Work on hydraulic roof for Sabarimala ‘Pathinettam padi’ to start today

A blueprint of the hydraulic roof to be constructed over the 'pathinettam padi' in Sabarimala.

Sabarimala: The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has finalized a plan to install a hydraulic roof over the 18 holy steps (Pathinettam padi) at the Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala. Work on the roof is scheduled to start at 7 am on Tuesday with special prayers and would be completed in three months. The court has already given permission for the work.

The project, worth Rs 70 lakh, is being implemented free of cost as an offering to the deity by Vishwa Samudra, a Hyderabad-based construction firm. The hydraulic roof, which can be folded to the sides when there is no rain, has been designed by the Chennai-headquartered Capital Engineering Consultancy.

With Pathinettam padi getting a roof, rains will not pose a problem during the ‘Padi puja’ ritual (prayers to the 18 holy steps). At present, a tarpaulin sheet is drawn over the steps during ‘Padi puja.’

Earlier, the 18 holy steps had a glass roof. However, it was dismantled when a ‘Devaprasnam’ (an astrological consultation) found that the glass roof was preventing direct sunlight from falling on the temple’s flag mast.

Apart from arranging a hydraulic roof, TDB would be replacing the stones in front of the holy steps with granite.

Facing a financial crisis when COVID-19 pandemic raged, TDB had sought sponsors to build a roof over Pathinettam padi. K Reji Kumar, who was the coordinator of the project, had subsequently invited Ramayya, vice-president of Vishwa Samudra company, to Sabarimala. The firm signed an agreement to execute the project following discussions Ramayya had with TDB president K Ananthagopan, board members Manoj Charalel and P M Thankappan, chief engineer (general) G Krishna Kumar and chief engineer (Sabarimala projects) R Ajith Kumar.

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