Vivekananda Rock is a popular tourist monument in Kanyakumari. The memorial stands on one of two rocks located about 500 meters east of the mainland, India’s southernmost tip. It was built in 1970 in honor of Swami Vivekananda who is said to have attained enlightenment on the rock. According to local legends, it was on this rock that Goddess Kumari performed austerity. A meditation hall (Dhyana Mandapam) is also attached to the memorial for visitors to meditate. The design of the mandapa incorporates different styles of temple architecture from all over India. It houses a statue of Vivekananda. The rocks are surrounded by the Sea. The memorial consists of two main structures, the Vivekananda Mandapam and the Shripada Mandapam. Thiruvalluvar Statue has a height of 95 feet and stands upon a 38 foot rock that represents the 38 chapters of “virtue” in the Thirukkural. The statue standing on the rock represents “wealth” and “pleasures”, signifying that wealth and love is earned and enjoyed on the foundation of solid virtue. The combined height of the statue and pedestal is 133 feet, denoting the 133 chapters in the Thirukkural. It has a total weight of 7000 tons. The statue, with its slight bend around the waist is reminiscent of a dancing pose of the ancient Indian deities like Nataraja. It was sculpted by the Indian sculptor Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati, who also created the Iraivan Temple. Its opening ceremony was on 1 January 2000. The monument was hit by the Indian Ocean Tsunami on 26 December 2004 but was unharmed.
Gandhi Memorial Mandapam has been built on the spot where the urn containing the Mahatma’s ashes was kept for public viewing before immersion. Resembling central Indian Hindu temples in form, the memorial was designed in such a way that on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, 2 October, the first rays of the sun fall on the exact place where his ashes were kept