Vivekananda Rock Memorial

About Vivekananda Rock Memorial at Kanyakumari:

The majestic Vivekananda Rock Memorial is situated on a small island outside Kanyakumari. It has the magnificent Indian Ocean in the background and hence serves as a tranquil and serene destination for people from all over the world. It is located on one of two nearby rocks that extend out of the Lakshadweep Sea and consists of the 'Shripada Mandapam' and the 'Vivekananda Mandapam'. The ferry ride up to these rock islands is an exciting experience that draws a lot of nature lovers and adventure seekers.

This statue exhibits amazing architecture and was created in 1970. It has been a popular tourist attraction ever since. According to legend, Vivekananda reached enlightenment on the island where the statue stands. The Shripada Mandapam has a study hall and a museum where visitors can learn about Vivekananda's life and activities in depth. This Mandapam enhances the memorial's spiritual value while also stressing its purity. It's the ideal place to meditate and reflect. The Vivekananda Memorial, with its tranquil setting and towering architecture, is a remarkable experience. The popular rock memorial is located in Vavathurai and was created in memory of Swami Vivekananda.

According to historical accounts and folklore, Goddess Kumari practised austerity on this rock. There is a 'Dhyana Mandapam' beside the memorial that acts as a meditation center for tourists to use. The architectural style used here is unique, incorporating temple styles from across India. The rocks are encircled by the Laccadive Sea.

In January 1962, it was decided that a memorial to Swamiji should be built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth. Sri Veluyudhan, president of Haindeva Seva Sangh, took the initiative, and a committee was constituted to oversee the process. A meeting was conducted, presided over by the Sri Ram Krishna Mission, and the memorial was unanimously approved. After overcoming a few initial stumbling blocks, the magnificent memorial statue was finally accepted, and the rest is history.

Vivekananda's Rock also has religious importance for the villagers. It is said that Goddess Devi Kumari blessed the rock while doing asceticism. The memorial's construction is a wonderful blend of numerous temple building styles from across the country, giving the location a particularly tranquil feel.

When Ramakrishna Mission in Madras constructed this memorial, a group of people created the Kanyakumari Committee, which built a memorial on the rock as well as a pedestrian bridge going to it. This information was not well received by the local Catholic fisherman. To express their displeasure, they erected a large Cross on the rock. This sparked a surge of unrest among Hindus, who see the rock as a sacred site.

After a lot of confusion and protests, the government realized that the rock had become a disputed location, forcing them to issue an official order. Shri M. Bhaktavatsalam, Tamil Nadu's then-chief minister, issued the order. It said that even if the rock was named Vivekananda, no memorial would be built on it. It was only permitted to place a tablet on the rock indicating that it was affiliated with Swami Vivekananda. Thus, with official approval, the tablet was erected on the rock on January 17, 1963.

The Vivekananda Rock Memorial Organizing Committee was formed by Eknath Ramakrishna Ranade. He was a renowned Indian social and spiritual reformer, a prominent pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and was greatly affected by Swamiji's teachings. He played an important role in establishing the memorial.

Ranade's conviction and belief in the memorial mission were so great that he never permitted the mission to slow down as a result of any challenges they encountered. Even when money were limited, he launched a fundraising campaign to support the mission. He considered the Rock Memorial to be a national monument and encouraged all Indians to contribute to its development. He organized a number of activities, including the distribution of one-rupee folders across the country to encourage public donations. He made it possible to create the memorial in just six years.

The magnificent architecture of the memorial is divided into two major sections: the Vivekananda Mandapam and the Shripada Mandapam. The Vivekananda Mandapam is divided into the following sections: Dhyana Mandapam (meditation hall with six adjacent rooms), Sabha Mandapam (assembly hall), Pralima Mandapam (statue section) with two rooms, a corridor, and an open prakaram (outer courtyard) surrounding the Sabha Mandapam, Mukha Mandapam, and Namashtubhyam to the Son of Jagadamba. This Mandapam was built in Swamiji's honour and is thought to be the location where he discovered his life's purpose.

The Shripada Mandapam is a square hall with four sections: Garbha Graham, inner prakaram, outer prakaram, and the outer platform. Shri Padaparai Mandapam is also nearby, and it is a shrine built to mark the virgin goddess' footprint on the rock.
The Vivekananda Kendra, also known as the living memorial, is located alongside the rock memorial. Its existence was first mentioned in 1964, and it was officially founded on January 7, 1972, after a nine-year preparation period. The Kendra's goals are twofold: to develop men and to build nations. Shri Eknath Ranade declared that Vivekananda Kendra should be a cadre-based organization, and that all Indian people who want to serve their country would be given the opportunity to serve the God in man.

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Vivekananda Rock Memorial