SRI PADA AND ROCK MEMORIAL
The mid-sea rock lying at a distance of about 600 meters off
the temple boasts of two imposing shrines, built to commemorate two great events of global significance.
It is an irregularly shaped rock with uneven surface. On the lower portion stands a modern edifice
built in the architectural design of Cholas. It is called the Sri Pada Mandapam enshrining the
holy imprints of the Virgin Goddess. It has three Prakarams and an impressive Vimanam.
The flag staff holding aloft the triangular saffron flag with symbol AU M in the
centre seems beckoning the sight-seers to reach the MOTHER's sannidhi by its constant fluttering.
There is a projection on surface of
the stone resembling human foot and it is surrounded by a Prakara. It is venerated as sripad; According
to legend, it is here the Virgin Goddess performed penance for gaining extraordinary
powers. There is a belief current in these parts that the original temple was
built on this rock, but it was abandoned due to the encroachment of sea in courses of
centuries. The present temple on the main land was built by some ruler of great fame
in the dim past.
Impressed by the puranic account,
or rather prompted by theistic urge, Swami Vivekananda ventured to reach it across the sea, thundering
with turbulent waves and infested with crocodiles by swimming. All alone! He had nothing
with him then to pay for the ferry-man. On reaching, he did penance for three
days sans food and was inspired to go to the west for spiritual conquest. He...did. He owes his
spectacular victory, needless to say to the MOTHER'S blessings. That remarkable feat brought undying
fame both to him and the country that gave birth to such illustrious son.