Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Kanyakumari

Visitor Information

  • Famous for: Scenery, Architecture, Spirituality
  • Entrance Fee: INR 20 per person
  • Visiting Time: 8 am to 4 pm
  • Visit Duration: 2 hours to 3 hours

The Vivekananda Rock Memorial is an alluring location present on the tip of southern India, from where the wide azure waters can be witnessed on all sides. It is located about 400 meters offshore the southernmost location of the country, Kanyakumari, present in the state of Tamil Nadu. The beautiful architecture and the aesthetic location provide a deep sense of tranquility to the visitors. Built on the spot where Swami Vivekananda gained his enlightenment before leaving for the World Religious Conference, this spot is widely visited by his followers and also by travelers for its enchanting location. Opened to the public in 1970, this spot can be reached by hiring a boat from the seashore and then spending time within the premises of the mandapams built on the rock, before returning back to the shore after sometime. The ambience of the place makes it an intoxicating spot to be visited time and again.

Traveler Tips

  • Try visiting during the early hours of the day to escape the scorching sun and to enjoy the ambience of the spot completely.
  • There can be really long queues at times which can make the waiting a little tiring.

Things to Do

  • Meditate in the tranquil location which has got positive vibes and serenity within its premises.
  • Marvel at the different architectural styles used to construct the two mandapams, the Shripada Mandapam and the Vivekananda Mandapam.
  • The sangam of the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea can be looked at from here.
  • This is a perfect spot to carry out photography, as it has got a stunning location with complementing structure design.
  • Enjoy the boat ride from and to the rock memorial from the Kanyakumari jetty.
  • Visit the temples on the shore especially the Kanya Devi Temple for getting to know the history and culture of the region.
  • Eat out at the numerous eateries present on the shore for some great South Indian cuisines.
  • Shop to your heart’s content at the local markets and bazaars to collect some souvenirs from the trip.

Best Time to Visit

This is a spot which can be visited anytime. But during the monsoon season, the ferry trips to the memorial may be cancelled due to heavy rainfall. Hence the best time to visit would be during the summer months of March to July and during the winter months of October to March. Even during that time, try to visit in the early morning for a mild and pleasant ambience.

How to Reach

Kanyakumari is present at the border of the neighboring states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The nearest airport to the city is the international airport at Trivandrum, present about 67 kilometers away from here. Kanyakumari has got its own railway station and bus stop which are right in the middle of the city. After reaching the city, the memorial can be reached by boat through the Kanyakumari jetty. Cabs and auto rickshaws are used to travel within the city.

Interesting Facts and Trivia about the Vivekananda Rock Memorial

  • It took about 650 laborers to construct this magnificent structure in a period of about 2090 days.
  • The Sri Pada Mandapam has got a footprint which is believed to be that of the Bhagvathy Amman for whom a temple has been erected on the shore.
  • The architecture of the entrance of the Vivekanda Mandapam resembles that of the Ajanta caves and is said to have a West Bengal style of designing.
  • There is a belief that in the beginning, the Bhagvathy Amman temple was built on the rock, which was later separated from the mainland due to some natural causes.
  • The statue of Swami Vivekananda present within the memorial, facing the Sri Pada Mandapam, was sculpted by the famed N.L.Sonavadekar.
  • During the initial plan to build a memorial on the rock, there was a lot of resistance from the local Christian population after which the issues were solved politically.
  • The Vivekananda Mandapam has got the following sections within it: Dhyana, Sabha and Mukha Mandapam.
Vikananda Rock Memorial Kanyakumari
Photo by Arul Jegadish, CC BY-ND 2.0

Nearby Attractions

  • Keeriparai Reserve Forest
  • Ullakaarvi
  • Vattakottai Fort
  • Thiruvalluvar Statue
  • Kanyakumari Temple

Nearby Restaurants

  • Sangam Restaurant
  • Archana Restaurant
  • Hotel Triveni
  • Hotel Sri Annapoorna
  • The Ocean Restaurant

A point of great historical and cultural significance, the memorial is to be definitely looked into by anyone who visits Kanyakumari. The aura of this place will transfer the visitor into a totally different setting and provide a great sense of calmness.

About Rohit

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings. His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

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