Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge – History
Vivekananda House – A Landmark in Chennai, known for its distinct architectural features such as the circular core, the semicircular corridors, the hemispherical dome and the square plan.
Vivekananda House, aka Ice House, is an important architectural monument in Chennai, India, used by the British to store ice brought from North America for about 30 years.
Ice house in Madras (now named Chennai) was built by a British King, facing the Bay of Bengal in 1842, for his ice business which failed to do well. In 1880, the building was sold to an advocate. The house was remodelled and renamed as Castle Kernan after his friend, Kernan. He made Swami Vivekananda stay at the Ice House, during his visit in Madras in 1897, where he set up a centre of his monastery.
In 1914, Ice House was acquired by the Government of Madras and in 1963, during the Birth Centenary of Swami Vivekananda, the Government of Tamil Nadu renamed the historical Castle as Vivekanandar Illam (‘Illam’ means ‘house’ in Tamil language) or Vivekananda House.