If you are coming to Lucknow and plan to visit the historic Imambaras, make sure you pack in some "decent" clothes that cover more than they reveal.
The District Magistrate (DM) of Lucknow, Kaushal Raj Sharma, after a meeting with the Shia community, has agreed that women wearing short skirts, skimpy tops and other revealing clothes will not be allowed into the Imambaras.
"No more short skirts and skimpy tops at Chhota and Bada Imambaras. Visitors will have to wear clothes that cover their body, keeping in mind the sanctity of the over-two-centuries old monuments. Professional photography and video shoots have also been banned," Sharma said.
The DM added that guards and guides have also been instructed to restrict entry of people dressed improperly and keep a vigil to "check obscenity that hurts religious sentiments". The Imambaras have religious sanctity for Shias who resent "indecent" behaviour.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Husainabad Allied Trust and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The trust manages the two monuments that are declared as protected sites by the ASI.
Upset over tourists roaming around in "revealing and improper clothes" within the precincts, a group of Shia clerics, historians and civil society members wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the ASI and the district administration, seeking action in the matter.
The signatories questioned why a code of conduct was not made mandatory for visitors to the Imambaras while other shrines such as the Golden Temple in Amritsar had strictly implemented them.
The DM said that the ASI had also been directed to renovate parts of the monuments that are showing signs of decay.