Work on the expansion of the ‘praharam’ of the Samayapuram Sri Mariamman temple is expected to be completed within a fortnight.
Though a major and ancient temple, the Samayapuram Sri Mariamman temple did not have adequate amenities including cottages, rest halls, toilets and parking lots.
The problem due to congestion of pilgrims is more pronounced during the new moon and important festivals such as annual car festival and on Fridays in the month of ‘Adi'. A major drawback of this temple is that it does not own adequate land.
The sprawling space normally found on the ‘Sannidhi' street or car streets in the periphery of ancient temples, is not to be found at Samayapuram.
Even the ‘praharam' of the temple is very narrow, just about seven metres all around. Outside it, the temple owns a vacant site for another five metres.
The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department sanctioned Rs. 80 lakh for the expansion of the ‘praharam'. The whole of the available land is being used so that the new breadth will be 11 metres, say sources.
The expansion of the ‘praharam' also involves the demolition of the weak and old praharam.
Another important facility being provided is the ‘Amavasai' mandapam. “Crowd management poses problem during the new moon and also on its eve every month, when every available is occupied,” say sources.
The Amavasai mandapam, with a plinth area of 26,188 square feet, under construction at an outlay of Rs. 1.11 crore would provide adequate protection and safety and also comfort to the devotees.
An exclusive three-storey building with tonsuring facility will be constructed at an expenditure of Rs.65 lakh on a plinth area of 5,159 square feet.
Many pilgrims prefer to stay at Tiruchi or Srirangam due to poor accommodation facilities at Samayapuram. Even the existing guest house of the temple, with just five rooms, can only accommodate a limited number. The department has taken up construction of a guest house with 32 suits, 16 suits in the ground floor and on the first floor each.
A sum of Rs.74 lakh has been sanctioned and the work is been in progress. The total plinth area is 14,678 square feet.
A compound for Sri Bojeeswarar temple at an expenditure of Rs. 7.85 lakh and provision of tar road linking the National Highway with the temple at an expenditure of Rs. 12.50 lakh has also been taken up.
J. Chandrakumar, Commissioner for HR and CE, who inspected the progress of these works, advised officials to expedite the works.
He was accompanied by Jayashree Muralidaran, Collector, A. Amalraj, DIG of Police, Tiruchi Range, Ilamparithi, Joint Commissioner of HR and CE and Pon. Selvaraj, Joint Commissioner of the temple.