Weather :

Timings : 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : INR 10

Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Kanyakumari Overview

The magnificent Vivekananda Rock Memorial is located on a small island off Kanyakumari. It has the picturesque Indian Ocean in its backdrop and hence serves as a peaceful and serene destination for visitors from all across the globe. It is situated on one of the two adjacent rocks projecting out of the Lakshadweep Sea and comprises of the 'Shripada Mandapam' and the 'Vivekananda Mandapam'. The ferry ride up to these rock islands is a thrilling journey and hence attracts a lot of nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

This statue depicts spectacular architecture and was built in the year 1970 and has been a major tourist attraction ever since. The island on which the statue is located is said to have been the site where Vivekananda attained enlightenment. The Shripada Mandapam has a study hall and a museum, where you can explore Vivekananda's life and work in depth. This Mandapam adds to the spiritual significance and of the memorial along with emphasising on its purity. It is the perfect spot to meditate and introspect. With its serene surroundings and majestic construction, the Vivekananda Memorial is an unforgettable experience. The popular rock memorial is situated in Vavathurai and was built in honour of Swami Vivekananda.

According to historical tales and legends, it is believed that Goddess Kumari performed austerity on this rock. There is a 'Dhyana Mandapam' located beside to memorial which serves as the meditation hall for the visitors to meditate. The style of architecture followed here is distinctive and incorporates various temple styles from all over India. These rocks are surrounded by the Laccadive Sea. 

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History of Vivekanand Rock Memorial

In the January of 1962, it was deemed fit that a memorial dedicated to Swamiji must be constructed to commemorate his birth Centenary. Sri Veluyudhan, the president of Haindeva Seva Sangh, took the lead and a committee was formed for the same. A meeting was held which was headed by Sri Ram Krishna Mission and the memorial was affirmed by all. After overcoming a few initial glitches, the marvellous memorial statue was finally approved, and the rest is history.

Vivekananda's Rock also holds religious significance to the locals. It is believed that Goddess Devi Kumari blessed the rock while performing austerity. The construction of the memorial is a very sublime combination of various temple building styles from all over the country, which imparts a very serene aura to this place.

Dispute Regarding Vivekanand Rock Memorial

When Ramakrishna Mission in Madras planned about this memorial, at the same time Kanyakumari Committee was formed by a group of people which put up a memorial on the rock along with a pedestrian bridge leading to the rock. This piece of information was not taken well by the local Catholic fishermen. To show their dissent, they planted a big Cross upon the rock. This led to a wave of restlessness among the Hindus, who considered the rock to be a holy place of the Hindus.

After a lot of chaos and protests, the Government realised that the rock had become a disputed area and thus compelled them to a pass an official order. The order was passed by the then chief minister of Tamil Nadu, Shri M. Bhaktavatsalam. It stated that although the rock was Vivekananda rock, there would be no memorial constructed on it. It was only allowed to put up a tablet on the rock that stated that it was associated with Swami Vivekananda. Thus, with official permission, the tablet was installed on the rock on 17 January 1963.

Eknath Ramkrishna Ranade

The Vivekananda Rock Memorial Organizing Committee was set up by Eknath Ramakrishna Ranade. He was an eminent Indian social and spiritual reformer, a senior pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and was profoundly influenced by the teachings of Swamiji. He played an instrumental role in setting up the memorial.

Ranade's faith and belief in the memorial mission were so strong that he never allowed the pace of the mission to slow down due to any of the difficulties faced by them. Even when the funds were in paucity, he started a fund-campaign to aid the mission. He believed the Rock memorial to be a national monument and wanted every Indian to contribute to its construction. He launched various campaigns, like the campaign of one-rupee folders throughout the nation to mobilize the donation of the general public. He made it possible to complete the construction of the memorial in a matter of just six years.

Architecture of Vivekananda Rock Memorial

The majestic architecture of the memorial is divided into two major sections, namely- the Vivekananda Mandapam and the Shripada Mandapam. The Vivekananda Mandapam has the following sections- Dhyana Mandapam (which is the meditation hall with six adjacent rooms), Sabha Mandapam (which is the assembly hall), Pralima Mandapam (statue section) two rooms, a corridor and an open prakaram (outer courtyard) round the Sabha Mandapam, Mukha Mandapam, Namashtubhyam to the Son of jagadamba. This Mandapam was erected in honour of Swamiji and is believed to be the place where he got the aim of his life.

The Shripada Mandapam is the square hall and has the following sections- Garbha Graham, inner prakaram, outer prakaram and the outer platform. Shri Padaparai Mandapam is also present in the vicinity, which is a shrine that was erected to mark the footprint of the virgin goddess on the rock.

Vivekananda Kendra

Vivekananda Kendra aka the living memorial lies alongside the rock memorial. Its existence was first mentioned in 1964 and it was officially founded on 7 January 1972 after a groundwork of 9 years. The Kendra has twin objectives of man-making and nation-building. It was decided by Shri Eknath Ranade that Vivekananda Kendra should be a cadre-based organization and all those citizens of India who want to serve the nation will be given a chance to serve the God in man.

Vivekananda Rock Memorial Timings

It is open on all days of the week from 7:00 AM till 5:00 PM.

Vivekananda Rock Memorial Entry Fees

The entry fee is INR 10 per head with additional charges if you want to carry your camera or recorder along.
A still camera is charged at INR 10 while a video camera is charged at INR 50.

Best Time To Visit Vivekananda Rock Memorial

The ideal time to visit Kanyakumari is from October to March. Though the weather is a bit humid, the cool ocean breeze will soothe your mind and soul. This time is also great to enjoy some watersports at the beaches. Visit this place in November if you want to witness the Cape Festival.

Tips For Visiting Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Be careful on the stairs of this destination, which are quite steep at a few locations.

How To Reach Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Vivekananda Rock Memorial is located at about 500 meters east of mainland of Vavathurai in Kanyakumari. Kanyakumari is well connected by bus with major South Indian cities. It is well connected with various Indian cities using rail as well. The nearest airport is at Trivandrum and is located at 67 km from the memorial.

One can avail ferry service from Kanyakumari to reach Vivekananda Rock Memorial as well. The ferry service is available from 8:00 AM till 4:00 PM at INR 20 per head.

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Kanyakumari Reviews

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Arka Das 1 year ago
The ferry takes INR 34/- per head (special 169/-)and after you reach the rock, pay more INR 20 per head to see the memorial. Stay your quality time at the meditation centre. Bookstore is available next to it. Photographs are not allowed inside. Opens from 8am to 4pm. Seat on the left side of the boat if you want to click the rock from the boat.
Ashok Kumar Matcha 1 year ago
the is a buatiful plave in tamilnadu state swamy vivekanadha like place and there is apriyer place

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