VIVEKANANDA ROCK MEMORIAL (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Art and Culture)

News-CRUX-10     31st May 2024        
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Context: The Prime Minister of India recently visited Kanyakumari, where he first prayed at the Bhagavathi Amman temple before proceeding to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial.

Vivekananda Rock Memorial

  • Location: It is located on a small island near Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, approximately 500 meters from the Vavathurai mainland.

o Positioned amidst the Laccadive Sea, it stands atop one of two rocks where the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea converge.

  • Historical Significance: The memorial commemorates the spot where Swami Vivekananda attained enlightenment, believed to have occurred during his meditative retreat on the rock.
  • Constructed in:  1970, it serves as a tribute to Swami Vivekananda's profound influence on Indian philosophy and spirituality.
  • Features:

o The memorial comprises two primary structures: the 'Shripada Mandapam' and the 'Vivekananda Mandapam', designed to honor Vivekananda's teachings and legacy.

o A focal point is the life-sized bronze statue of Swami Vivekananda, enriching the memorial's spiritual and cultural essence.

Swami Vivekananda

  • Born: He was born in 1863 as Narendranath in a Bengali family.
  • Spiritual Journey: He became a monk and was the chief disciple of the Indian mystic Ramakrishna.
  • Representation at World Stage: In 1893, Vivekananda represented India and Hinduism in The Parliament of the World's Religion in Chicago.


  • Historical Significance: It is an ancient temple town, holds historical significance as it is mentioned in the Graeco-Roman text Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (c. 50 CE), attesting to its antiquity.
  • Location: Situated at the southern tip of mainland India.
  • Religious Heritage: Named after the virgin goddess Devi Kanyakumari, the town is steeped in religious heritage, attracting pilgrims and devotees from far and wide to its revered temples and sacred sites.
  • Cultural Significance: The town's rich cultural tapestry is woven with traditions, rituals, and festivals that celebrate its history and spirituality, making it a vibrant center of cultural activity.
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