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Recently, the Trimbakeshwar temple banned women entering. Why? Many places of worship did not ban women from entering in the past.
A candid confession first – I do not really follow news. Being a working woman and juggling many things does that to the best of us – we choose to let go of some things and for me, media news coverage happens to be one of those things.
Once in a while though there comes a relaxed morning when one decides to pick up the newspaper and get reacquainted with the world around. A story caught my eye today – Women banned from entering Trimbakeshwar temple. I am completely flummoxed. What exactly is happening?
I spent my college years in Nashik in 1990s. Trimbakeshwar was about an hour’s bus journey away from Nashik. I have visited Trimbakeshwar temple many times in those years – sometimes with family and sometimes with friends. Family visits were mostly a little more religious in nature but visits with friends were – well ahem… not so religious.
Trimbakeshwar temple is a beautiful stone structure surrounded by green mountains. A visit to Trimbakeshwar with friends usually was at the beginning or end of a mountain trek. The temple was just too serene and calm a place to not visit during those treks. It was not a commercialized pilgrimage centre then.
I have been inside the temple right up to the idol with no issues or obstacles whatsoever. I was definitely a girl even then and I do not ever remember wearing sarees! In fact quite a few times I have gone inside in the usual trekking gear. And I am sure many of my other friends have the same memories of visiting the Trimbakeshwar temple.
No one harassed us or stopped us for being girls. No one asked us ever to change our attire before entry. We liked going there to admire the beauty of the place and bask in the serenity of the surroundings.
What changed in the years in between? I have no idea. Who changed the rules? Were there even any rules or they were made up sometime? What exactly is the issue here? I have no idea. I just feel deeply saddened reading in the newspaper about it.
Trimbakeshwar was a green serene beautiful place. If we cannot maintain the peace, serenity and nature’s beauty around such places, will they even remain places of worship? Or are we on a mission to create more places of conflict?
I think I will just go back to not following the media news coverage – you know, being a woman and all that.
Image source: Trimbakeshwar temple dome by Shutterstock.
Vrunda Bansode is a part of management team at NSRCEL - the Startup Hub at IIM
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