The former President of India (Lt) Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam
The former President of India (Lt) Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam

An Homage To Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam

A trip to Rameshwaram is incomplete without a visit to our former President (Lt) Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam's home

He was and is still known as the Missile Man of India, a man of vision, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam was one true gem that this country of ours lost on July 27, 2015, in Shillong Meghalaya. Counting feathers in his cap would take a while, so to name a few&mdashhe was India's 11th President (2002-2007), a Bharat Ratna recipient, a People's President, an aerospace scientist at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and was the most popular and loved name in the country. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was from the small island town of Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu. Today, a visit to Rameshwaram would be incomplete without a visit to the House of Kalam, the former president's ancestral home now converted into a museum for all to see the series of events and achievements that made him the person that he was. Located on the Mosque Street, House of Kalam is undoubtedly one of the most popular attractions in Rameshwaram. At present, House of Kalam is under the care of his family and is open to public Monday through Friday, from 8am to 7pm and the admission to the museum comes for a minimal cost of @INR 5 per person. The museum stays closed on the weekends.

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam's Memorial in Pei Karumbu (Rameshwaram) is another place one must visit. The memorial was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 27, 2017 and is situated on the gravesite of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. The 2.11 acres memorial was the brainchild of The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). 

My recent visit to Rameshwaram on December 22, 2018, was quite different from my very first visit to this temple town, more than a decade ago. Then it was a mere visit to a beautiful and offbeat destination somewhere in south India surrounded by water everywhere. This time, as I was crossing the Pamban Road Bridge, the only overland connection between the island town and the rest of the country, I was armed with a lot more information about the destination and most importantly, I knew that this time I was visiting the place Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, an inspiration to many youths, called home. The welcoming view of the blue sea, the wooden fishing boats that ruled the water, a busy sea-side village and that gentle sea breeze, indeed all these portrayed the calm and collected mind of that great person we all dearly miss. 

Outlook Traveller