Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari

Photo credit: Natesh Ramasamy/Flickr

Vivekananda Rock Memorial Overview

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Vivekananda Rock Memorial is an imposing structure, built in the memory of great Indian spiritual leader and philosopher Swami Vivekanand. This wonderful memorial is around half a kilometre on a small island like rock, away from the shore of Kanyakumari. The idea of building a memorial on this rock was proposed in 1962 on Swami Vivekanand’s birthday to honour his vision. It was constructed by Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee to commemorate his visit to Sripada Parai in 1892. The construction of this monument spanned over six years and was finally inaugurated on 2nd September 1970 by the then President of India V.V. Giri.

There are several legends associated with the rock on which this grand structure stands at present. It is believed that Swami Vivekanand reached Kanyakumari after years of wandering across the country to seek solutions to the miseries of Indians. When he reached Kanyakumari, he spotted this rock and swam towards it. After reaching, he meditated here for three days, thinking about India. At the end of the third day, he achieved enlightenment about the mission of his life: Time is ripe for you to broadcast the message of Vedanta, of ancient wisdom, to the world. Thus, was born Swami Vivekanand - the spiritual leader, philosopher and patriotic saint of contemporary India.

The role of Shri Eknath Ranade (a renowned writer, who understood the depth of Swami Ji’s vision) in the establishment of this sacred memorial is quite significant. He believed that just a brick and mortar structure was not enough to honour such a great man. He wanted every Indian to understand and contribute to the memorial's creation, which had to be a national treasure. For this, he went to different states and asked respective governments to contribute. It was due to his endless efforts that the Vivekananda Rock Memorial and later, Vivekananda Kendra (1972) were established. An interesting fact related to the memorial is that around 30 lakh people donated a minimum of Rupee 1 each for its construction.

Architecturally, the memorial mainly comprises two structures - Vivekananda Mandapam and Shripada Mandapam. The former has a meditation hall (Dhyana Mandapam), assembly hall (Sabha Mandapam) and portico (Mukha Mandapam). Shripada Mandapam, on the other hand, consists of sanctum sanctorum (Garbha Griha), inner parakram and outer parakram all round.

Covering a huge area of 16200 sq km (4 acres), the rock has other buildings too like water reservoir, waiting hall, wireless communication centre and power distribution centre, to name a few. Not only this, there are also two helipads, one in the northwest direction and the other in the southwest. For the convenience of visitors, ferry services are available between the mainland and the memorial. Owing to its unique location, magnificent architecture and historical significance, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial has become an important tourist attraction of Tamil Nadu.

  • Opening Closing Time 8 am to 4 pm (Daily)

  • Photo Opp

    Though photography is not allowed inside the memorial, visitors can still capture the beauty surrounding the structure. Standing on the rock, they can enjoy breathtaking views of the vast sea that are definitely worth clicking.
  • Entrance Fee Rs. 20 per Person<br /><br /> Ferry<br /> Rs. 34 for Adults<br /> Rs. 17 for Students<br />

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