ViEWS OF KANYAKUMARI
Kanyakumari is the ‘Land’s End’ of the Indian subcontinent. This is the point where the Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and The Great Indian Ocean meet. It is one of the famous tourist spots in Tamil Nadu. Kanyakumari has been a great centre for art and religion for centuries. It was also an area of great trade and commerce. It was ruled by the Cholas, the Cheras, the Pandyas and the Nayaks. The architectural beauty of the temples in the area are the works of these rulers. During April, Full-Moon day, we can experience sunset and moonrise over the ocean simultaneously.
Distance from the Main land: 500 m
How to reach: Ferry (Mechanical Boats) ride from the ferry point
This is one of the prime attractions of Kanyakumari. The rock memorial was consecrated by Srimat Swami Vireshwarananda, the tenth President of Ramakrishna Math and Mission in the year 1970. The memorial is the fruit of Eknath Ranade’s consistent effort and irin will. He was the man behind the conception and speedy execution of this remarkable memorial crossing over many hurdles political or otherwise.
Swami Vivekananda the “cyclonic Hindu” meditated here on this rock for three full days starting from December 25th to December 27th 1892. He got the vision of going to the west and spreading the ideals of Vedanta. The rest is all history.
The design of the Memorial infuses different temple architectural styles of India. Wide entrance steps with two stone elephants lead to the main entrance. The sacred symbol “Om “in Tamil is written above the main entrance.
Essentially there are two structures here, one is the Vivekananda Mandapam and the other is Sripada Mandapam. These two stand on adjacent rocks 70 meters apart. Vivekananda Mandapam consists of a Dhyan Mandapam( Meditation Hall) and Sabha Mandapam( Assembly hall). In the Sabha Mandapam there is a statue of Swami Vivekananda in standing posture. The vision is directed towards the `Sripadam`.
Vivekananda Rock & Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar Statue at Sunrise
Vivekanand Memorial by the night,
The Statue of the greatest Tamil Poet Thiruvalluvar can be reached by the same ferry service that takes you the Vivekananda Rock while on the return journey. It stands on the smaller rock 200 meters offshore. The 133 feet tall Statue was inaugurated on 1st January 2000. The cost came to a whopping 61.4 million Rupees.
Though the Statue can be said to be the signature landmark of Kanyakumari, still aesthetically it does not suit the place. The Vivekananda rock memorial has lost some of its magnanimity and infact seems dwarfed by this giant statue. However when the Thiruvalluvar statue is lit in the night it offers a beautiful sight.
What the Statue Signifies
Some extraordinary thought has gone to make the statue 133 feet long. It symbolises 133 chapters of Thirukkural - Thiruvalluvar`s magnum opus and the greatest work of Tamil literature. It is even comparable to Srimad Bhagvad Geeta. The pedestal is 38 feet high and stands for the 38 chapters on virtue in the Book of Aram in Thirukural. The 95 feet statue on the pedestal symbolizing `Wealth` and `Pleasure` represents the total chapters in Porul (70 chapters) as well as Inbam (25 Chapters). Thus the statue as a whole tries to represent that the theme of Porul and Inbam are based on Aram. That is wealth and love can be earned and enjoyed only on the foundation of virtue.
Description of the Statue
The statue is made up of homogenous rocks weighing a total of 7000 tonnes. The pedestal on which the majestic statue stands consists of 3 tiers. It is known as Atharapeedam. It is surrounded by another Mandapa known as Alankara Mandapam. This is 38 feet high. The Alankara Mandapa is surrounded by 10 Elephant statues signifying 10 directions. For offering worship to the holy feet of Thiruvalluvar, there are 140 steps inside the Mandapa.
Thiruvalluvar Statue at Night
The beautiful famous Gandhi memorial or Gandhi Mandapam was built in the year 1956. The building light pink in colour resembles Orissa temples in architecture and style with little Islam-Christian style in memory of our Mahatma Gandhi.
Gandhiji fell to assassin’s bullets in the year 1948. After cremation his ashes were sent to different parts of the country. At Kanyakumari the Gandhi Memorial stands at a place where the ashes were kept for Darshan before being immersed into the sea.
The Central dome of the memorial is 79 feet high representing Gandhi’s age at that point of his assassination. There is a remarkable thing about the construction of the building. On 2nd October every year exactly at 12 noon something remarkable happens. On that day and time Sun rays fall at the urn containing Gandhi’s ashes through a hole in the roof.
Inside the building there are numerous photographs depicting the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi. You can also reach the building top to have good view of the sea.
For the records, Gandhiji paid a visit to Kanyakumari in the year 1925 and 1937.
RameshwaramRameswaram is located on an island in the Gulf of Mannar. Rameswaram is one of the most significant Pilgrimage centres in South India. According to Indian Mythology, particularly in “Ramayana”, Lord Rama (an incarnation of Vishnu) built a bridge Ram Sethu across the sea to Lanka to rescue his consort Sita(His wife). He also offered thanks to Lord Shiva(Ramanathaswamy).
It is connected to the mainland at Mandapam by one of India’s greatest engineering wonder, the Pamban Bridge a rail bridge. This bridge was constructed by the British about a century ago.
The Pamban Bridge on the Palk Strait connects Rameswaram to mainland India. It refers to both the road bridge and the cantilever railway bridge, though primarily it means the latter. It was India's first sea bridge. It is the second longest sea bridge in India (after mumbai's Bandra-Worli Sea Link) at a length of about 2.3 km.