The rope car service, suspended since June 6 following a breakdown, resumed at the Sri Dhandayuthapaniswamy Hill Temple on Tuesday.

The service was disrupted after a crack developed in the main shaft, leaving the rope car stranded in mid- air with 18 passengers.

After elaborate pujas were performed, the rope car got under way, with the first batch of pilgrims airlifted to the hill station as HR&CE Joint Commissioner (in-charge) K.Rajamanickam and Palani MLA K.S.N.Venugopalu looked on.

By afternoon, more than 700 pilgrims had travelled in the rope car. Taking no chances, temple authorities carried out several trial runs before re-launching the rope car service, even filling the cabins with bricks and operating the car at high speed.

Temple officials said the August 15 deadline for the re-launch could not be met as replacing the damaged shaft resulted in a delay.

In the absence of a rope car, devotees were ferried to the hilltop by slow-moving winches.

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