If there’s one text that remains the core of the Sangam (a period in the history of ancient Southern India) philosophy, it is definitely the Thirukural- literally translated from Tamil, this means, Verses (Kural) of God (Thiru). The huge feet life size statue that you see in Kanyakumari is of the Author of this text- Ayyan Thiruvalluvar.
Significance of the Statue:
To understand the significance of the statue, one has to first understand the Thirukkural. The entire text consists of 133 chapters divided into 3 parts. The first part or Aram represents justice and consists of 38 chapters. The second part is called Porul or wealth; it consists of 70 chapters. The third part represents Inbam or love and sex and consists of 25 chapters.
Now coming to the statue:
- The total height of the statue (including the pedestal on which it stands) is 133 feet- representing the 133 chapters of the text.
- The pedestal has a height of 38 feet- representing the 38 texts of Aram (justice)
- The statue has a height of 95 feet – representing the 70 chapters of Porul (wealth) and 25 chapters of Inbam (love).
- Thus, symbolically, the statue represents the theme that wealth and love should be based on justice.
- Thiruvalluvar in the statue holds leaflets made from palm leaves (also called ola chuvadi) in his left hand; while the three fingers of his right hand point skywards, signifying the three parts (viz. aram, porul, and inbam).
Facts about the Statue:
The statue designed by Dr. V. Ganapathi Sthapathi weighs about 7000 tons and was built at a cost of around USD 1 million. It took 150 workers, sculptors and artisans to complete work on the statue. It is said to withstand earthquakes of high magnitude. Did you know that an empty cavity in the center runs through the entire length of the statue?
Visiting the Monument:
Visitors can take a ferry directly from the mainland to the statue or take a ferry from the Vivekananda Rock Memorial which stops at the monument for a while. It is open on all days from 9 AM to 4 PM, except on Saturdays.