Visiting a Hindu Temple

A Beginner's Guide

Be they luxurious palaces, rustic warehouses, simple halls or granite sanctuaries, Hindu temples are springing up all over the world, numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Yet outside of India and a few places like Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bali, what happens inside these temples remains a mystery—to young generations of Hindus as well as to curious newcomers. It’s all a bit intimidating at first. This Insight is designed to answer the common questions that arise: Why are temples important? What are the customs and protocols, the dos and don’ts? What attitudes should one hold inside? Do all those rituals have a meaning? What is the priest chanting? All these musings and more are addressed here to help newcomers—both Hindus…