Museums and Memorials in Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari, fondly called as Kumari Mavattam in the local language of Tamil is the southernmost district in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Kanyakumari district is a renowned tourist paradise that it receives visitors from all over the world, irrespective of times of year. The region offers a wide range of places of interest which include beaches, religious sites, wildlife sanctuary, and waterfalls and so on.

Owing to its rich historical background, Kanyakumari is regarded as the home of a lot of museums and monuments/memorials. Some of the most popular and important museums in Kanyakumari district and monuments of Kanyakumari district include Swami Vivekananda Memorial, Gandhi Memorial/Mandapam, Kamarajar Manimandapam/Kamaraj Memorial, Kanyakumari Government Museum and so on. Let's find out more about the museums and monuments of Kanyakumari district in detail.

Vivekananda Rock Memorial

The world renowned Vivekananda Rock Memorial is devoted to Swami Vivekananda (Narendra Nath Datta), an Indian Hindu monastic, principal adherent of the 19th-century saint Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and the founder of Ramakrishna Mission. Vivekananda Rock Memorial was constructed between 1963 and 1970 in light tint of red and blue granite. The beautiful memorial is located on the peak of a rock island, at an altitude of about 17 meters above sea level, extending an area of about 6 acres.
Vivekananda Memorial

The exact location of the memorial is about 0.49 kilometers offshore away from the singular confluence of the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. During the year 1970, Swami Vireshwarananda (tenth President of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission), dedicated Vivekananda Rock Memorial and it was unveiled by Varahagiri Venkata Giri (the fourth President of the Republic of India). The speciality of the memorial is that assorted Indian architectural styles have been integrated into the building of the Vivekananda Rock Memorial.

Vivekananda Rock Memorial comprises of two primary structures:
  • Vivekananda Mandapam
  • Shripada Mandapam
Vivekananda Mandapam

Vivekananda Mandapam in the Vivekananda Rock Memorial has an orthogonal flooring design and it has quaternary divisions and they are Assembly hall (Sabha mandapam), Meditation hall (Dhyana mandapam), Front portion (Mukha mandapam) and Front entrance. The majestic statue of Swami Vivekananda stands tall in the Pralima mandapam.

Shripada Mandapam

Shripada Mandapam is located on Shripada Parai, an ancient blessed point considered to be sanctified by Goddess Kumari Amman. Shripada Mandapam has a squarely flooring design and it also houses a Sanctum Sanctorum (Karbagraham), inner pragaaram and outside pragaaram.

Quick Facts:

Memorial Timings: 07:00 am to 04:00 pm (All days of the week)
Entry Fee: Rs. 10

Transportation: Ferry services operated by the Poompuhar Shipping Corporation link the mainland to the rocky island of the memorial. The ferry charges to reach Vivekananda Rock Memorial are Rs. 20 for adults and Rs. 10 for pupils.
Approximate Visit Duration: 2 to 3 hours

Must See: While exploring this beautiful memorial, never miss to witness the mesmerizing scene of sunset and sunrise

Nearby Places of Interest

Muttom Beach: 2.2 km
Keeriparai Reserve Forest: 2.2 km
Government Museum: 2.2 km
Ullakaarivi: 2.2 km

Nearby Places to Stay:
Sparsa Resorts: 1.4 km
Gopi Nivas Hotel: 700 m
Sea View Hotel: 2.2 km
Melody Park: 2.9 km

Nearest Railway Station to Gandhi Memorial: Nagercoil Junction Railway Station (NCJ)
Nearest Airport to Gandhi Memorial: Trivandrum International Airport (IATA: TRV, ICAO: VOTV)

Tourist information:
Restrooms, Lockers available, Pets not allowed, and Camera allowed

On the whole, Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a place to find serenity and equanimity.

Gandhi Memorial in Kanyakumari

The Gandhi Memorial is fondly called as Gandhi Mandapam in the local language of Tamil. The Gandhi Memorial located in the Kanyakumari district was completed during the year 1956. The singular structure is simply a commemoration to the Father of our Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. An urn of Mahatma Gandhi was preserved in this very site for public to devote homage before immersion. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi traveled to Kanyakumari twice during the year 1925 and 1937. After Gandhi's demise, his body was cremated and the ashes was brought and immersed in the sea waters bordering Kanyakumari district.

Kanyakumari Gandhi Memorial

Before the immersion of the ashes, the copper urn was kept at the place where the present Gandhi Memorial remains firm. The Gandhi Memorial in Kanyakumari district was constructed in the likeness of distinctive temples of Orissa; however, the beautiful structure has a touch of contemporaneity in its pattern. The structure has been constructed in a unique fashion that the sun rays entering the memorial at twelve noon illuminates the particular spot where the copper urn bearing the last ashes of Mahatma Gandhi was kept. The memorial also showcases the last belongings of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the things that were with the great soul during the last hours.

