Thiruvalluvar Statue in Kanyakumari
The Tamil Nadu Government has installed a statue of Saint Thiruvalluvar who gave us quintessential words of wisdom known as Thirukkural. The foundation stone for the statue was laid in 1979 by the Prime Minister Morarji Desai. But the installation was finalised and the actual work of sculpting they began only in 1990 to 1991budget. Five hundred sculptors were engaged for this work under the guidance of Dr. Ganapathi Sthpati and the work was completed in 1999. The statue was inaugurated on 1st January 2000 by Dr. M. Karunanidhi, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. The rocks for the sculpture came from Sirudhamoor, Pattumalikuppam and Ambasamudram Hills.
The monument installed at a cost of Rs. 6.14 croes is 133 feet high including the pedestal, signifying the 133 chapters of the ‘Thirukkural’. The pedestal is 38ft high representing the 38 chapters in the first part of the Kural (the Book of Aram (virtue) and the 95ft statue represents the total chapters in the second and third parts of the Kural, Wealth and Love. Thus the statue symbolises the themes of wealth and love based on virtue. The right hand of Thriuvalluvar with three fingers pointing skywards also signifies the three cantos of ‘Thirukkural’ – ‘Aram, Porul and Inbam.’
The pedestal is surrounded by an artistic mandapam known as ‘Alankara mandapam’. Surrounding this mandapam stand statues of ten elephants signifying 8 directions with earth and space down, 140 steps are constructed inside the mandapam to enable the visitors to climb up to the foot of the statue. There were plans to inscribe select couplets from ‘Thirukkural’ on the outer periphery of the pedestal.
The statue is just 400 meters away from the shores and ferry service is available.