Legendary singer K J Yesudas -- a Christian by birth -- has been granted permission to visit the centuries-old Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram and offer worship.
A special meeting of the administrative committee, appointed by the Supreme Court to manage the temple affairs, decided to accept the request letter and declaration submitted by Yesudas in this regard.
According to custom, only believers of Hinduism are permitted entry at the temple, a major pilgrim centre and tourist attraction in the southern part of the country.
A Padma Bhushan awardee, Yesudas, hailing from a Roman Catholic family, had earlier been denied entry into the famous Sree Krishna temple at Guruvayur in Thrissur district and Kadampuzha Devi temple in Malappuram for being a non-Hindu.
However, Yesudas has been a regular visitor to the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala at Pathanamthitta district of Kerala and Mookambika temple at Kollur in Karnataka.
He has also rendered numerous devotional songs in praise of Hindu gods.
The meeting was attended by temple ‘Tantri’ (head priest), ‘Periya nambi’ (chief priest), executive officer and other members of the committee.
“The decision was unanimous... all members took part in the meeting agreed to accept the legendary singer’s request. Now, we will formally inform him about the temple committee’s decision... It is up to him to decide the date of the visit to the shrine,” temple executive officer V Ratheesan said.
Yesudas had sent a request letter and declaration of his faith in Hinduism through a special messenger two days ago.
Though he did not mention any particular date in the letter, the messenger informed that the singer would like to visit the shrine on ‘Vijayadasami’ day, which falls on
The temple authorities have already made it clear that anyone who believes in Hinduism can visit the Padmanabha Swamy Temple and there are no restrictions on that.
Non-Hindus and foreigners are permitted inside the sprawling shrine dedicated to Lord Padmanabha after accepting similar declarations, they said.