Quick Facts:

Central Tower: 79 feet high
Visiting Hours: 07:00 am to 07:00 pm (All days of the week)
Entry: No entrance fee
Approximate Visit Duration: 1 to 2 hours

Nearby Places of Interest

Kumari Amman Temple: 100 m
Government Museum: 1.6 km
Tsunami Memorial: 100 m
Muttom Beach: 1.6 km
Vivekanandha Rock Memorial: 600 m

Nearby Places to Stay

Sparsa Resorts: 800 m
Gopi Nivas Hotel: 500 m
Sea View Hotel: 1.6 km
Melody Park: 2.5 km

Nearest Railway Station to Gandhi Memorial: Nagercoil Junction Railway Station (NCJ)
Nearest Airport to Gandhi Memorial: Trivandrum International Airport (IATA: TRV, ICAO: VOTV)

Tourist information:
Restrooms, Lockers available, Camera allowed

Kamarajar Manimandapam in Kanyakumari

Kamaraj Memorial, fondly called as Kamarajar Manimandapam is a far-famed monument that was constructed and consecrated to Late. Sri K. Kamarajar. Kamarajar was a notable Indian political leader from the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Kamarajar is widely recognized as the "Kingmaker" of Indian politics during the 1960s. Kamarajar was involved in the Indian independence movement and was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu during 1954–1963 and a Parliamentarian for more than seven years.
Kanyakumari Kamaraj Memorial

He was recognized for his quality of being exceedingly simple and was awarded India's highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna. Also, Kamarajar was popularly called as Black Gandhi of India. After his demise, his ashes were saved at the location of the present-day monument before being scattered in the sea waters, for the public to pay their respect. The memorial also houses a museum that exhibits photos and records recounting the life of Karmamveerar Kamarajar.

Quick Facts:

Memorial Timings: 07:00 am to 07:00 pm (All days of the week)
Tourist Information: Restrooms, Camera allowed, Lockers available, Pets not allowed
Entry: No entrance fee
Approximate Visit Duration: 1 to 2 hours

Tsunami Monument

The Tsunami Monument is a singular structure that is located in the southern sea-coast of Kanyakumari district. The memorial was constructed in the remembrance of those who passed away in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tidal wave. The quake struck numerous nations, including India, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Somalia, Kingdom of Thailand, Republic of Maldives and Republic of Indonesia.
Tsunami Monument

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, recorded as one of the most withering natural calamities in the history, the mega thrust quake killed over 280,000 people. People from all over the country visit this Tsunami Monument in Kanyakumari to pay homage.

Chitharal Jain Monuments

Chitharal Jain Monuments are the ruins of a Jainism education centre from the ninth century BCE, on a modest mound in Chitharal settlement, Kanyakumari in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The exact location of the monuments is Chitharal which lies 9.1 km from Marthandam and 49.6 km from Kanyakumari. Chitharal is historically called Thirucharanathupalli which entails the dwelling house of Jain monastics belonging to the Digambara Jain sect.

Chitharal Jain Monuments

The monuments are illustrious for the hillock which has an underground enclosure with access from the surface of the ground or from the sea comprising rock-cut carvings of Thirthankaras and attendant gods cut up inside and outside dating from the 9th century. One of the rock-cut relief carvings is a design of the goddess Dharmadevi. Jainist charm in this part of the Kanyakumari district was due to the King Mahendravarman I (was a Pallava king who governed the northerly parts of what constitutes contemporary Tamil Nadu in Republic of India in the early 7th century). The cave was turned into a religious site during the 13th century.

Quick Facts:

Establishment: 9th century AD
Timings: 05:00 am to 09:00 pm (All days of the week)
Important Festival: Mahavir Jayanthi
Location: Chitharal

Kanyakumari Government Museum

A visit to the Government Museum in Kanyakumari is all-important if one would like to experience more about the rich history of the region. The museum is the home of a lot of rock carvings and fantastic statues, like the 9th-century Tamil poet Manikkavacakar and Alwar. Government Museum in Kanyakumari located close to the Tourist Office, Beach Road, Kanyakumari district is a multipurpose museum administrated by the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Kanyakumari Govt Museum

The Government Museum exhibits stupefying wooden sculptures, botanical specimens, tribal items, bronzes, antique coins, zoological specimens and so on. The Kanyakumari museum also displays horny material from the upper jaws of certain whales (used as the ribs of fans or as stays in corsets) from the Panchayat town of Manavalakurichi in the territorial dominion. Furthermore, people who visit this museum can also witness the showings which include an assorted array of interests such as anthropology, archeology, numismatology, stamp collection, phytology, zoological science and geology.

Quick Facts:

Museum Timings: 09:30 am to 05:00 pm
Museum Location: Beach Road, Kanyakumari
Note: Museum will remain closed on Fridays, second Saturdays and National holidays
Entry: Rs. 5 per Indian national; Rs. 100 per foreign national
Approximate Visit Duration: 1 to 2 hours

Other important museums and memorials in Kanyakumari district include:

Wax Museum (Baywatch Amusement Park)
Jeevanandam Manimandapam
Saikuthambi Pavalar Memorial
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