Non-Hindus are not allowed inside Jagannath temple as per the Shri Jagannath Temple Rules. There had been many instances where non-Hindus were stopped entering the temple. It is said the rules were initially made for the protection of Jagannath Temple from foreign invaders.
For non-Hindu followers of Lord Jagannath, there is a representative idol installed at the entrance point of the temple at the Singhadwar – The Patitabana Jagannath . Though there are many theories to it, but the principal logic behind holding the Rath Yatra is to give darshan to those who cannot enter the temple. Apart from that the World Famous Rath Yatra is organised so that the Lord Can Give his Darshan to all of his devotees. Prabhu Jagannath comes out of the temple for giving opportunity for every devotee to be able to meet him.. irrespective of their religion.
Here are some famous personalities who were not allowed into The Jagannath Temple.
1. Indira Gandhi
In 1984, Smt. Indira Gandhi the Prime Minister of India was not allowed to enter the temple of Puri because she had married a Parsi Firoze Gandhi.
2. Guru Nanak
In 1508 A.D; Nanak, the guru of Sikhs had come to Puri with his Muslim follower Mardhani. The Sevayatas of Puri had not allowed them to enter the temple. But Lord heard the prayer of the devotees with the request of Lord in the dream, the Raja of Puri allowed them to enter to the temple.
3. Lord Curzon
Lord Curzon became the Viceroy of India in 1899 and in 1900 when he went to Puri, he was not allowed to enter.
4. Swami Prabhupada
In 1977, Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of ISKCON movement, had visited Puri. His devotees were not allowed to enter the temple and So he refused to Go inside the temple.
5. Saint Kabir
In 13th century A.D. when saint Kabir, one of the pioneers of Bhakti Movement had come to Puri, he was not allowed to enter the temple due to his wearing of dress like Muslim.
6. Mahachakri Siridharan
In 2005, the queen of Thailand Mahachakri Siridharan had come to Odisha but as she was the follower of Buddhism, she was not allowed to the temple.
7. Elizabeth Jigler
In 2006, citizen of Switzerland named Elizabeth Jigler did not allow, who had donated over US $4 lakh (Rs 1.78 crore approximately), highest paid donation to the temple because she was a Christian.
Source – Internet