RAJAHMUNDRY:Thousands of people from across the country visit the historical city of Rajahmundry to perform obsequies to their departed family members at Kambham Choultry on the banks of river Godavari.
Even as the century-old Kambham Choultry is abuzz with activity every day, the visitors are forced to stay in hotels by shelling out hefty rents due to lack of sufficient rooms in the facility. At present, the choultry has 16 rooms, (first and ground floors) of which eight are allotted for VIPs and the other eight for performing obsequies.
The 165-year-old Kambham Choultry was built by Madyasri Kambham Narasimha Rao, who belonged to Ongole. He worked as head sirastadar in the collectorate at Rajahmundry between 1945 and 1852. During his time, Narasimha Rao dug a tank in the city, which is now known as Kambala Tank, and also constructed the choultry for obsequies.
According to Narayana Sastry (Bobby), a senior purohit in Kambham Choultry, the facility needs additional rooms, toilets and kitchen to cater to the needs of the people visiting from various parts of the country. An amount of Rs 200 is charged as room rent and Rs 50 for performing obsequies, which however is insufficient now and the room tariff needs to be hiked.
Under Sastry’s supervision, the ashes of former Congress leader Sanjay Gandhi was immersed in river Godavari in 1979, former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 and that of former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao in 2005.
When contacted, a municipal corporation official said that steps are being taken to construct additional rooms and toilets along with other amenities.