Udupi: Former officer’s entry into temple mantapa kicks off row

Udupi: A CCTV footage of a former executive officer of the Kollur Sri Mookambika temple entering its Lakshmi mantapa situated just outside its sanctum santorum kicked off a row on Wednesday with devotees and temple officials claiming she had violated tradition.

As the footage of the retired officer, T R Uma, entering the temple’s Lakshmi Mantapa, went viral on social media, devotees everywhere protested, pointing out that going by tradition only the temple priests had permission to enter it and for the nine days of the Navaratri some select women invited for a 'Bagina,' by the temple too could enter the Lakshmi mantap to offer flowers to the Goddess. 

While the names of the women are listed by the temple authorities before Navaratri,  each woman is allowed to enter the mantap alone every day to offer the floral benediction for all nine days. No one else, including senior officials of the temple, are allowed inside.

Ms Uma, who was executive officer of the Kollur temple two years ago, and is now retired, came to it to offer a pooja and later entered the Lakshmi mantap in the presence of other devotees and archaks. Neither the priests nor anyone else stopped her, perhaps because she was the temple’s top officer a few years ago. 

The Udupi district administration has, however, taken serious note of the incident and ordered an inquiry by the Kundapur Assistant Commissioner. “Based on his report we will consult the aagama scholars to see if there has been a violation," the Udupi Additional Deputy Commissioner told Deccan Chronicle when contacted.

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