On my way back from Velankanni, I went to visit Valluvar Kottam Chennai, which was built in the memory of Saint Thiruvalluvar, who was the famous poet and philosopher in Tamil Nadu. His contribution to Tamil literature is great and he is believed to have lived at a time between 1st Century BC and 8th Century AD. Thirukkural, written by him, is estimated to be more than 2000 years. It is a work on human ethics and contains guidelines as to how one must lead one’s life. Valluvar Kottam was constructed as a respect for his works and to show how highly he is held in the hearts of the people in Tamil Nadu.
I reached Valluvar Kottam at 2 in the afternoon, after having my lunch on the way. The monument was located at the junction of Kodambakkm Road and the village road, and was erected by M. Karunanidhi in 1976, who was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu at that time. It is very beautiful and anyone who sees it is highly impressed by its architectural splendor.
The architect of the monument is V Ganapathi Sthapati, who is an expert in traditional architecture. It was he who designed the Thiruvalluvar statue in Kanyakumari. I heard from the local people that the spot where Thiruvalluvar Kottam is built was once a lake.
The memorial is in the shape of a temple chariot, and looks very much like the temple chariot in Thiruvarur. It is 39 ft high and inside, there is the statue of Thiruvalluvar. On the hall
corridor that surrounded the auditorium, I could see many inscriptions in Tamil which I could not understand. When I asked a person nearby, he said that it contained the verses of Saint
Thiruvalluvar. All the 1330 verses written by him were presented on granite columns. About 3000 blocks were used for the purpose. I saw many of the visitors standing and reading these
From the corridor I went inside the auditorium, which was a large one that could accommodate about 4000 people at a time. One of the unique feature of the monument is that it has no pillars to support it. I came out after an hour, impressed by the Saint Thiruvalluvar and made a mental note to know more about him.