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News at Sunday, Aug 08, 2010 on The Hindu Newspaper : Move to establish rope car facility at temple atop Ayyarmalai gathers pace :

KULITHALAI: The move to establish rope car facility at the famous Sri Rathinagireeswarar temple atop Ayyarmalai, about 10 km from here, gathered pace with estimates placed at Rs.4 crore for completing the project.

Ayyarmalai temple is steeped in antiquity and the hallowed hill-top shrine is visited by hundreds of people visit the shrine every day but a few dare to climb the steep 1,117 steps that lead up to the temple atop the hill.

The elderly and the children are simply daunted by the sight of the rocky outcrop seemingly reaching out to the clouds.

For long, devotees from far and near have been seeking some facility to easily reach the top.Kulithalai MLA R. Manikkam and some others also petitioned the State Government seeking permission and funds to embark on the rope car project. It considered the pleas seriously and the HR & CE Minister P.R. Periya Karuppan announced in the Assembly that the rope car facility would be established in the hill shrine with public contribution.

Subsequently a rope car formation committee comprising local community leaders was formed and preparatory administrative works have commenced. As a follow up, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Commissioner P.R. Shampath inspected the shrine hill and the proposed alignment on Friday and held discussions with the officials.

Speaking on the sidelines Mr. Shampath indicated that the facility would require an estimated Rs.3 lakh a month for maintaining the facility apart from the initial investment.

He also said that the State Government would construct a mandapam at a cost of Rs. 50 lakh for the benefit of devotees.