PM Modi Continues His Tapas at Vivekananda Rock

Kanyakumari: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 45-hour meditation on the Vivekananda Rock Memorial that began on Thursday continued with the performance of ‘Surya Arghya’ ritual during sunrise that was spectacularly on view from the place of his stay, but which inconvenienced tourists landing at the rock memorial on Friday.

Photographs of Modi meditating in front of the statue of Swami Vivekananda and videos of him performing the ‘Surya Arghya’ ritual and offering prayers with folded hands even as the sun was rising from the Bay of Bengal on the eastern horizon were released on social media by the BJP.

In one video clip titled ‘Sunrise, Surya Arghya, Spirituality,’ posted on X by the BJP, showed Modi standing on the edge of the rock memorial facing the reddish rising sun and performing the ritual by pouring water from a small traditional vessel into the vast expanse of the ocean before him. He is also seen praying with folded hands, with a chain of prayer beads in his hands.

Modi is scheduled to conclude his meditation on the rock by Saturday evening, take a ferry to mainland Kanyakumari and reach the helipad by road. He would fly in a Mi-17 Air Force helicopter to Thiruvananthapuram and take his special flight from there.

Though the number of tourists at the land’s end, which is one of the few spots from where the sun rising from and setting into the sea can be viewed, was less than usual in view of the perception that their movements would be restricted, the counters of Poompuhar Shipping Corporation that operates the ferry service to the rock from the mainland opened at 8 am, much to the jubilation of tourists.

Since the ferry service was stopped on Thursday afternoon as the Prime Minister arrived at Kanyakumari by an Air Force helicopter from Thiruvananthapuram, where he flew in from Punjab after wrapping up his campaign, the opening of the counters on Friday morning was a welcome sign for the tourists who had gone there to check it out.

But only those with Aadhaar cards were allowed to board the ferry, that too after intense frisking and security checks. After they reached the rock memorial, they were not allowed to enter the central and meditation halls that were being used by the Prime Minister for his meditation.

Soon, at the behest of the security personnel, the boat service counters were closed around 11.45 am and those who were already on the rock were hurriedly ferried back to the mainland.

Though shops and other commercial establishments on mainland Kanyakumari, including those along the shore, were open, and people were allowed to visit the beach for witnessing sunrise and sunset after a thorough security check, the number of visitors to the popular tourist-cum-pilgrim town in general was less than normal.

According to a state tourism department official, the number of tourists went down from the regular average of 25,000 visitors a day to less than 10,000 since Thursday.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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