Thiruvalluvar Statue – Kanyakumari
Kanyakumari or Cape Comorin District is located on the southernmost tip of Indian peninsula marked by the confluence of the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. The Thiruvalluvar Statue, located atop a small island is a popular tourist destination in Kanyakumari District.
The statue was designed and sculpted by Indian sculptor Dr. V. Ganapathi Sthapati and unveiled on 1st January 2000 in commemoration of Saint Thiruvalluvar. Thiruvalluvar was a renowned poet and saint who wrote Thirukkural, an ancient legendary Tamil work on secular morality.
Features of Thiruvalluvar Statue
The Thiruvalluvar Statue is designed in such a way that it depicts the structure of Thirukural. The Thirukural is structured into 133 chapters, each containing 10 couplets (or Kurals), totaling to 1,330 couplets. The 133 chapters are grouped into three cantos/books – Aram (Book of Virtue or Dharma), Porul (Book of Polity or Artha) and Inbam (Book of Love or Kama). The three fingers on the right hand that points skywards denotes the three cantos – Aram, Porul and Inbam.
The statue and pedestal together is 133 feet high denoting the 133 chapters of the Thirukural. The pedestal on which the sculpture of Valluvar stands is 38 feet high representing the 38 chapters of Aram. The statue itself represents the Book of Porul and Inbam. The entire design artistically symbolizes that it is on the foundation of virtue or Dharma that one can earn wealth and love.
The statue weighs 7,000 tons and the head stands at a height of 200 feet above the sea level. There is a bend around the waist of the statue signifying a dance pose of the deity Nataraja ( a form of Lord Shiva). Visitors are permitted to climb up around 140 steps to reach the feet of the statue.
Construction of the majestic Thiruvalluvar statue
The foundation stone for the statue was laid by the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai on 15th April 1979. However, the installation and sculpting work led by Dr. V. Ganapathy Sthapathy, started a decade later in the year 1990. The project constructed at a cost of more than INR 6.14 crores employed around 150 workers, 500 sculptors, supervisors and assistants. The stones were arranged from workshops in Kanyakumari, Ambasamudram and Sholingannallur.
The striking feature of the statue is that the all-stone monument has been carved by hand and is designed to withstand natural calamities like earthquakes. The striking feature of the statue is that the all-stone monument has been carved by hand and is designed to withstand natural calamities like earthquakes.
The statue was placed on its pedestal on 19th October 1999 and was inaugurated on 1st January 2000 by the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Dr. M. Karunanidhi.
Thiruvalluvar Statue – Visiting Hours & Fee
The visiting time of Saint Thiruvalluvar Statue is from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Ferry services are available from the mainland charging Rs. 20 per person. No separate entry fee is charges from the tourists.
How to reach Thiruvalluvar Statue
Kanyakumari District is well connected with all modes of transportation. Regular buses from major South Indian cities take you to Kanyakumari. Kanyakumari Railway Junction is the nearest rail head (1.5 kilometres away). Trivandrum International Airport (95 kilometres away) is the nearest airport.
The immaculate sculpture of Thiruvalluvar is a symbol of the ancient classic Thirukural and its valuable teachings. The spiritual atmosphere of the place amidst the vast spread of ocean is a destination one cannot afford to miss in Kanyakumari.