Recently, the Prime Minister of India visited and meditated at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu.

About Vivekananda Rock Memorial

  • It is a tiny rocky islet located some 500 meters from Kanyakumari’s Vavathurai beach in the Laccadive Sea, at the confluence of the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, and the Bay of Bengal.
  • In 1892, Swami Vivekananda swam from the shores of Kanyakumari to the rocky islet to meditate.
  • His disciples believe that he meditated there for three days and three nights, and attained enlightenment.
  • According to S P Agarwal’s The Social Role of Gita (1993), Vivekananda wrote to Swami Ramkrishnananda (not to be confused with his guru, Sri Ramakrishna) in 1894 about his visit to the islet.

About Vivekananda Rock Memorial 

  • On the eve of Swami Vivekananda’s birth centenary in 1963, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee led by Eknath Ranade made efforts to commemorate the site of his enlightenment. Later, it was formally inaugurated by the President V V Giri in 1970.
  • It is a combination of conventional and modern Indian architectural styles, especially from West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
  • The entrance to the memorial features the architectural styles of Ajanta and Ellora Cave Temples, while the memorial mandapam resembles Belur’s, Sri Ramakrishna Temple.
  • Shripada Mandapam, one of the two main structures of Vivekananda Rock Memorial, is its sanctum sanctorum (square-shaped hall) that is enclosed within an outer platform.
    It has sections including Dhyana Mandapam, Mukha Mandapam, Namasthubhyam and Sabha Mandapam. Of these, the Dhyana Mandapam, also called the Meditation Hall, has been created by integrating various styles of Indian temple architecture. 

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