Rajiv Gandhi Memorial (Ninaivagam) in Sriperumbudur, Chennai

“India is an old country but a young nation and like the young everywhere, we are impatient. I am young and I too have a dream. I dream of an India – Strong , Independent, self-reliant, and in the front ranks of the nations of the world in the service of mankind” – Rajiv Gandhi.

Rajiv Gandhi Memorial long shot of seven pillarsThe Rajiv Gandhi Memorial (Ninaivagam) has been built by the Central Government of India at the site of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in Sriperumbudur, which is a suburban area of Chennai. Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM.

He was killed at this place by the LTTE using a human suicide bomber in 1991 while campaigning for the local Loksabha candidate. Rajiv Gandhi is the former Prime Minister of India (1984 – 1989).

Indian flag at the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial, Sriperumbudur Chennai I quote the following from an inscription at the site – “Rajiv Gandhi was inspired by a vision of India as the treasure house of the highest aspirations of humanity. He believed that modern India’s role and task is not just to establish a political identity and attain power and prosperity in the world, (but) It is to serve and promote the millennial Indian ethos.

Rajiv Gandhi Memorial photoFrom our ancient texts and the edicts of Emperor Asoka up to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, India has directed humankind’s gaze to a moral order enshrined in the doctrine of non-violence. Symbols of this vital code of ethics are here set atop seven pillars as beacons to successive generations, reminders for each of us to renew and reaffirm the values for which Rajiv Gandhi lived and died”

Rajiv Gandhi memorial pillarsIt seems, Rajiv Gandhi was responsible for dismantling the License Raj, allowing individuals / companies to purchase goods without Government intervention and removing import restrictions. He also announced a national policy on education which, among others helped rural children to get free residential higher education from 6th to 12th Standards.

Rajiv Gandhi Ninaivagam Pathway and LawnHis efforts let to the creation of MTNL which popularized the PCO’s (Public Calling Offices – Public telephone booths) across India. He brought about a closer relationship with the United States and started to move away from the Nehru-Indira socialism.

Sculptures on Wall of Rajiv Gandhi Memorial site in Sriperumbudur ChennaiIt seems, the above sculptures which are found on the wall leading to the exit of this huge lawn and campus was inspired from the nearby Mahabalipuram site. In fact, the whole place is maintained so neatly with a huge green lawn and circular pathways. As you can see in the first photo, there is a gigantic Indian flag and seven big pillars carrying various moral symbols India stands for. These two are visible from the highway.

Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Ninaivagam Pillars in Sriperumbudur The symbols over the seven huge pillars and what they represent is given below:

Chakra represents Dharma (Compassion, generosity, duty)

Bodhi Tree represents Satya (Truth)

Chhatri represents Nyaya (Justice, Law)

The star of knowledge represents Vigyan

The flames of sacrifice represents Tyaga

The lotus of peace represents Shanti

The prosperity of Grass represents Samruddhi

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15 thoughts on “Rajiv Gandhi Memorial (Ninaivagam) in Sriperumbudur, Chennai

    1. I was too young to remember his days as PM. But yeah, this place has been maintained very well…

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  1. Rajesh,

    Your post is descriptive & very good. I am not a huge fan of Rajeev Gandhi. Though he did not ask to be PM, he did not deserve to be one either. Democracy and dynasty don’t go together.

    1. But in India, we have had dynasties for millenniums together! Maybe we are just not able to come out of that mindset…

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  2. We had been crossing this area so many times in the past years but never entered to view the memorial. Thanks for the beautiful pictures with description, D.I.

    1. That’s exactly what I was thinking when I went there! Fortunately, this time I went in my bike so I could stop and go inside! You should go inside – its very neatly maintained…

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    1. There’s also a very big lawn and it is well maintained too… I don’t understand why they want to check our belongings before allowing us inside this place now!

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