Why in News?
- Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal has recently backed the entry of foreign nationals inside the world-famous Jagannath Temple in Puri, wading into a debate that has lasted for decades and periodically triggered controversy.
- It has been the practice for centuries even though there is no clearly articulated reason for it.
- Some historians believe that multiple attacks on the Temple by Muslim rulers might have led the servitors to impose restrictions on the entry of non-Hindus.
- Others have said that this was the practice from the time the Temple was built.
- Lord Jagannath is also known as Patitabapan which literally means “saviour of the downtrodden”.
- So, it is believed that, all those who are barred from entering the Temple because of religious reasons get the privilege of a darshan of the Lord in the form of Patitapaban at the Lion’s Gate.
- Currently, only Hindus are allowed inside the shrine to offer prayers to the deities in the sanctum sanctorum.
- A sign at the Lion’s Gate (main entrance) of the Temple clearly states: “Only Hindus are allowed.”