Lounge Travel Review

Visit to Dr Kalam memorial in Rameswaram

Read here the first post on my trip to Rameswaram.

A few weeks back I got to visit Rameswaram town after a decade or so. After the temple darshans and sight-seeing, on being invited by Kalam International Foundation, I visited “House of Kalam” – the residence of Dr Kalam‘s family. Visiting the house and the museum, an unmistakable feeling of proudness overwhelms you – seeing that a young boy from this (then) fishing village rose to great heights in defence engineering and to became the President of India. The museum called “Mission of life gallery” is on the first floor and is open for public for free. When we went, even though it was closed briefly for lunchtime, we could see dozens of tourist from all over India waiting outside – I am hard pressed to think of few other Indian leaders who have earned this kind of unconditional love from all Indians.

House of Kalam - E.Ravi & Venkatarangan

House of Kalam – E.Ravi & Venkatarangan

Walk beside me & be my friend - Dr A P J Abdul Kalam

Walk beside me & be my friend – Dr A P J Abdul Kalam

(in centre) Centenarian Mr A.P.J. Mohamed Muthu Meera Maraikayar, elder brother of former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

(in centre) Centenarian Mr A.P.J. Mohamed Muthu Meera Maraikayar, elder brother of former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

In front of a 3-dimensional portrait of Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

In front of a 3-dimensional portrait of Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam – In House of Kalam

Newly reconstructed mosque near Dr Kalam's residence in Rameswaram

Newly reconstructed mosque near Dr Kalam’s residence in Rameswaram

Museum at House of Kalam greets you with a portrait of Dr Kalam

Museum at House of Kalam greets you with a portrait of Dr Kalam

Moments from the growing up years of Dr Kalam

Moments from the growing up years of Dr Kalam

Dr Kalam loved books

Dr Kalam loved books

திரு. அப்துல் கலாம் அவர்கள் படித்த தமிழ் புத்தகங்களில் சில

திரு. அப்துல் கலாம் அவர்கள் படித்த தமிழ் புத்தகங்களில் சில

National and International Recognitions given to Dr Kalam

National and International Recognitions that were given to Dr Kalam

வாழ்க்கையின் குறிக்கோள் - டாக்டர் ஆ.ப.ஜெ. அப்துல் கலாம்

வாழ்க்கையின் குறிக்கோள் – டாக்டர் ஆ.ப.ஜெ. அப்துல் கலாம்

Models of Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan, India's highest civilian honour, presented to Dr Kalam. The Pilot Suite he wore when he flew the Sukhoi fighter jet - flying was his dream

Models of Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan, India’s highest civilian honour, presented to Dr Kalam. The Pilot Suite he wore when he flew the Sukhoi fighter jet – flying was his dream

After “House of Kalam”, in the evening we went to the newly inaugurated memorial dedicated to Dr A P J Abdul Kalam in Peikarumbu, Rameswaram. In the past, I had the privilege of meeting and talking with Dr Kalam on 3 occasions – in 2010 at his Delhi residence, in 2014 during our office event and lastly, in Chennai Raj Bhavan which was few months before he passed away – unforgettable moments for me. The memorial has been built in the shortest time by DRDO (Department of Defence, Govt. Of India) and thanks to Government of Tamil Nadu, it had been inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi on 27th July 2017. The building has an earthly appearance and showcases photographs from Dr Kalam’s life, artefacts he used and awards he received – it is sure to positively impact young minds visiting the place to influence them to take up a career on science or engineering.

The draft of what has become his last speech is exhibited as “FINAL” – it is interesting to read the quote from Lao Tzu that Dr Kalam had written in that which goes like this:

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say; we did it ourselves” – Lao Tzu

தான் சொன்னதுப் போலவே செய்துவிட்டவர் டாக்டர் கலாம்:

“நமது பிறப்பு ஒரு சம்பவமாக இருக்கலாம், ஆனால் இறப்பு ஒரு சரித்திரமாக இருக்க வேண்டும்”.

Venkatarangan in front of Dr Kalam Memorial, Peikarumbu, Rameswaram

Venkatarangan in front of Dr Kalam Memorial, Peikarumbu, Rameswaram

High roof and clean design

High roof and clean design

Dr Kalam loved to play the Veena, a classical string instrument

Dr Kalam loved to play the Veena, a classical string instrument

 சொன்னதுப் போலவே செய்துவிட்டவர் டாக்டர் கலாம் - "நமது பிறப்பு ஒரு சம்பவகாம இருக்கலாம், ஆனால் இறப்பு ஒரு சரித்திரமாக இருக்க வேண்டும்"

சொன்னதுப் போலவே செய்துவிட்டவர் டாக்டர் கலாம் – “நமது பிறப்பு ஒரு சம்பவமாக இருக்கலாம், ஆனால் இறப்பு ஒரு சரித்திரமாக இருக்க வேண்டும்”

Personal belongings of Dr Kalam on his last trip to Shillong 27 July 2015

Personal belongings of Dr Kalam on his last trip to Shillong 27 July 2015

Draft of the speech that was to become the final one for Dr Kalam - Note the quote from Lao Tzu he has used here

Draft of the speech that was to become the final one for Dr Kalam – Note the quote from Lao Tzu he has used here

Various moods of Dr Kalam

Various moods of Dr Kalam

Replica of his table at Rashtrapathi Bhavan

Replica of his table at Rashtrapathi Bhavan

Dr Kalam loved children, talking to them, inspiring them

Dr Kalam loved children, talking to them, inspiring them

The missile of man India, he believed defence power is the best way to a lasting peace

The missile of man India, he believed defence power is the best way to a lasting peace

Painting showing young girls in Bharathanatyam, a classical dance costume; with Dr Kalam

Painting showing young girls in Bharathanatyam, a classical dance costume; with Dr Kalam

During his official visits as the President of India

During his official visits as the President of India

Model showing the last moments of Dr Kalam at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong

Model showing the last moments of Dr Kalam at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong

Centre hall of the memorial

Centre hall of the memorial

Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam's final resting place

Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam’s final resting place

Venkatarangan at the Dr Kalam's memorial, Rameswaram

Venkatarangan at Dr Kalam’s memorial, Rameswaram

The memorial is to be equipped as a learning centre with plans for a conference hall for science programs – a boon for people living in these parts of our country.


Also published on Medium.

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