Vivekananda House in Chennai: A Pilgrimage for Swami Vivekananda’s Followers
The year 2013-14 marks the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, the saint who introduced the Indian Philosophies to the Western World. To honor the contribution of Vivekananda towards the Indian society, let me talk about a place which is very closely related to him. Vivekananda house or Vivekananda Illam is a museum in Chennai which is looked upon as an important landmark by the followers of Swami Vivekananda. It is treated as a place of pilgrimage as this is where Swami Vivekananda stayed after returning from his visit to the west in 1897.
Built by the Ice King Frederic Tudo in 1877, Vivekananda house was earlier known as the “Ice-House”. The British used this building as a store house of the ice that was imported from North America for as long as 30 years. After their business collapsed, this building was sold to Biligiri Iyengar, a disciple of Swami Vivekananda. Sri Ramakrishna Math was founded at this place and functioned here for ten years before moving to its current location in Chennai. At present, this iconic structure stands as a museum of Swami Vivekananda, featuring his life and teachings.
Vivekananda House is a two-storey structure built in the Victorian style of architecture. The room where Swami ji stayed, the table where is dined, the kitchen where he cooked and several other areas are now open for the devotees to see. The first floor houses the painting section while the second floor has all the photographs of Swami Vivekananda’s life span. Each and every memoir of Swami ji’s life speak greatly about the principles he stood for throughout his life.
Timings: 10 am to 12 pm; 3 pm to 7 pm
Closed on Wednesday
Entry fee: Rs. 10 (Adults); Rs.5 (Children 3-12 years)