With India set to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, a granite cot on which he slept during his visit here in 1892, has been handed over to a cultural forum, by the family which played host to the great saint-philosopher.
The ownership right of the granite cot was on Sunday given to the Bharathiya Vichara Kendram director and RSS ideologue P Parameswaran by descendants of famous scholar Manonmaniam Sundaram Pillai, in whose home here, Vivekananda slept.
P S Ramaswamy, the present head of the family, exuded confidence that the Kendram would preserve the monument with all sanctity that would remind the visitors of the life and contributions of Vivekananda in the national awakening.
The cot would be brought to the Kendram’s headquarters here on January 11 in a procession from Karakulam, a city outskirt, where it has been lying for 111 years.
Though it was not known much outside, the family has kept it as a precious asset, Mr. Ramaswamy said.
Vivekananda toured various parts of Kerala in 1892 and reached Thiruvananthapuram, which was then the capital of princely state of Travancore, in December that year.
It was during his trip that he famously described Kerala as a “lunatic asylum” after being shocked to know about the rigid caste system and cruel discrimination that prevailed in the society.
Vivekananda had interactions with spiritual leaders like Chattampi Swamikal and Sree Narayana Guru and also many reformers and scholars.
Later, he left for Kanyakumari where he meditated on Christmas eve ‘on the last bit of India’s rock’, which was later converted into the Vivekananda Rock Memorial.
Swami Vivekananda was born in Kolkata on 12 January 1863.