities, gates, goddess, kadam, kolhapur, legislator, mahalakshmi temple, management committee, minister of state, mns, prayers, priests, royal families, sanctum sanctorum, shakti peethas, surprise, tradition, women activists