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Ayyarmalai temple to get rope car soon

L. Renganathan

Technical team zeroes in on Naalvar Mandapam

KULITHALAI: Devotees who visit the famed hill temple of Sri Rathinagireeswarar atop the Ayyarmalai can have the option of utilising the rope car facility soon.

The long-pending demand of the shrine devotees is set to materialise with the technical committee constituted for the purpose making a site visit to assess the field conditions and the technical aspects to establish the facility.

The shrine is nestled atop Ayyarmalai and the devotees have to climb a taxing 1,017 steps to have a darshan of the Lord.

The old and the invalid, children and women all find it demanding and exasperating to climb the steep steps.

Since the Kudippadu families are spread all over the country, there had been a demand for the facility to reach the shrine.

Following that the State Government sanctioned the facility stating that the public could contribute towards establishing the facility.

Events unfolded rapidly and several spots were considered to establish the facility.

On Wednesday the technical team entrusted with the task decided on a spot near the “Naalvar Mandapam'' at the foot of the hill.

Chief of technical committee and retired Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department R. Radhakrishnan said that the facility was estimated to cost Rs. 4 crore. On January 28, tenders would be called for and experienced companies that have established similar facilities only would be considered.

Four spots identified

In January 2010, four spots were identified for erecting the facility considering among other things shortest possible route, time taken to reach the top and amenities for the public.

An evaluation of the sites identified ensued and the team zeroed in on the Naalvar Mandapam, he said.

The rope car would take the devotees from the base to the Amman shrine atop the hill, a distance of around 490 metres.

The tower lines on which the rope car would slide back and forth would be established at a height of 215 metres from the ground level.

One compartment would seat four persons and two such compartments would be established. In just two-and-a-half minutes the devotees could reach the top.

100 persons in an hour

It is estimated to transport 100 persons in an hour, Mr. Radhakrishnan said.

Works would commence in the first week of February. Rope car would become reality by May next, he added.

P.K. Gopinath of Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, S.K. Mohanan, Superintending Engineer, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department, and S. Arun Pandian, temple Executive Officer, were among those who participated in the deliberations.

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