TIRUCHY: An Annadhana Koodam (free meals hall) which could accommodate around 200 people at a time is being built at Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam costing `1.8 crore and will be ready for use in a month.
The work for the new Annadhana Koodam, opposite Venugopal Sanithi, began in March this year and has taken nearly six months. The hall earlier could accommodate 75 people. “It will be ready for use by next month. We hope we can open the Annadhana Koodam in the beginning of November,” temple officials said.
The newly built Annadhana Koodam can accommodate about 200 people at a time while 200 others can wait at a time. In a day, it could cater to 2,000-2,500 people. Srirangam temple provides non-stop free meals to devotees like Dhandayuthapani temple in Palani.
“Once the renovation of the temple is over, the number of devotees will increase. It will be difficult for us to manage such a huge crowd with the existing free meals hall. With the Kumbabhishekam round the corner and ‘Chithirai Thiruvizha’ following that, devotees will throng the temple,” said a worker in Free meals scheme department.
“Since there are more devotees who visit the temple and want to benefit from the scheme, we had to build a hall to accommodate all of them. It is an effort for the betterment of facilities in the temple keeping the convenience of the devotees in consideration. The existing Annadhana Koodam will be used for other purposes,” the officials added.
“The free meals scheme is really useful for the devotees who come from a long distance. I am happy that the officials have taken our views into consideration and a new free meals hall is being built,” said Keerthana, who came to visit the temple from Tiruvallur.