Rajiv Gandhi Memorial, Sriperumpudur, Kanchipuram
The Rajiv Gandhi Memorial is a memorial to Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi at the site where he was assassinated at Sriperumpudur in Kanchipuram District of Tamilnadu. The town was the place where Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in a bomb blast in 1991. Tamilnadu Government donated around 12.19 acres of land to build the memorial.
The Central Public Works Department constructed the memorial at a cost of around INR21.15 crores. The construction of the memorial started in June 1994 and on 10th October, 2003, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former Indian President, dedicated it to the nation. The memorial has a square and a raised platform on which the pink granite statue of Rajiv Gandhi has been installed.
Rajiv Gandhi Memorial is a serene spot en route from Chennai to Sri Perumbudur. There is a square 40’ by 40’ platform on which another raised platform has been constructed. This raised platform is made of yellow marble stone from Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. On this raised platform on which the pink granite statue of Rajiv Gandhi has been installed. Rajiv Gandhi’s sacrifice is symbolized by a stone of red jasper hematite which marks the place where he fell martyr on the ground below.
It is inserted into a circular plinth which protects the earth upon which his blood was shed. Rising above this is a monolithic rock which frames a portrait of the slain leader evoking his immortal sprit. On the reverse of this rock is a citation on his life. The bases of the pillars have a variety of quotes from Rajiv Gandhi etched on them and each pillar has distinct carvings of its own. On the southern part of the memorial, relief works have been fashioned on a grey granite stone wall which illustrates India’s civilization and its transformation from early time to contemporary times.
‘The Path of Light’ at the memorial portrays the final steps that were taken by Rajiv Gandhi. The memorial also has one of the biggest flag staffs of India carrying Indian National Flag. Adjacent to the flag is a tapered pathway in stone that marks Rajiv Gandhi’s last walk leading to the spot where he fell martyr. The entire memorial is well maintained and looks green.
The Seven Pillars
There are seven granite pillars in the memorial that surround the blast site. These pillars represent the concept of Dharma, Nyaya, Satya, Tyaga, Samridhi, Vigyan and Shanti. The seven holy rivers, namely the Ganga, Yamuna, Sindhu, Narmada, Kaveri, Brahmaputra and Godavari are also symbolized by these seven pillars. The relief work on stonewall of grey granite represents the Indian civilization, from the ancient to the present.
These monumental granite structures are carved with swirling patterns, recalling that their foundations were sprinkled with waters bought from the great rivers of every state and filled with sacred soil collected from those places where brave men and women laid down their lives for their beloved India.
The Dharma Chakra tells us that human life must be governed by compassion, generosity and fidelity to duty.
The Bodhi Tree stands for Truth, whose leaves are many but whose root is one.
The Chhatri (umbrella) signifies the rule of Law, which defends our freedoms, delivers justice impartially and protects the weak and vulnerable.
The Star of Knowledge represents learning and science, which free the mind from prejudice and ignorance and which light our way to living in harmony with one another and with nature.
The Flames of Sacrifice reminds us of generations who have suffered and toiled in the service of the country to make possible out todays and tomorrows.
The Lotus of Peace stands for non- violence, tolerance, and concord amongst people and nations and kindness towards all fellow creatures.
The Bushel of Grain represents progress, abundance and the flowering of human creativity.
Rajiv Gandhi Memorial is a memorial located in Sriperumpudur which is located at distance of 50 kms from Chennai. Nearest Railway Station is located at Tambaram and Nearest Airport is located at Chennai.