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Thursday, January 01, 2015

Rajiv Gandhi memorial, Sriperambadur Chennai: DSLR not allowed!

We visited this memorial of late Prime Minister Mr Rajiv Gandhi. As we know Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in a suicide bombing on 21st May 1991 here. I hadn't visited this place in years so planned a short visit on the first day of new year.

The Rajiv Gandhi memorial (Rajiv Gandhi Ninaivakam in tamil) is well crafted to present him as a visionary, caring leader. I will not venture into personal merits and demerits of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, as such a debate is heavily influenced by which political party you're affiliated to, than making a debate based on facts. Below is my observations and description of the Rajiv Gandhi memorial, for what it is, as a place worth visiting.

Rajiv Gandhi memorial is open to public from 6 AM to 9PM on all days. There is no entry fee. It is guarded by CRPF who have a base next to it. When I went it, I was not allowed to take in the DSLR. Security staff told me that mobile phone camera is fine, but DSLR is not allowed. They thought I am from media coming in to take some picture and then probably create some controversy. So I had to go in with my GoPro and mobile camera.

Rajiv Gandhi memorial has a flag post, a memorial surrounded by 7 pillars, few art works and some trees. A part of the memorial was closed.

The memorial has 7 pillars erected around the burial place. Each pillar is said to represent a virtue Rajiv Gandhi stood for


These 7 virtues are as below:
  1. Dharma: Represented by a circle, stands for compassion, generosity, fidelity to duty etc
  2. Satya: Represented by the bodhi tree, stands for truth
  3. Nyaya: Represented by a chatri (umbrella), stands for justice
  4. Vignyan: Represented by the star, stands for science & technology advancements
  5. Thyaga: Represented by flames- denotes sacrifice
  6. Shanti- Represented by lotus- for peace
  7. Samriddi- A bunch of grains- for prosperity
I wanted to take good pictures from inside, but since DSLR was not allowed, I could use only gopro and mobile camera which though could capture wide angle image, couldn't capture good colour and didn't have zoom. But then, once outside, I could see most of the structures and use the zoom lens to capture them. So below is the close up look, as much as I could get, of those 7 pillars

Above: Nyaya (Justice), Thyaga (Sacrifice) and Vignyan (Science) pillars, from left to right
Below: Shanti and Satya (Peace and Truth)
 Prosperity below, the other one, Dharma is hidden before it. Couldn't get a clear view.
There're some good art work in the memorial campus.. Few sample pictures below




 
Another interesting thing in this memorial is a marking that many visitors will ignore.

There is a small rock right in-front of the burial. (Refer photo below). From this rock a thin line starts. This thin line widens as the distance progresses and culminates towards the entrance of the park (Refer second pic below)

Apparently Rajiv Gandhi got down from the vehicle here (where the stones are positioned in above picture) and walked towards the stage (where photo and stone is shown in earlier picture). The gradual reduction in the thickness of the line marks how his life diminished in this short span of journey.

Memorial has lots of green lawn, but don't plan to use this as picnic spot. Security will not let you walk on the grass.
 

Nearby places: Chitilakapam lake * Kancheevaram * MMSC *  Weekend destinations from Chennai * Alamparai * Vedanthangal * Pulicat Lake * 

9 comments :

Yogi Saraswat said...

wow ! great place to visit once.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes Yogi.. thanks

D.Nambiar said...

Hmm... neat place.
Does it get a lot of visitors?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@DN.. I am not sure. THere were a few vehicles and few dozen people when we visited. It is not a popular tourist spot but those who passby usually stop for a moment here

Mahesh Divya said...

crossed this place many times while going to vellore from chennai for my official work but never visited.

thanks for sharing.

Vinay Nagaraju said...

7 pillars for 7 virtues. That is indeed very elegant :).. A nice testimony for this man.

But I am very curios to know why camera phone and NO DSLR! That is one of the strangest things I have heard! :D

Dohit said...

nice place and the pictures are also beautiful...

mumbaiiteanu said...

I like the 7 pillars for 7 virtues.
Worth visiting!
Nice pictures and great post!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@mumbaiiteanu: Thanks

@Dohit: Thanks

@Vinay: Different people will have different perceptions. The security person in charge was very uncomfortable with DSLR for reasons best known to them. May be some other day they won't be that strict and let it through.


@Mahesh Divya: Do visit