Travancore Devaswom Board's inn to open at Varanasi

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Kottayam: A new inn and a 'Dharmasala' belonging to the Travancore Devaswom Board are getting ready in the temple city of Varanasi.

The Travancore Devaswom Board has appealed to the Kerala High Court for permission to renovate their existing inn which is in a dilapidated state. As per the statutes, The Devaswom Board has to get permission from the High Court for undertaking any construction activity the budget of which exceeds Rs 20 lakhs.

The new inn and boarding arrangements are expected to cost more than Rs 1 crore.

The existing inn belonging to the Travancore Devaswom Board by the river Ganga is about a century old. It has been in a neglected state for over 50 years now. Tenders were invited last year for the renovation but no constructor came forward to take up the work. The pathway leading to the inn is rather narrow and big vehicles with construction equipment and material cannot be taken all the way to the site. Much of these will need to be carried by donkeys. The nodal officer of the inn is T S Subrahmani.

A Padmakumar, the president of the Travancore Devaswom Board said that the Varanasi venture is a part of a mission to reclaim its lands that had been lost or encroached upon. The Devaswom Board has property worth Rs 25 crore here. Once the new inn is commissioned, the pilgrims can avail the boarding and lodging arrangements at nominal rates.

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The existing inn is situated in a narrow street in the Sonapura area between Chowka Ghat and Kedar Ghat by the river Ganga. There is an idol of Hanuman in the inner courtyard of the two storied building. The inn has a spacious dormitory. The rooms are also spacious. Notice boards in Malayalam display 'Travancore Satram' and 'Dharmasala' on the buildings.

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