VIVEKANANDA Express, the train on wheels and a tribute to Swami Vivekananda on his 150th birth anniversary, which was flagged off from Howrah by Mamata Banerjee on January 12th, reached Thiruvananthapuram on July 3rd after covering several states. It will end its journey on January 12, 2013 at Kanyakumari after doing rounds in stations all over the country.
The train was welcomed at Thiruvananthapuram station by a large number of devotees led by former Union Minister O Rajagopal, Padma Shri P Parameswaran and saints of Ramakrishna Ashram who came as a procession from Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple. The train will cover major stations in Kerala in nine days before moving to Karnataka.
In the six coach train, pictures and articles regarding Swami Vivekananda’s childhood, education and travel around the world are depicted. Vivekananda’s meeting with Ramakrishna in 1881, the establishment of Ramakrishna Mission and their spiritual, educational and service activities are showcased. Rare photographs of Vivekananda’s ancestral house in Simla Street, the Baranagar Monastery, temple at Belur Math are displayed. The entire text of his epoch-making speech at the World’s Parliament of Religions at Chicago in 1893, photographs of the rousing reception to him at Sealdah Railway Station on his return, ariel photographs of Rock Memorial at Kanyakumari and Belur Math are inspirations to the youth.
The Maharaja of Travancore Padmanabha Dasa Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma and hundreds of children of Vivekananda study circle also visited the ‘Vivekananda Express’, not to speak of the continuous stream of visitors.