OTHER STATES

A ropeway up to the gods

ADDED ATTRACTION: The ropeway to the Taratarini Temple will be operational from next month.   | Photo Credit: Photo: Lingaraj Panda

Staff Reporter

Tara Tarini hill shrine in Ganjam district is preparing a simpler way to the top

Devotees have to climb 999 steps to the hilltopRopeway to have capacity of 150 persons

BERHAMPUR: The first ropeway to a hilltop in Orissa is expected to be operational at Tara Tarini hill shrine in Ganjam district next month.

It is part of the efforts of the Tara Tarini Development Board (TTDB) to turn this famous hill shrine of south Orissa into a major tourist destination of the state.

The carriages of this ropeway would carry devotees from the ground to the 282-metre high hilltop.

It would provide a recreational journey to the devotees to the hill shrine who otherwise had to climb 999 steps to the hilltop.

Successful tests

Secretary of the TTDB, Pramod Kumar Panda informed that Rope Way Resorts Pvt. Ltd. of Kolkata has taken up this project.

The project has cost around Rs. 60 lakhs for the company.

The ropeway would become functional for general public only after it gets power connection from the power distribution company, Southco.

Its test rides using generators have been successful.

This ropeway would have four carriages with a capacity to carry 150 persons to the hilltop and back down in an hour. The rate for this journey is yet to be fixed.

Penance

Mr. Panda said even after this ropeway there would be devotees who would prefer to take up the tedious climb to the using the steep steps.

"A ghat road also reaches the hill top for the vehicular traffic but a large number of devotees still prefer to use the steps as penance before the `darshan' of the deities," he said.

But this ropeway would be a major attraction for tourists as the only other ropeway for tourists in Orissa is at the Nandankanan Zoological Park but it runs parallel to the ground across its lake, Mr. Panda said.

Right timing

The TTDB wants this ropeway to be operational during the month of Chaitra as thousands of devotees from Orissa and Andhra Pradesh visit this shrine on Tuesdays of this month.