Home > FAM (Familiarization) Tour, FAM Trip, General, Tamil Nadu, Tamil Nadu FAM > Memorial of APJ Abdul Kalam, Rameswaran

Memorial of APJ Abdul Kalam, Rameswaran

Memorial of APJ Abdul Kalam

Rameswaran

Also see: FAM Trip of Tamil Nadu

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam or simply APJ Abdul Kalam (15 October 1931 – 27 July 2015) was the 11 th President of India (25 July 2002 – 25 July 2007). Known as the “People’s President” and the “Missile man of India” Kalam came from a humble background.

Memorial of APJ Abdul Kalam, Rameswaran

Memorial of APJ Abdul Kalam, Rameswaran

He was born in Rameswaram, an important Hindu pilgrimage in Pamban Island (also known as Rameswaran Island). Kalam came from a very humble background but excelled in academics. He went on to study aerospace engineering in Madras Institute of Technology (IIT).

Entrance of APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial, Rameswaran

Entrance of APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial, Rameswaran

Later Kalam went on to join the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and later joined Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Later he served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and Secretary of the DRDO. Kalam played an active part in designing several missiles for DRDO and came to be known as the “Missile man of India.”

Entrance of APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial, Rameswaran

Entrance of APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial, Rameswaran

Kalam played an active part in designing missiles for DRDO and came to be known as the “Missile man of India.” Later he went on to become the President of India. He served as the 11 th President of India (25 July 2002 – 25 July 2007).

Statue of Kalam playing the bina

Statue of Kalam playing the bina

After is presidency tenure Kalam served as a visiting faculty in several of the leading institutes of the country.

Apart from sharing his technical knowledge Kalam inspired a generation of students to became a good citizen of India and a better human being.

During one such lectures at Indian Institute of Management Shillong he collapsed and died from an apparent cardiac arrest on 27 July 2015, at the age of 83.

Kalam was laid to rest in his native village in Rameswaran in a simple grave. The grave was covered with a shed like structure that only provided shade and shelter to stray dogs and cows. Although a memorial was planed over the grave but a tussle between the state and central government delayed the proceedings.

Statue of Kalam at the office of President of India

Statue of Kalam at the office of President of India

On July 27, 2016, former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and former Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu laid the foundation stone on the occasion of Kalam’s first death anniversary.

The DRDO, where Kalam spent a good part of his life and career, had taken up the task of building of building the memorial.

The job was executed in a record time of 9 months and on July 27, 2017 on the occasion of Kalam’s secod death aniversy the memorial was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Spread over an area of two acres the memorial itself covers 1,425 sq m of area. The memorial is centered round a domed structure along with four galeries in the four corners. The dome has been build on the lines of Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi.

Galleries at the APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial, Rameswaran

The entrance of the memorial is from the south. A flight of stairs with a fluttering tricolour welcome visitors to the memorial. Entrance is through a huge Chettinad styled wooden gateway.

A statue depicting the last minutes of APJ Abdul Kalam

A statue depicting the last minutes of APJ Abdul Kalam

Below the dome is a seated statue of Kalam playing the bina. The four galleries in the four corners depict moments from the former President’s life – his stay at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, his address in the UN Assembly and his association with ISRO and DRDO.

Paintings and statue of APJ Abdul Kalam

They also depicts Kalam’s interaction with students of different age and even include his last lecture at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong, where he collapsed and passed away.

Grave of APJ Abdul Kalam

Grave of APJ Abdul Kalam

Paintings of the former President adorn the walls of the memorial – depicting him right from his childhood to his death. The memorial is said to contain about 900 paintings and 200 rare photographs of Kalam.

Grave of APJ Abdul Kalam

Grave of APJ Abdul Kalam

The grave lies on the northern end of the memorial and is enclosed inside a circular chamber.

The grave is simple and contains the full name of APJ Abdul Kalam along with date of birth and date written in English and Tamil.

The walls are adorned with a number of photos of the Kalam. A small display exhibits the item carried by him on the last journey to Shilong.

The outer arena is beautifully landscaped with several instalations. It even contains a replica of Agni, the intercontinental-range ballistic missile designed by Kalam. There is also a bronze life size statue of Kalam. Next to it is another bronze bust. A planetarium and auditorium are supposed to come up in the memorial complex.

Grave of APJ Abdul Kalam

Grave of APJ Abdul Kalam

As we walked out of the memorial a board with the image of APJ Abdul Kalam attracted my attention. It also contained a quote from the most loved president of the country:

Dreams is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep.

No wonder the people’s president and the missile man of India will always remain a source for inspiration for generations to come.

Apart from the Memorial of APJ Abdul Kalam, Pamban Island (also called Rameswaran Island) houses the famous Rameswaran Temple, Pamban Bridge and the abandoned port town of Dhanuskodi.

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Necessary Information:

  1. The memorial remains open from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
  2. There is no entry fee
  3. Shoes have to be removed to enter the memorial
  4. Photography inside the memorial is strictly prohibited. The photographs in the blog are taken with special permission

Note:

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