Despite the dominance of super markets and departmental stores, the weekly shandy at Golden Rock continues to retain its popularity among the city residents. It was started in 1926 to primarily supply household essentials to the employees of Golden Rock workshop, who lived in the area, far away from the heart of Tiruchi.
“The mode of transport in those days was bullock carts. So the shandy earned a good patronage from the locals. Vendors from surrounding villages of Tiruchi flocked at the shandy to sell their wares,” says K.C. Neelamegam, State advisor, Makkal Sakthi Iyakkam.
Over the years, the shandy has evolved with miscellaneous shops to attract people from various areas in the city. Today, one can find things ranging from a safety pin to roosters and ducks at the shandy.
“Despite its popularity, the shandy functions with poor infrastructure. It does not have a proper parking area nor concrete shops. Shops function on a ground and roadside haphazardly. To add to the confusion, cows freely roam the market, causing inconvenience to vendors and customers,” says Mr. Neelamegam. But these inconveniences do not seem to deter people from thronging the shandy.
This Sunday, with barely more than a week left for the harvest festival, Pongal, special items such as sugarcane stalks, kolam powders in myriad colours, and Pongal pots are in demand. “We have come from Ramachandra Nagar to purchase items. It is an enjoyable experience,” says R. Irudayasamy, a customer. Apart from Pongal exclusives, a wide range of items, including food items such as vegetables, pulses, spices, fruits, and nuts, cooking utensils in steel and earthenware, ‘aruvamanais,’ sickles, and hammers, clothing such as woollen outfits and casual wear, women’s accessories, shoes, incense sticks, fish tanks and fish feed, plastic items, plants, wicker baskets, pillows, and cushions are available.