Indian Temples Where Men Are Not Allowed
The women of India from Ancient times are facing gender discrimination whether it be sacred rituals or their fundamental rights even today. It was assumed in past that women cannot do certain things & were always treated as a liability and house makers. But God knows the power of women who created them and made them special by having some weird temples which conduct sacred rituals only done by women thus making them feel more rational and equal than men in India, by not allowing them to get into the temple at all or on select days and occasions. However Women during Menstruation, as they are considered impure they should not enter into the temple nor perform worship, instead they should avoid pilgrimages to sacred places at that time.
Women Visiting Temples
Although it sounds weird but satisfies many women who are always the prime targets of gender discrimination and so men too have to face the fact that only women are allowed in such temples. Here is the list of such temples present in India where men are not allowed:-
1. Attukal Temple – The Attukal Bhagawathi Temple located in Kerala, is dedicated to Goddess Kannaki (Parvathi) and one such temple where women are the dominant force. The "Pongal Festival" celebrated in this temple draws 3 millions of women devotees every year to participate in its celebration, and has also got into the Guinness Book of World Records. This Pongal Festival falling during February & March is considered as the largest gathering of women, celebrated for 10 days where women have a custom of offering bangles to the Goddess.
Attukal Bhagawathi Temple Kerala
Women Offering Pongal in Attukal Bhagawathi Temple
2. Chakkulathukavu Temple - This temple is dedicated to the Goddess Bhagawathi (Durga Devi) located in Neerattupuram, Alappuzha District, in Kerala which follows a peculiar annual rituals called "Naari Puja". This is celebrated on 1st Friday of December (Malayalam month Dhanu), as part of the rituals the male priest wash the feet of female devotees who have fasted for 10 days. This Goddess is also known as Durga, Kannaki, Parvathi, Saraswathi, Lakshmi, and Kali who is worshipped popularly in the Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala, Goa and Konkan.
Chakkulathukavu Bhagawati Temple Kerala
Priest Washing Women Devotees Feet Ritual of Naari Puja
3. Santoshi Mata Temple - Although this temple is visited by men and worship the Goddess Santoshi Mata but the 'Vrata' (ritual of fasting) is observed only by women or unmarried girls especially on 16 consecutive Fridays to win the Goddess favour who is venerated as "The Mother of Satisfaction" and not followed by men. The one who does this Vrata is prohibited from eating sour fruits, pickles and the food which contains salt in it.
Santoshi Mata Temple
4. Brahma Temple - This temple is dedicated to Lord Brahma, located at Pushkar in Rajasthan. This temple dates back to 14th century and is considered as the only temple for Lord Brahma in entrire world. The married men are prohibited to enter into this temple. Once in a year, during Kartik Poornima (October – November), of the Hindu lunar month of Kartik, a religious festival is held in Brahma's honour.
Legend says that when Lord Brahma was performing yagna at Pushkar Lake, as Goddess Saraswathi was late to the yagna sthala, Lord Brahma married Goddess Gayathri to complete the rituals of the yagna at pushkar ghat.
On seeing Gayathri sitting next to Lord Brahma as his consort, Saraswati cursed the latter and the temple: and due to that curse, no married man is allowed to visit the inner sanctum of the temple, else he will have to face the risk in his marital life.
Brahma Temple Pushkar Rajasthan
5. Devi Kanya Kumari Temple- The Devi in Kanya Kumari, Kerala is represented in the form of an adolescent girl child who is also known as Bhagawathi (Goddess Durga or Parvathi). The Goddess has several names and is also known as Kanya Devi, Devi Kumari, Shree Baala Bhadra or Shree Baala.This temple is dedicated to Bhagawathi Mata (Durga or Parvathi) located at cape of Kanya Kumari and one of the Shaktipeethas. It is surrounded by 3 oceans; Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean & Arabian Sea.
Legend says that Mata Parvathi went to a lonely place in the mid of ocean for Tapasya. She did very hard Tapasya for getting Lord Shiva as her husband. So in this temple only women are allowed, and men are prohibited to enter this temple. It is one of the famous temples of Kanya Kumari, where Kanya Mata Bhagawathi Durga is worshiped by women only.
Devi Kanya Kumari Temple TN
According to Legends, the spine of Sati fell here. This Goddess is also known as the 'Goddess of Sanyasa'. That is why only sanyasi men are allowed into this temple till the gate of the temple to seek the blessings of the goddess. Married men are prohibited from entering inside the temple.
6. Mata Temple- The Mata Temple in Muzaffarpur Bihar is not a simple temple and gives example of her existence by having periods and during the time of special period – only the women devotees are allowed to enter into the temple and men are not allowed. Even the Pujari of this temple is not allowed to enter its premises.
Mata Temple Muzaffarpur Bihar
7. Linga Bhairavi Temple- The Linga Bhairavi along with the Dhyanalinga are residing at a triangular shape abode at the foothills of the Velliangiri Mountains near Coimbatore, India. This temple doesn’t allow men to participate in the rituals conducted at the temple. She is the most exuberant expression of the divine feminine who is counterpart of Dhyanalinga, with the distilled essence of yogic sciences and unique in her manifestation.
Linga Bhairavi Temple Coimbatore
8. Kamakhya Devi Temple- This temple is dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya Devi who is known as "Bleeding Goddess" and worshipped in the form of tantric goddesses located on the Nilachal hills in Guwahati, Assam. She is also known as Tara, Kamala, Dhumavati, Bagola, Bhairavi, Matangi, Chinnamasta, Bhuvaneshwari and Tripuara Sundari. This is the temple where only women are allowed to enter the premises during the time when goddess is menstruating and is closed for 3 days making the water of the Brahmaputra river red. It is opened on 4th day and the holy water is distributed among the devotees as prasad of the Goddess.
Kamakhya Devi Temple Assam
Legend says Goddess Parvathi's waist
(Fertility part of the Goddess) fell down here after her body was cut by Lord Vishnu with Sudarshan Chakra. It is one of the important Shakthi Peethas of Goddess.
The best example of high female involvement is the Devipuram Kamakhya Peetham
which has female priest and its devotees.
Kamakhya yoni in Devipuram Andhra Pradesh
Along with the Kamakhya Temple in Assam, there is Goddess Bhagwathi Temple in Chengannur (Kerala) who's Goddess too is believed to menstruate and follows the similar rituals of menstrual seclusion, the temple is closed for 3 days and is opened at the end of her menstruation. It is considered that any sort of prayers to the Goddess during this time will be fulfilled. In both of these temples, the menstrual cloth is considered highly auspicious and is distributed among the devotees as prasad.
10. Trimbakeshwar Temple – This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in Nasik, Maharashtra where Women devotees were not allowed to enter into the inner sanctum where the lingam stood and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingaas of Lord Shiva. But 'The Bombay High Court' did justice to women, after April 2016 by passing orders that men's are also prohibited to enter in the inner sanctum to maintain an equal treatment for both.
Trimbakeshwar Temple Nasik Maharashtra
Image courtesy: daily.bhaskar.com, www.freepressjournal.in, olgarani.blogspot.in