Towards the end of 1892, after three years of wandering across the length and breadth of India, a young monk found himself at Kanyakumari, the southernmost point of the country. To quell the questions raging in his mind, he leapt into the sea and swam across shark-infested waters to reach a holy rock in mid-sea—the very last bit of Indian land.
On the rock, he meditated, taking in the whole of India as it were, from that vantage point. At the end of three days and nights, the monk found enlightenment on his life’s mission: to arouse the nation from its dismal slumber of a thousand years of slavery and rediscover its past glory.
Thus was born on that rock, Swami Vivekananda—the spiritual teacher, prophet and patriot-monk of modern India. The rock became doubly blessed.
To honour Swami Vivekananda’s vision, the idea to construct a memorial on that particular rock was mooted on the eve of his birth centenary in 1962.
It took a person like Shri Eknath Ranade, who truly understood the depth of Swami Vivekananda’s vision, to realise that a structure of mere brick and mortar could not be a monument in the real sense. The memorial had to be a national monument, built by the dedication and co-operation of the entire country.
A static structure would not suffice; a living body of men and women dedicated to Swami Vivekananda’s vision for the upliftment of India was also needed. Thus came into being the Vivekananda Kendra.
Led by the concerted efforts of Shri Eknath Ranade, who made it his life mission to establish the memorial and the Vivekananda Kendra, overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles of politics, funding and labour, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial was dedicated to the nation in 1970.
Today, over a million visitors come to the Rock Memorial every year, and pay their homage to the man who brought about the rebirth of India. The Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a national monument in every true sense.
This website is dedicated to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, a monument about which every Indian ought to know. (Of course this does not imply that people from other countries should not know about it!) The information presented here has been culled from various sources, but mainly from publications of Vivekananda Kendra.