Gandhi Mandapam – Kanyakumari
Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam or Memorial was constructed near the sea shore in Kanyakumari, in memory of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (fondly called Gandhiji), the Father of our Nation.
The Memorial is a popular tourist place in Kanyakumari and is situated close to Kanya Kumari Amman Temple. After the terrible assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1948, his remains were cremated and sent to various parts of the country for the public to pay their last respect. A portion of his ashes was put on display in Kanyakumari and later on deposited ritually in the sea on 12th February 1948. The Memorial now stands where his ashes had rested.
The Gandhi Mandapam Memorial
The Memorial is built in the architectural style of Orissa. The construction of the Memorial was completed in the year 1956. The Memorial was under the administrative control of the Public Works Department of the Govt. of Tamil Nadu but later on transferred to the Public (Information and Public Relations) Department.
The Memorial is well maintained with a display of numerous photographs of Gandhiji. It also houses a Library with some rare historical books on the life of Mahatma Gandhi. The astounding feature of the Memorial is that it is built in such a way that on the birth anniversary of Gandhiji (i.e. on 2nd October each year), the sunlight coming through the ceiling falls on the exact spot where his ashes were laid.
The Memorial is open on all days from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Entry to the memorial is free except for Re. 1 charged per footwear that has to be left outside before entering into the Memorial.
How to reach Gandhi Mandapam
Kanyakumari is well connected by road with all major cities in South India and Nagercoil at a distance of about 21 kilometres being the closest town. Kanyakumari Railway Station (1 kilometre away) and Nagercoil Railway Station (about 18 kilometre away) are the nearest rail heads.
Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (about 102 kilometres away) is the nearest airport to Kanyakumari.