Thiruvalluvar Statue and Vivekananda Rock Memorial are among the main attractions of India’s southernmost tip, Kanyakumari. As you walk south, Thiruvalluvar is already looking at you with his eyes of stone. But who is this man and why did they erect a statue of him here? And why should you visit these two little islands? In this article you will learn more about the historical background of this beautiful place in the south of India.
Must read: Looking for the best places to visit in Kanyakumari, India? In the Travel Guide of Kanyakumari you will find all the information and tips about the history, attractions, accommodation and transportation.
Vivekananda Rock Memorial – A Hindu Monk
The only way to get to these islets is by boat. The wait takes at least half an hour, even though the boat leaves every 10 minutes. It is quite crowded, as this is a popular destination for people from India. But once in the somewhat rickety ferry (life jacket required), you are at Vivekananda Rock Memorial within 10 minutes. But who was Vivekananda?
Swami Vivekananda – A brief Biography
The first islet is dedicated to Swami Vivekananda. Vivekananda (Calcutta, 1863-1902) was a Hindu monk from Calcutta. He was one of the most important representatives of the Vedanta. This movement within Hinduism assumes that humans are essentially divine. By practicing spiritual disciplines this divine status can be attained.
Swami Vivekananda is honored in India because he gave the teachings of Vedanta international prestige. He did so in 1893 at the World Religious Conference in the United States. This made such an impression that he was invited to give lectures worldwide. At the end of the 19th century, Hinduism again belonged to one of the world religions. Vivekananda can therefore rightly be seen as an important ambassador of this ancient spiritual philosophy.
Why a Memorial in Kanyakumari?
A Memorial in memory of Swami Vivekananda was started in 1970. Two small temples stand here, made in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu style. But why was a Memorial built on this spot?
It is thought that here, on this rock south of Kanyakumari, Vivekananda’s ideas came to fruition. A year before the conference in the United States, he sat in this beautiful place thinking deeply about life in all its facets. Ultimately, this led to a worldwide growth in popularity for Hinduism.
Thiruvalluvar Statue – Philosopher of Ethics and Morality
Thiruvalluvar watches over the state of Tamil Nadu. When you are done at Vivekananda Rock Memorial take the boat towards Thiruvalluvar Statue. This little trip takes you about 2 minutes, not including putting on life jackets and getting off the boat is basically not mandatory. But who was Thiruvalluvar?
Thiruvalluvar – A short biography
We know very little about Thiruvalluvar from his life. It is believed that he must have lived somewhere between 500 BC and 500 AD. A wide period, but there is no exact date. One of the few things we do know is that he was a philosopher from the state of Tamil Nadu.
His best known work is the Thirukural, a book of 1330 stanzas on the everyday virtues of an individual. It is considered one of the most important works in and deals with ethics and morality. Still today in India, this book is an inspiration of how one should live.
Symbolism of Thiruvalluvar Statue …
The statue was created by sculptor Ganapati Sthapati in 2000 and weighs 7000 tons. The beautiful monument is a reference to his book Thirukural and is full of symbolism. For example, it is 133 feet (40.6 meters) high, which refers to the 133 chapters of his book. Also, the right hand points with 3 fingers in the air, which in turn is a reference to the 3 goals of life: love, health and virtue. When you’re done at Thiruvalluvar Statue, of course, grab the boat back to mainland India….
Review of the islets of Kanyakumari
Thiruvalluvar Statue and Vivekananda Rock Memorial are two places in Kanyakumari that you absolutely must have visited. You can’t get any further south in India and historically you are visiting two monuments of persons who have played an important role in the history of the country. Also, from the islands you have a beautiful view of the city of Kanyakumari. Unfortunately, you cannot enjoy the sunrise or sunset from the islands, but that should certainly not spoil the fun.
How to get to Thiruvalluvar Statue and Vivekananda Rock Memorial?
To visit Thiruvalluvar Statue and Vivekananda Rock Memorial, head to Kanyakumuari Harbor. From here, boats leave between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. that will first take you to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial. Once you’re done there, get on the boat to Thiruvalluvar Statue which will take you there within 2 minutes. A ticket for the ferry costs 20 Indian rupees and a swimming vest is mandatory. In total you will spend about 2 to 3 hours sightseeing in Kanyakumari.
Do you have more tips, remarks or ideas about Thiruvalluvar Statue and Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari, India? If so, feel free to leave a comment below.