Why is that black color clothes are avoided or not allowed to wear in some temples?

They are also avoided when Hindus celebrate festivals like Diwali, Navratri etc, generally on auspicious days

I know that our temples don't allow belts, wallets etc when they are made of animal skin but whats wrong in wearing black clothes or having black colored objects with us?

  • 5
    I have seen in some temples where only black colored clothes are allowed like Ayyaappa swami and Lord Shani temples.
    – Mr_Green
    Jun 21, 2014 at 11:39
  • 1
    @Mr_Green Yes, I've seen tamils wearing but I'm Vaishnav and we don't wear black clothes on auspicious days
    – Mr. Alien
    Jun 21, 2014 at 15:20
  • @all I don't think so, We are north Indian, I have never heard about this. Sep 22, 2014 at 8:39
  • Black color indicates only ignorance and it is not inauspicious at all. This is a wrong belief borrowed and does not belong to Hindu philosophy. We bring in black color to ward off evil - make a small black bindi on the face also. Add one black color bangle during auspicious ceremony etc. - Malathi
    – Malathi
    Oct 18, 2015 at 14:20
  • 1
    @AnuragSingh Some astrologival scriptures advice us to wear specific clothes to please deities of respective planets. I am not sure what exactly they are. I heard it in a talk by a scholar. Jun 10, 2017 at 16:15

3 Answers 3


Black is the symbol of unhappiness. That's why, we don't wear it in temples. Although, some murtis in temples are normally black, like that of Shiva. This is because Gods and Goddesses are free from happiness and unhappiness.

Above all, its just a symbol. (You can think of it as another superstition...)

In Hinduism, we have a lot of colors symbolizing things. Below are a few others:

  • Red indicates both sensuality and purity.
  • Saffron indicates sacred and holy things.
  • Green indicates festive season and happiness.
  • Yellow indicates knowledge and learning.
  • White is a mixture of seven different colors hence it symbolizes a little bit of the quality of each.
  • Blue is a symbol of nature; the sky, the oceans, the rivers and the lakes.
  • A point I missed about Lord Shani is (rightly) added by a commenter and another answerer. Yes, black coloured is favoured by Lord Shani. It is also favoured by the Lord of Mountains. Jun 21, 2014 at 11:47
  • What is this- White is mixture of all colors, so it represents all. Saffron is mixture of Red and yellow, so does saffron mean- Sensuality and knowledge?
    – user9392
    Jun 8, 2017 at 22:08
  • 1
    "Black is the symbol of unhappiness" so it is tradition and not religious by nature?
    – Wikash_
    Sep 22, 2019 at 8:41
  • 1
    Your answer could be improved with scriptural references.
    – Haridasa
    May 17 at 15:38
  • 1
    this answer seems to have no scriptural support at all, it's surprising that it's an accepted answer.
    – Bingming
    May 18 at 3:15

Black is considered bad and evil. It is avoided in anything cultural, not just visiting temples.

However note that black is not completely avoided, people visiting Sabarimala temple actually wear black colour. It is favourite colour of Shani and people wear it to please him.

  • 2
    Your answer could be improved with scriptural references.
    – Haridasa
    May 17 at 15:38

Black coloured clothes are to be generally avoided, not only when doing pūjā and visiting devālayas, but even in ordinary life. In Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa is covered the kathā where Satī Madālasā teaches her son prince Alarka, about various sadācāras.
One of those ācāras deserves mention here -

na cāpi raktavāsāḥ syāccitrāsitadharo api vā /
na ca kuryādviparyāsaṁ vāsasornāpi bhūṣaṇe // (31.55)

Rakta (red, crimson, or blood-red), asita (kṛṣṇa), and citrita (variegated or spotted) clothes, shouldn't be worn. Also, uttarīya and vibhūṣaṇas, shouldn't be worn in a viparīta style.

Similar sadācāra, with similar wording, is stated by Ṛṣi Vyāsa -

na cāpi raktavāsāḥ syāccitrāsitadharo’pi vā / 

na ca kuryādviparyāsaṁ vāsasornāpi bhūṣayoḥ //
~ Brahma Purāṇa (113.53)

Manusmṛti (2.12) states-

vedaḥ smṛtiḥ sadācāraḥ svasya ca priyamātmanaḥ /
etaccaturvidhaṁ prāhuḥ sākṣād dharmasya lakṣaṇam //

Veda (śruti), smṛti, sadācāra, and ātmapriya (called ātmasantuṣṭi in Manusmṛti 2.6) are the fourfold sākṣāt lakṣaṇas of dharma.

On this basis, the sadācāra mentioned by a queen like Madālasā, who was a satī (pativratā, sucaritā, etc.) and Ṛṣi Vyāsa, and that too with high mention in Mārkaṇḍeya Mahāpurāṇa and Brahma Mahāpurāṇa, can be considered dharma, without problem.

Furthermore, in Skanda Purāṇa, Brahmā says -

kṛṣṇavastraṁ sadā tyājya cāturmāsye viśeṣataḥ / (6.236.19a)

Kṛṣṇavastra should be tyājya always, especially in cāturmāsya.

In Āpastamba dharmasūtra, is stated clothing ācāra for snātakas, under the snātakadharmas-

sarvānrāgānvāsasi varjayet // kṛṣṇaṁ ca svābhāvikam // anūdbhāsi vāso vasīta // apratikṛṣṭaṁ ca śaktiviṣaye // (

(10) With respect to clothes, all that are dyed are varjita, (11) svabhāvataḥ, the kṛṣṇavastra are also varjita. (12) He should wear clothes that are neither shiny (13) nor, if at all possible, squalid.

Thus, it should be clear that avoiding kṛṣṇavastra is stated as sadācāra, in śāstras.

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