How to be respectful when Visiting!

If you are foreign to Hindu temples and culture but would like to learn about this faith, visiting our temple is a good way to begin. You do not have to practice the Hindu religion to visit a Hindu temple; Our temples are open for any to visit. You may decide to visit at a significant time, such as when a specific service or ceremony is being conducted. Otherwise, drop by and observe the temple for yourself, or call ahead and ask if they can offer you a guided tour. Since Hindu temples are sacred places to people of Hindu faith, always behave calmly and respectfully.

Preparing to Visit Our Temple

Don’t have non vegetarian (meat, fish or egg) food before going to temple. If you had on that day you should take bath before entering the temple.

Everybody except the ladies in their menstruation period are allowed to enter the temple

Wash yourself before visiting any temple. Before you plan to go to temple, you should take a shower or bath.

Anyone is allowed entry inside a temple, but since temples are spiritual places, it’s traditional to bathe before attending a temple.
To prepare yourself mentally and spiritually, you may also wish to take several moments to pray and think about God or your personal spiritual beliefs.
Dress appropriately for the temple. While it’s not necessary to wear traditional Indian clothing to a temple, both men and women should wear modest, conservative clothing to the temple. This will indicate respect for the sacred place and will allow other attendees to focus on the temple gods and their own acts of worship, rather than being distracted by loud or inappropriate clothing.
Women should wear a long skirt or dress. It’s also appropriate for women to wear long pants. Wear something that is loose enough for you to comfortably sit cross-legged in.

Men should wear business-casual clothing, such as slacks and a button-down shirt.

Avoid wearing animal skin of any kind; this could be offensive to practicing Hindus.

Buy offerings to bring to the temple. Deities can be offered various material things, flowers and fruit are common and affordable choices. You could also choose to offer cloth or sweets. Presenting your offerings to the temple deities is a form of respect. Hindus believe that offerings like these will please the Gods and may result in blessings and fulfilled prayers. It is not required to bring offerings; if you would rather not bring offerings for your first visit, you don’t have to.

Entering the Temple

Remove your footwear outside the temple.
Better to keep your cellphones in mute and not to use inside our temple
Removing shoes shows respect for the temple and the deity statues within. This is not optional: removing shoes, sandals, or any other footwear is a mandatory rule of every Hindu temple.
Socks are fine, you can keep wearing them. However, if the temple floor is made of marble or any other slippery stone, you want to remove socks, so you don’t fall.

Circulate through the temple. Traditionally, upon entering a Our temple, you’ll see an array of deities and statues arranged around the temple . Begin with the deity on your left. From there, continue to walk through the temple in a clockwise direction, pausing before each deity you come across.

Respectfully view the statues. When you finally get to see the statue closely, you may join the palms of your hands near the heart into a “Vanakkam” (a traditional pose) and bow.
This is the minimum act you should perform in front of each statue as a respectful gesture.
Practicing Hindus will often bow or fully prostrate themselves in front of statues as a sign of respect and reverence. If you feel comfortable, you can prostrate yourself as well, although it’s not required.

Moving Through the Temple

Bring your offerings before individual statues. If you have brought fruit or flowers to offer to the deity, you may do this as you circulate through the temple. Hand each offering to the priest sitting outside the idol’s chamber.

Under no circumstances should you enter the inner chamber. The inner chamber or the chamber where the idol is seated is considered the most sacred and private area and no one can go in without previous sanction.
If there is no priest outside the chamber, there may be a nearby platform for worshipers to place their offerings on.

Accept any items from the priest. While you are in the temple, you may notice a priest pouring water over the hands of worshipers. This is a spiritual, purifying gesture: if the priest offers you the water, let him pour it over your hands.
The priests may also give “Prasadam:” blessed fruits (always vegetarian) which is offered to the deities. Prasadam is also considered holy, and you should eat it outside the temple.

Anything the priest gives you should be accepted with your right hand. Avoid taking or giving anything with the left hand.

Avoid touching shrines or statues. Our temple have many statues—do not attempt to touch any one of them; this will be seen as an inappropriate and disrespectful act. In Hindu faith, only priests are permitted to touch the statues. Keep a respectful distance.
Also avoid photography. Taking pictures is restricted or forbidden. Before taking a photo, look for the noticeboards, or you may ask someone, including the priest.

Follow rules of common decency. The temple is a sacred, holy space, and you should exhibit polite, constrained behavior when visiting. You can speak quietly, but avoid loud conversation, laughter, or crying. Do not chew gum loudly—or at all—and throw any trash you have in a trash can. To show your respect for the temple, turn your phone off when you enter, and don’t smoke in or around the temple.
A priest may offer to place a small mark on your forehead (usually made from ash or turmeric). You may accept or decline as you feel comfortable; the mark carries no great spiritual significance and does not necessarily indicate a belief in the Hindu religion.

Provide a donation, if desired. As you make your way through the temple, you may see a small donation box. If you feel like donating, fold the bills and put them with your right hand in the donation box. Remember that donations are never required, and you do not have to donate.
Even if someone coaxes you to donate, you always have the right to refuse

Do’s in Richmond Hill Temple are as follows:

– Put your mobile phone on silent mode.

– To be properly attired to access a place of worship.

– To observe / maintain quietness, inside the Sanctum.

– To leave your footwear and coats at designated areas.

– To dispose off wastes in the recycle bins provided.

– Vehicles shall be parked only at designated parking areas.

– Proper use of amenities and facilities.

– Deposit your offerings only in the Hundi

– Follow the procedures of the temple and wait for your turn for the darshan of the Lord.

Don’ts in Richmond Hill Temple are as follows:

– Pluck flowers / vegetables / leaves from the gardens

– Wear footwear, hats, sunglasses, caps inside the temple

– Photography or videos at the altars

– Waste prasadam at Canteen

– Smoking / Alcohol / Drugs.

– Eat non-vegetarian food.

– Pets