Now, Men Too Can't Enter Core Area in Trimbakeshwar

The trustees of the temple have imposed the restriction with an aim to provide \"equal treatment\" to both the genders.

Published: 03rd April 2016 08:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd April 2016 08:45 PM   |  A+A-


NASHIK: The Trimbakeshwar Temple authorities here today imposed a restriction on men's entry too into the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord Shiva shrine with an aim to provide "equal treatment" to both the genders, a trustee said.

The decision, which takes effect from tomorrow, comes in the wake of the Bombay High Court verdict giving women equal right to men with regard to entry into temples. It was decided this morning after a board meeting of the Trimbakeshwar Devasthan Trust under Chairperson and District Judge Urmila Phalke Joshi, Lalita Shinde, one of the trustees told PTI.

The meeting was attended by Secretary N M Nagare as well as Trust members Kailas Ghule, Yadavrao Tungar, Shrikant Gaidhani, and Sachindra Pachorkar. "The decision was taken to ensure equal treatment to both men and women," Shinde said.

The development comes a day after Bhumata Ranragini Brigade Trupti Desai and 25 other women activists were taken into preventive custody to stop them from entering into the inner sanctum of the famous Shani temple in Ahmednagar's Shignapur village. They were later released.

The ancient temple, located 30 kms from Nashik, is a major Lord Shiva shrine of the country, which has one of the 12 'jyotirlingas', drawing devotees from far and wide. According to Ghule, a member of the Trimbakeshwar Temple Trust, the ban on entry of women into the 'garbhagriha' is an age-old tradition and not something enforced in recent times.

The ban goes back to the Peshwa period. As per tradition, only men were allowed entry daily between 6-7 AM into the area where the main 'linga' is placed, that too by putting on a specific gear called the sovala (silk clothing).

Women, can, however have 'darshan' from outside the core area. Some priests in the temple town said most of the women devotees might not want to defy the tradition. Seeking to give a scientific dimension to the practice, they said there are certain rays that concentrate in the core area which could probably be harmful to the health of women.

The Bombay HC had recently held it is the fundamental right of women to go into places of worship. It had also directed the state government to take pro-active steps for ensuring compliance with the law which prevents discrimination against women vis-a-vis entry to places of worship.

At the Shani shrine in Ahmednagar too, the temple management has shunned the practice of special pooja for men from the last two months after agitation demanding women's entry into the 'garbgriha' gained momentum.

Now both men and women are offering prayers from an equal distance from the idol. As of now, only priests are allowed on the sacred sanctum. The debate over the issue of womens' entry into the sanctum sanctorum of temples in Maharashtra escalated after a woman last year tried to enter and offer prayers at the Shani Shingnapur temple in 'breach' of the age-old practice prohibiting entry of women.

This had prompted the temple committee to suspend seven security men and the villagers to perform "purification rituals". Earlier on March 7, around 150 women under the banner of Bhumata Ranragini Brigade headed to the Trimbakeshwar temple seeking to break the bar on female devotees at the inner sanctum. Their attempts were, however, foiled by the police.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp