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Valluvar Kottam

Valluvar Kottam is a beautiful monument dedicated to the medieval poet Thiruvalluvar and is located amidst the busy Chennai city. Thiruvalluvar wrote the famous Thirukkural which comprises of more than 1300 verses. His poems resonate well now even 2000 years after it was written. Valluvar Kottam was built during the 1970s by the Government of Tamil Nadu then led by Sri Karunanidhi, who himself is a renowned writer and poet. The monument was built near Kodambakkam which is one of the most happening areas in Chennai.

 


Thiruvalluvar – The Poet

Thiruvalluvar  photoPhoto by themozhi’s pixel displays

Thiruvalluvar is believed to have lived during the 4th century BC. His name has been mentioned by Mamulanar of the Sangham period as a great poet and scholar of the times. Although his birthplace and lifetime are not confirmed by any evidence, it is believed that Thiruvalluvar was born in Mylapore, then called Thiru Mylai or at Kanyakumari. In Kanyakumari, at the convergence or Sangam of Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, there’s a 133-foot statue of Thiruvalluvar installed on a rock.

 

Thirukkural – The Sacred Verses

Thirukkural photoPhoto by themozhi’s pixel displays

Thirukkural contains 1330 short verses of poems that have social and philosophical relevance even today. The word Thirukural means sacred verses. It is one of the most ancient inscriptions available in Tamil. The poems in Thirukkural can be divided into 3 sections, with a total of 133 chapters, each containing couplets making 1330 verses. The first section of Thirukkural which is Aram talks about how to deal with Virtue. The second section is Porul and it talks about how to deal with wealth or power. The 3rd section is Inbam and it deals with love.


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Thirukkural shows the people how to deal with relations, power, wealth, and love. The verses describe how to live a virtuous life. These verses which were written around 2000 years ago and still hold value in the current times when morality, love, and relations seem to be badly affected by wealth and power.

 

Valluvar Kottam – The Monument

Chennai photoPhoto by soham_pablo

The monument is built in the shape of a chariot or ‘Thaer’ in Tamil. A life-size statue of Thiruvalluvar is installed there. Thirukkural is inscribed on the walls of the first room of the monument. The place is a popular tourist destination. Another remarkable feature of the monument is that the Chariot stands without any base pillar or column. There are only the Chariot’s wheels and some small stone blocks that seem to be holding the chariot in place. Locals also visit the place frequently to enjoy the evening breeze and socialize with people. There’s a huge hall or auditorium at Valluvar Kottam that can accommodate 4000 people. There are many interesting photographs, inscriptions, and historical facts to explore in Valluvar Kottam. The garden around the monument attracts the evening and weekend crowd who come here to enjoy a calm and green time, away from the city’s chaos.

 

Valluvar Kottam was built to remind the youngsters of the great poet and his works that remain relevant even during the current days. Sri Karunanidhi, himself being a poet, took initiative during his tenure as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu during the 1970s to build this heritage monument. The shape and intricacies of the monument showcase Tamil Nadu’s culture and heritage preserved over the centuries. The Chariot stands 39 meters tall with the statue of Thiruvalluvar on top.

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Chennai photoPhoto by soham_pablo

Valluvar Kottam is also a popular tourist and weekend destination for the young and the old thanks to the recreations and facilities available in the vicinity. The garden and the premises are impeccably maintained by the authorities. Visitors can enjoy some amazing South Indian food in the restaurant. Unlike the usual cultural monuments elsewhere, at Valluvar Kottam, visitors are allowed to wear footwear, take photographs and videos of the monument.

 

Featured Photo by soham_pablo


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