PM Modi begins 'dhyan' at Kanyakumari Vivekananda Rock Memorial

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit at Bhagwati Amman Temple, in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, Thursday, May 30, 2024

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit at Bhagwati Amman Temple, in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, Thursday, May 30, 2024.

Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu): Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his 45-hour long meditation at the famed Vivekananda Rock Memorial here on Thursday evening.

After arriving from nearby Thiruvananthapuram by a helicopter, Modi worshipped at the Bhagavathi Amman temple and reached the rock memorial by a ferry service and started meditation that is scheduled to go on till June 1.

Clad in a dhoti and a white shawl, Modi prayed at the temple and circumambulated the 'garbhagriha'. Priests performed a special 'arthi' and he was given temple 'prasad' that included a shawl and a framed photograph of the presiding deity of the temple.

Later, he reached the rock memorial by a ferry service operated by the state government-run shipping corporation and began his meditation at the 'dhyan mandapam.

Before he embarked on the dhyan exercise, for a while, Modi stood on the stairs leading to the mandapam that offers breathtaking views of the sea that surrounds the memorial from all sides.

Ahead of his departure on June 1, Modi is likely to visit the Thiruvalluvar statue, next to the memorial. Both the memorial and 133 ft statue were built on tiny islets, that are separate and mound-like rocky formations in the sea.

While outfits including Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam staged a black flag demonstration in Madurai opposing Modi, social media platform 'X' also witnessed a flood of #GoBackModi posts, amid political opposition to the broadcast of his meditation in view of the seventh final phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections on June 1.

All arrangements, including heavy security, are in place for Modi's 45-hour stay at the famed memorial named after the revered Hindu saint.

This is the first time the Prime Minister will be staying at the memorial, a monument built in tribute to Swami Vivekananda, who meditated over the rocks inside the sea towards the end of 1892.

While the PM chose Kedarnath cave to reflect and meditate following the end of campaign in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, now he has chosen a spiritually significant place in the southernmost tip in the mainland of the country.

Following the culmination of the hectic Lok Sabha election campaign in which he presided and addressed over a multitude of political events such as roadshows and rallies, Modi will be meditating in an ambience of quietude, where probably only the sound of breaking waves could be heard.

While security personnel teemed the memorial premises, security has been beefed up in the entire Kanyakumari district and about 2,000 police personnel have been deployed, besides heightened vigil by the Coast Guard and the Navy.

Modi will meditate from the evening of Thursday to the evening of June 1 at Dhyan Mandapam, the place where Vivekananda -- a spiritual icon admired by the PM-- is believed to have had a divine vision about 'Bharat Mata'.