Vivekananda Illam was originally known as Ice House. After being Christianized in the year 1963, the Ice House came to be known as Vivekananda Illam. This was in remembrance of Swami Vivekananda’s brief sojourn at this place. Even Historic lectures were delivered by him in the Vivekananda Illam Chennai. This drew mass attention; seven memorable lectures were delivered by him at this place.
The building that is presently known as Vivekananda Illam Chennai had been in the hands of the Tudor Ice Company which served as an Ice Storage. Since the devices used by this company were very modern, Ice did not met for a long time over here.
Afterwards in the year 1930, the Government decided to confiscate this building and henceforth it was taken away by the Chennai Government. The statue of Vivekananda has been installed at Chennai Vivekananda Illam and pilgrims from across the globe visit here to witness that bold bust.
Presently the Vivekananda Illam Chennai houses a rare and exquisite collection of photographs. The 150 photographs installed here serves as specimens of the rich and glorious Indian culture. The heritage monument of the Vivekananda Illam Chennai also exemplifies the magnificent tradition of India. The Vivekananda Illam Chennai is open from 9.00 am to 12.30 pm and also from 3.00 pm to 6.30 pm.
The Vivekananda Illam Chennai remains closed on Wednesdays. Swami Vivekananda stayed here or 9 days. He spent his time in meditating, praying and also meeting the visitors. This was in the year 1897. The Vivekananda Illam is located just 5 kilometers from Chennai along the Beach Road.
There are numerous other places of attraction near the Vivekananda Illam. These are Arjuna’s Penance, Kamaraj Memorial House, Sivaganga Palace, Rock Fort Temple and the Tanjavur Palace. One can feel the presence of this divine soul in every nook and corner of the Vivekananda Illam.