Built in the memory of Shri Kamaraj, the late chief minister
of Tamil Nadu, Kamaraj Memorial House is now a
permanent gallery that showcases photographs and personal effects of
Kamaraj who rose out of poverty to become the Chief Minister of
Tamil Nadu (elected to the post thrice). Kamaraj
Memorial House was inaugurated on 15th July 1978, by the then Chief
Minister M.G Ramachandran.
On the ground floor is the bedroom of this bachelor, whose austere living comes across so clearly in the plain furniture that occupies the room. Leaning over the railings, one can spot yellowed volumes of 'Lok Sabha Debates', '100 Modern Lives', 'Churchill' and 'Doctor Zhivago' amongst the books lined up in the well-stocked library. Obviously, having to discontinue his schooling did not stop him from becoming a well-read man.
The Photographs Of Shri Kamaraj
The Black and White photographs that adorn the walls of the dining hall cover Kamaraj's life across all stages - Kamaraj at the age of five, in his youth, in middle age and in the final years. Notable among the collection are pictures of his 1954 swearing-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, the first Kamaraj Ministry of 1954, the second of 1957 and the third of 1962.
Photographs of Kamaraj's public life show him rubbing shoulders with stalwarts like Jawarharlal Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, Sathyamurthy, Dr S. Radhakrishnan, Rajendra Prasad, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Periyar, M.G Ramachandran, Govind Vallabh Pant, Martin Luther King and Queen Elizabeth.
A Unique Collection
Several pictures showcase the leader in different moods: playing Cricket, hauling the rope in at a 'Tug of War' for the Legislator's Sports Meet, drenched under the Courtallam falls, supervising relief work for flood victims, chairing meetings, etc. Among the personal effects of Kamaraj that are on display are his spectacles, pens, a spool tape player and even a Gillette Shaving set used by him!
The second floor has displays of Kamaraj's several luxuriant Felicitation Shawls. In marked contrast are the displays of his own simple attire, his suitcases, timepiece, pens and utensils. Of special mention is the prison coat worn by him while serving term in prison in 1942.
Photographs on the second floor show several personalities paying homage to the dead leader. Among those pictured are Late Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi and veteran actor Shivaji Ganeshan. Especially impressive is the bird's eye view of the multitude, on Mount Road (Anna Salai), who accompanied the body of their leader on his last journey.
Timings: 9.00am to 6.00pm.
Air: Chennai has an airport with both domestic and
international terminals. Regular flights connect Chennai with the major
cities within the country and also with countries like USA, Singapore,
Rail: Chennai is well connected by rail with the important towns and cities within and beyond the state.
Road: State transport buses and private buses connect Chennai with the major towns and cities within the country. For local transportation local trains, city buses, auto rickshaws and taxis are available.
Being the capital city of the state, Chennai is well equipped with various kinds of accommodation options, varying from economic class to luxurious ones.