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What was once a storage house for blocks of ice, the castle of a wealthy Indian advocate, a Ramakrishna monastery and even a hostel and training school for child widows, Vivekananda House & Museum has finally been transformed into a permanent exhibition on Swami Vivekananda’s life.
Vivekanandar Illam, as it is known as in Chennai, started out as a store house for ice, used by the British till 1880. It was then sold to Biligiri Iyengar, an advocate in the Madras High Court, who restored and remodeled the house and used it has it place of residence. In 1897, Mr. Iyengar had a special house guest- Swami Vivekananda. This was the year the Swami delivered a series of powerful speeches to audiences in Chennai and his visit subsequently led to the building being turned into a functional center for the Swami’s teachings.
It was a monastery till the Ramakrishna math moved to Mylapore, after which the building, acquired by the Government of Madras as part of their social welfare scheme, was turned into a hostel and training school for the child widow's home run by Sister R.S.Subbalakshmi, a social reformer and educationist. Finally in 1997 the Government of Tamil Nadu leased out the Vivekananda House, transforming it into the shrine that stands today.
The house is home to a museum; depicting the life of Swami Vivekananda, spread over two floors and a basement. The walls of the first floor are decorated with paintings portraying important events and people, spanning from the Vedic period till the advent of Sri Ramakrishna. The second floor is a photo gallery consisting of photos of Swami Vivekananda as well as the room in which the Swami stayed in and a 3-D show on the swami, a feature that is unique to the museum.
The basement is a showcase of the history of the house and a holographic show on the Swami. On top of the 3-D displays and historical showcases, the house offers many activities on different days, such as meditation, yoga and language classes. The museum is closed on public holidays and on Wednesdays.
This museum is an important monument in Chennai and draws a multitude of pilgrims and worshippers as well as those curious about the late Swami’s life and teachings. Situated near Lady Willingdon College, Kamarajar Salai (South Beach Road), Triplicane, its magnificent three storied structure with its hemispherical dome is a very well known site in Chennai. The museum is a must see for the spiritual as well as culture buffs as it gives an insight into one of the world’s most influential spiritual leaders.
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Great place to honor the saint. Lot of spiritual power and knowledge lies within the campus. Best place to enjoy quaint energy and be resourceful.
Awesome place to visit. Sureshot visit place for Chennai tourists. Superb museum with audio video content.peaceful place to meditate.Immerse in spiritual world deeply with the ambience and serene environment inside.
It is also known as ice house. Since it was a ice factory during British time. Later bought by ramakrishna Matt. Vivekanada stayed in this house for several days. Which is now converted to meditation room.
Opposite to that you can find a fried rice shop friendly trendy where you can get good fast foods
Very nice place for meditation. Entrance to the hall will be charged Rs.20. You can enjoy the history and myths of Vivekananda.