Enchanting Vivekananda memorial, Kanyakumari, S. India

Vivekananda Rock MemorialKanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, India.www.tripadvisor.in
Vivekananda Rock MemorialKanyakumari.en.wikimapia.or

Any visitor to Kanyakumari town in the southern most tip of  Peninsular India can not miss the 
Vivekananda Rock Memorial  and the giant Statue of Thiruvalluvar, an ancient Tamil poet.  Vivekananda was the greatest philosopher and spiritualist India has ever produced. His guru was Ramakrishna Paramahamsa to whom he was much devoted.  His teachings and philosophical messages are succinct, full of sum and substance and if you follow them you will not only succeed in your life but also will become mature enough to take life as it com
Swakmi Vivekanandawww.justinprint.in
Located  roughly 500 meters off the coast of Kanyakumari, the huge impressive memorial is on one of the two huge rock outcrops. This memorial was built in 1970 in honor of Swami Vivekananda who, it is believed, attained his enlightenment here. Coincidentally, as per the Hindu legend, Goddess Kanyakumani meditated on Lord Shiva in the same place. The impressive memorial  can be viewed from a distance with blue seas in the back drop and the visitor  can not miss the mesmerizing spell the memorial has on him or her. Imagine,  the very small island made of oldest rocks is the end of India where the swamiji's memorial is built surrounded by three seas - Bay of Bengal on the east, Indian Ocean on the south and the Arabian sea on the west. The breadth - taking view of the surrounding seas will overwhelm you.

On the occasion of the birth day centenary of sri Vevekananda in January, 1962, a group of people from Kanyakumari took  a decision to erect a memorial on one of the two rock out crops. The Rmakrishna Mission at Madras also had a similar  plan - a memorial in honor of the great spiritualist. For various reasons a section of local Christians,  comprising mainly of fishing community objected to it and they wanted to erect a Cross on the rock. So, the project stalled for a long time for various political reason and as the  religious matter was  a sensitive issue,the centenary committee wanted to do it in accordance with laws.. The Madras High court ruling went in favor of erection of a memorial for Vikekananda on the rocks on the grounds that he got his enlightenment here. At last during the congress regime the  then Chief Minister M.Baktavasalam, who in consultation with the central government, allowed the construction of memorial.
Vivekananda memorial.www.indianholiday.com.
Through out this tumultuous time and slow process, the man, who fought all the way right from the beginning with true spirits and dedication, setting aside all the hurdles one by one till the final stage of completing the memorial is , Shri Eknath Ranade. He confronted all kinds  of problems including the feasibility of erecting a huge monument on the rocks and the safety of the building, environmental issues and above all cost factor. Donations came in from many parts of India. Within the short period of six years, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial was inaugurated in 1970, and dedicated to the nation.

The memorial can be accessed from the jetty through a flight of steps and the entire building complex is designed specifically incorporating different styles of temple architecture from different parts of India, implying oneness of this country. .You can access the memorial only by ferry and frequent ferry services are available except on those days when the sea is rough.

The memorial is made of Vivekananda Mandapam (hall) - comprising Dhyana (meditation) mandabam and  and Sabha mandabam and Sri Pada mandabam - comprising sanctum and prakarams. The one that attracts our attention is the Dhyana Mandapam, which  is a huge hall with six adjacent  rooms and the hall is meant for those visitors who want to meditate.  The surrounding seas,  serene atmosphere and the nice ambiance will help you go into a meditative mood. There  is the Sabha Mandapam, an assembly hall with two rooms and a corridor surrounded by an open passage. Inside the Sri Pada Mandabam the impressive the statue of Swami Vivekananda in a standing posture facing  towards the 'Sripadam' seizes our attention.