Every time, we go for a drive on the Marina beach, we get to notice a peach colored building with closed windows.. Though now it is known widely as Vivekanandar Illam, with a status of Swami Vivekananda , not many are aware what is in store inside for a common man,..the depth of heritage preserved diligently for the future to understand our civilization, emergence of our values, and moral stones laid by Swami Vivekananda and how he influenced the world all over with his simple words of wisdom, that strongly conveyed a message of Universal Brotherhood and Secularism through acceptance of all religions as a path towards the Supreme God.
Thanks to Sevai Karangal for the efforts initiated to take underprivileged children week after week to this place of knowledge, explaining them the exhibits, interpreting the painting in a simple understandable language to young minds and encouraging them to write in the visitors book on the takeaways and also presenting them books and dictionaries as mementos. Picture time and fun in the beach makes children feel edutained on every trip.
15 Great Facts of Vivekanandar Illam, Chennai
1. Swami Vivekananda stayed here for 9 days during 1897- 6 Feb-14 Feb 1897
2. Museum depicts exhibition on Indian Culture and Swami's life
3. Initially this place was called Ice house built in 1842 to store ice for Britishers and ice was brought from Great Lakes, America
4. After 1880, Biligari Iyengar became the new owner of the place and made it a residence named Castle Kernan
5. Swami visited frequently to the Triplicane Parthasarathy temple during his stay in Chennai and also gave great speeches invoking National consciousness
6. Ramakrishna Mission functioned in this place for 10 years from its beginning in South (1897-1906)
7. This place also was a Child Widow's Hostel supported by Smt Subbalakshmi - A social reformer
8. In 1963- during Swami's 100th birth centenary celebrations, Castle Kernan became 'Vivekanandar Illam' - house of heritage
9. Building is part of Chennai's Architectural heritage
10. Houses 43 amazing paintings by various artists on Indian heritage
11. Close to 120 pictures of Swami's life which treasures some rare pictures of the monk whose universalism and spiritual conquest of the world religions is to stay for ever
12. Swami Vivekanda's room in the second floor gives your vibes as you enter being the place where he physically stayed during his visit. This is also considered as the Meditation room
13. There is also a show room where you can buy posters and books
14. A 3D video educates children on Swami and his most famous Chicago speech
15.Experience Vivekananda Project with multi media visuals and presentations make the place worth a visit
Gone are those day when we had moral science/value as our subjects in the schools where we learn to be humane.
Now a day’s children are asked to be an engineer, Doctor, teacher etc to earn money and live a happy life. None is guiding them to be a humane which is required for a happy livelihood.
Everyone is keen about education that they fail to understand the need of good guidance and positive thoughts to shape up the personality of children.
Our conventional education focuses on metrics alone. So it is right time that we teach moral values to the children
To reclaim these values we at Sevai Karangal have planned a series of activities.
To start with we are taking the kids from homes to Vivekanandar Illam, Where the kids will have an opportunity to enjoy “Experience Vivekananda” Project, an initiative to showcase Swami Vivekananda’s personality and message through state-of-the-art multimedia galleries and utilizing various types of exhibits, short inspirational videos, 3D animated movie clips and a Holographic presentation and also the history, architect and cultural values of yesteryear's.
Kids will be taken from home by maxi cabs and assemble at the Illam. Spend time watching the screening and exhibits. Once it is over take them to marina beach and spend some time. Move to their respective homes.
Watch the trailer of animated video:
We are sure that his life history and message will bring a positive reflection in the kid’s mind, which will help to make a better world and fulfill god’s purpose of creation.
21 Jul 2013: I was previleged to be part of this cause sponsoring the event which took 30 kids from Vallalar Gurukulam and 15 volunteers from ' We Initiate' and Thilak, Dhana, Raghu and I with few others from Sevai Karangal. A Sunday well spent:-)