Remember your forebears, forget the stink

Filth, clothes, leaves and puja items greet people who perform rituals at Amma Mandapam along the Cauvery in Srirangam.

Filth, clothes, leaves and puja items greet people who perform rituals at Amma Mandapam along the Cauvery in Srirangam. | Photo Credit: M. SRINATH


Poor maintenance of Amma Mandapam bathing ghat on the banks of the Cauvery in Srirangam, has drawn flak from pilgrims and tourists.

The bathing ghat is a spot preferred by people for performing rituals for their forebears. The holiness attached to the Cauvery at the ghat attracts a large number of pilgrims from different parts of the country. Nearly one-third of the pilgrims, who visit Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam, invariably visit Amma Mandapam. Most of the long-distance travellers, who visit Srirangam by bus, prefer to take a bath in Cauvery river. According to a rough estimate, it attracts about 3,000 pilgrims every day. The number swells to 5,000 to 10,000 on days of Amavasya and other major festivals. 

But the apparent negligence of sanitary workers employed by the Tiruchi City Corporation in maintaining the place has drawn criticism from the pilgrims. The persons who perform rituals to their forefathers have generally been asked by the priests to take bath in the river. Filthy spots, clothes, leaves and puja items invariably greet them when they enter the river. Waste materials and clothes abandoned by the pilgrims as a mark of the fulfillment of their vows, and plastic wastes, and bottles dot the banks of the Cauvery at Amma Mandapam. The bathing spot and the place where pujas are performed look ugly with accumulation of clothes and slushy water.

The visitors are also disappointed with the poor upkeep of free and pay-and-use toilets. They feel reluctant to use them. Upset over the poor maintenance of toilets, the users invariably scold the fee collectors, thereby leading to wordy quarrels. “I went inside a toilet complex by paying ₹10. But none of the toilet was clean and neat. Hence, i came out within a few seconds as I could not bear the stench. Thereafter, I went to a hotel to use the toilet there,” said S. Subramani of Thiruvanaikoil,

“It is a holy place. But I am really shocked and dismayed at the way in which the bathing ghat is maintained,” said M. Muniappan of Dindigul, who attended a ritual ceremony at Amma Mandapam bathing ghat on Sunday.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 12:10:57 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/remember-your-forebears-forget-the-stink/article65417021.ece