PALANI, Tamil Nadu, India -- The Indian Bank has installed a banknote changer at the famous hill temple, devoted to Sri Dhandayuthapaniswamy, in this ancient city. The machine will be convenient for pilgrims and bank customers, who have had to rely on brokers for change.
The machine accepts 10- and 20-rupee notes and dispenses 1- and 2-rupee coins. (At this writing, a rupee is worth just over 22¢ U.S.). It's located in the western part of the hill temple grounds, near the administrative office.
According to The Hindu (Chennai, Madras), which covered the opening, the changer is the fourth installed by the Indian Bank in the Madurai Circle. The others are located at the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, the Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameshwaram and the Madurai railroad station.
Presiding at the installation was Rajeev Rishi, executive director of the Indian Bank, who explained that it will further improve customer service, which always is a primary objective of the bank. T. Rajamanicakam, joint commissioner for Hundu Religious Cultural Endowments, observed that the facility will be very useful to pilgrims.
The bank also has requested a site nearby, either at the hill temple itself or the Sri Padha Vinayagar temple at the base of the long stairway that leads up to it, for an automated teller machine. Rajamanicakam has assured zone manager M. Kadiresan that a suitable location will be provided soon. It cannot be atop the hill, he noted, because there is too little space available.
Palani is one of the principal pilgrimage towns of southern India, attracting some seven million pilgrims annually.