Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam is a memorial that was built in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, to honour Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation and the leader of the Indian independence movement. The memorial is located on the same spot where one of the urns containing his ashes was kept for public viewing before being immersed in the sea. The memorial showcases the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, as well as the architectural and cultural aspects of Kanyakumari. Visit during Kanyakumari Local Sightseeing By cab
Location of Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam
Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam is located at NH44, Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, 629702, India. It is about 1 km (0.6 miles) from the city center and 90 km (56 miles) from the nearest airport at Thiruvananthapuram. The memorial is easily accessible by road, rail and sea from different parts of Kanyakumari and nearby areas.
Timing/Entry Fees Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam
Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam is open to the public daily, including Sundays (excluding public holidays) between 07:00 am and 07:00 pm. There is no entry fee for visiting the memorial, but visitors are requested to follow the rules and regulations of the memorial authorities and respect the local customs and traditions. Visitors are also advised to avoid littering and damaging the memorial premises.
How to Reach Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam
There are many ways to reach Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam from different parts of Kanyakumari and nearby areas. Some of the common modes of transport are:
- By Road: Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam is well-connected by road with various parts of the city and nearby towns. There are many buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws that ply to and from the memorial. The memorial road, also known as NH44 or Beach Road, runs parallel to the coast and has signboards indicating the direction to the memorial.
- By Rail: Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam can be reached by train from various railway stations in Kanyakumari and nearby areas. The nearest railway station is Kanyakumari, which is about 1 km (0.6 miles) away from the memorial. Other nearby railway stations are Nagercoil, Tirunelveli and Thiruvananthapuram. From these stations, one can take an auto-rickshaw or cycle-rickshaw to reach the memorial.
- By Sea: Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam can also be reached by sea from Kanyakumari town. There are boat services that operate daily between 08:00 am and 04:00 pm, except during rough weather conditions. The boat ride takes about 15 minutes to reach the Vivekananda Rock Memorial or the Thiruvalluvar Statue, which are located near the memorial.
Things to Do/Must See Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam
Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam offers a historical and cultural experience for visitors who want to learn about Mahatma Gandhi and his teachings, as well as admire the architecture and design of the memorial. Some of the things to do and see at the memorial are:
- Exploring the architecture: Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam has a unique architecture that reflects the life and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi. The memorial is built in the shape of an urn, which symbolizes his cremation and immersion of his ashes in the sea. The height of the memorial is 79 feet, which represents his age at the time of his death. The ceiling of the memorial has an opening that allows sunlight to enter on every 2nd October, which is his birth anniversary. The sunlight falls on a stone slab that marks the spot where his ashes were kept.
- Visiting the library: Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam has a library that showcases books, magazines, pamphlets and other kinds of literature from the pre-independence times. The library also has various photographs of Mahatma Gandhi and other great personalities who have contributed greatly for India and the world. The library can be visited on Friday and Saturday of every week.
- Enjoying the view: Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam offers a panoramic view of both the sea on one side and the hills on the other side. Visitors can also see other attractions such as Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Thiruvalluvar Statue, Kanyakumari Temple, Kanyakumari Beach etc from here.
- Exploring the surroundings: Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam is located near other attractions and places of interest in Kanyakumari, such as:
- Vivekananda Rock Memorial: Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a monument that stands on one of the two rocks located about 500 meters off mainland of Vavathurai. It was built in 1970 in honour of Swami Vivekananda, who is said to have attained enlightenment on the rock. The memorial has a statue of Swami Vivekananda in a meditative posture, a meditation hall and a shrine dedicated to Goddess Kanyakumari.
- Thiruvalluvar Statue: Thiruvalluvar Statue is a statue that stands on another rock near Vivekananda Rock Memorial. It was inaugurated in 2000 in honour of Thiruvalluvar, a renowned Tamil poet and philosopher who wrote Thirukkural, a classic work on ethics and morality. The statue is 133 feet tall, representing the 133 chapters of Thirukkural, and weighs 7000 tons.
- Kanyakumari Temple: Kanyakumari Temple is an ancient temple that is dedicated to Goddess Kanyakumari, who is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Parvati. The temple is located on the shore near the confluence of the three seas. The temple has a sanctum sanctorum that houses an idol of the goddess, which is adorned with a diamond nose ring that sparkles in the sea.
Significance of Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam
Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam is not only a tourist attraction but also a significant place for Kanyakumari and India. Some of the reasons why Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam is important are:
- It is a historical site that showcases the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, who was the father of the nation and the leader of the Indian independence movement. He visited Kanyakumari twice in his lifetime, in 1925 and 1937. After his assassination in 1948, his ashes were brought to Kanyakumari and kept at the spot where the memorial is built now for public viewing. Later his ashes were immersed in the sea at Kanyakumari.
- It is a cultural site that reflects the influence and integration of different cultures and communities in Kanyakumari. The memorial is built in the style of Orissa architecture, which shows the connection between Tamil Nadu and Orissa. The memorial also has inscriptions in Tamil, Malayalam and English languages, which indicate the linguistic diversity of the region.
- It is a spiritual site that connects with the legends and beliefs of Kanyakumari and India. The memorial is located near the confluence of the three seas, which is considered to be a sacred place by many religions. The memorial also has a stone slab that marks the spot where Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were kept, which is revered by many people.
Q: Is photography allowed at Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam?
A: Yes, photography is allowed at Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam for personal use only. However, visitors are requested to be respectful and discreet while taking photographs and not to disturb or offend anyone.
Q: Are there any facilities or amenities at Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam?
A: Yes, there are some facilities and amenities at Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam, such as toilets, drinking water, benches, parking, etc. There is also a souvenir shop where visitors can buy books, photos, CDs, etc. related to Mahatma Gandhi and the memorial.
Q: Are there any other attractions or places near Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam?
A: Yes, there are some other attractions or places near Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam, such as Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Thiruvalluvar Statue, Kanyakumari Temple, Kanyakumari Beach etc.
Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam is a memorial that was built in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, to honour Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation and the leader of the Indian independence movement. The memorial is located on the same spot where one of the urns containing his ashes was kept for public viewing before being immersed in the sea. The memorial showcases the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, as well as the architectural and cultural aspects of Kanyakumari. Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to pay tribute to this great man and his ideals in Kanyakumari.