PALANI: After a gap of one and a half months, the first winch car, which was commissioned in 1966 at Sri Dhandayuthapaniswamy Temple here, started functioning again with two new compartments on Wednesday.
The new ultra modern compartments have a seating capacity of 40 each. Unlike old compartments, these winch cars have three entrances. The body of the winch was built in Karur. Spacious seats, wide windows and big entrances were some of the special features of the compartments.
The temple administration had spent ₹10 lakh for building the new compartments for the first winch. Besides, the iron rope to pull the compartments to the hilltop and back was replaced with a new one.
After the commissioning of new compartments, several trial runs were conducted in the last one week. Later, a technical expert committee gave its clearance to operate the winch.
On Wednesday morning, special pujas and ‘aradhanas’ were performed to the new winch car by Selvam Gurukkal at the base station near Sri Padha Vinayagar Temple. Then, the winch began its first trip.
The winch car will cover a distance of 290 metres from the base station to the hill temple in eight minutes.
With the recommissioning of the first winch, the temple has three haulage winches to carry pilgrims to the hill temple and back.
The winch service will start at 5.20 a.m. and continue till 9 p.m. During festival days, the service will begin at 3.20 a.m. and stop at 9.00 p.m.
While the 36-seater first winch was installed in 1966, the second winch, with a seating capacity of 32, was commissioned in 1981. The third winch – a 36-seater facility – was commissioned in 1988.