Indian temple tanks
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Mar 11, 2013 2:52 PM Last Post By: LongDistanceBiker
Mar 4, 2013 5:12 AM
Indian temple tankshello - can anyone tell me if it's possible for non-Hindus to bathe in Indian temple tanks - I mean the ones used by Hindus for ritualistic cleansing before they visit the temple itself.
And if so, what do you wear??
I'm specifically interested in the Mariamman Theppakulam temple near Madurai, but just curious to know if it's possible in general.
Mar 4, 2013 6:14 AM
1Seeems like there is no general rule. In Badrinath and Vashisht nobody minded but elsewhere it might be different.
Mar 4, 2013 8:41 PM
2Not sure if my earlier reply went thru, so i am posting another reply.
If the temple allows foreigners/non hindus into the sanctum, then it may be okay to take a dip in the tank, otherwise not.
Please make a decision based on the cleanliness of water in the tank. And not a good choice to step in, if you have any open wounds/cuts.
A towel non see-through wrapped around your waist is a bare minimum. For men, a naked top half of the body is acceptable. Never go into the water naked.
do NOT use soap or shampoo just use water, take a dip including your head. you can scrub yourself with water.
dry yourself completely before you enter the temple. Wear new clothes after your bath.
you can dry and take the clothes you took your dip in, or you can leave them at the ghat itself in a corner, someone else will take them.
Mar 4, 2013 10:26 PM
3Why on earth anyone who is not a Hindu would want to do this is beyond me. Please be aware that there is no connection between ritual cleanliness and actual cleanliness - the Ganges at Varanasi, one of Hinduism's holy of holies, is absolutely putrid with filth. I remember seeing temple tanks green with slime and so saturated with pollutants you could almost expect to see a sadhu walking across the surface. If you must please take on board #2s advice and additionally do not let any water get in your eyes, ears, nose or mouth.
Mar 5, 2013 2:04 AM
Mar 5, 2013 7:57 PM
5Re-reading my post made it seem incomplete in some respects, so I am adding a few more details here.
If you are a woman, you can go and take a dip with all your clothes on.
If you are a man, please do NOT go in with just your underclothes. ALWAYS have a wrap around your waist.. not necessary that it reach to your ankles, even a towel that covers upto your knees is enough.
Do not take your wet clothes into the temple, even if they are packed in your bags. Dry them first, or leave them in the bathing ghat itself ( somewhere unobtrusively ).
Temple tanks are generally not for swimming.
By new clothes, i meant dry ones, not necessarily new ones.
All ritualistic baths involve recitation of the sankalpam, and offering water to the sun god. Not sure if you want to go into this in such detail.
When in doubt, ask someone who manages the temple if you are allowed to do the things you want to do. Generally money should NOT change hands..unless you drop your offerings in the temple collection box called a hundi.
Mar 11, 2013 2:52 PM
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