For the first time in 400 years, men entered a temple in Odisha. The men were allowed to touch the five idols in Ma Panchubarahi temple in Odisha’s Kendrapara district. The temple is a no-entry zone for men; only Dalit women are allowed to perform the rituals and touch the deities.
On April 20, the women priests let five men enter the temple for a day to relocate the deities, as rising sea levels threatened the Satabhaya village, a remote cluster of hutments where no more than a thousand people live, say reports.
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Ma Panchubarahi temple is looked after by five Dalit women priests. The temple is cleaned, preparations for the daily puja are done only by married Dalit women from the local sea facing village and there has been no exception in the last 400 years.