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Art and Culture in Bangkok

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Wat Arun
Wat Arun, locally known as Wat Chaeng, is situated on the west (Thonburi) bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is easily one of the most stunning temples in Bangkok, not only because of its riverside location, but also because the design is very different to the other temples you can visit in Bangkok. Wat Arun (or temple of the dawn) is partly made up of colourfully decorated spires and stands majestically over the water. Wat Arun is almost directly opposite Wat Pho, so it’s very easy to get to. From Saphan Taksin boat pier you can take a riverboat that stops at Pier 8. From here, a small shuttle boat takes you from one side of the river to the other.
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The Artist House
The Artist's House (The Artist's House) is a centuries-old house turned gallery in Thonburi, across the Chao Phraya River. Owned by Khun Chumpol Akkapantanon, it’s an excellent spot to escape from the city’s modern buildings and hectic traffic for a day. Baan Silapin (and its neighbourhood) dates back to the 1800s. A boardwalk leading to the gallery is lined with shops, cafes, local restaurants, and a temple. You can also spot many unusual and human-sized statues painted in white, red and black sitting by the water. The Artist's House has a tall, white stupa dating back to the Ayutthaya period standing in the backyard. You can see plenty of traditional paintings, masks and, puppets throughout the building. It’s most popular for hosting traditional Thai puppet shows, where intricately-made puppets are manipulated by artists dressed in black. Shows take place on a small wooden stage every day at 2pm, except Wednesdays. It’s a good idea to call in advance as the theatre sometimes performs in other parts of the city, usually during special events.
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Asiatique The Riverfront
Asiatique successfully combines 2 of the most popular shopping experiences in the city: a night bazaar and a mall. Around 10 minutes downriver from Saphan Taksin BTS station, this once-bustling international trade port transformed into a huge replica warehouse complex with over 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants. Open from 5pm, spending an evening here is no problem: you’ll have good fun browsing the boutiques, picking up gifts or something for yourself. You’re also guaranteed to find something you’d like to eat and if this isn’t enough entertainment, nightly highlights range from Calypso ladyboy cabarets to classic Thai puppet shows.
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National Museum of Cambodia
The National Museum of Cambodia houses one of the world's greatest collections of Khmer cultural material including sculpture, ceramics and ethnographic objects from the prehistoric, pre-Angkorian, Angkorian and post-Angkorian periods. The main activities of the National Museum of Cambodia include exhibiting, safeguarding and promoting understanding of Cambodia’s cultural and artistic treasures. Keeping objects safe and working to ensure the repatriation of pieces stolen from Cambodia are important aspects of the museum’s work, particularly as looting and illicit export of cultural material are a continuing concern. In addition, the Museum strives to engage its visitors through its exhibitions and to fulfil its role as an integral part of the community. The Museum believes that Cambodia’s cultural heritage is of great value and can provide a source of pride and identity to the Cambodian people who have lost so much in recent decades. The availability of multilingual Museum tour guides and Publications, as well as the Museum’s public library, all serve to increase the accessibility of the collection both for local and international visitors.
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Chalong Temple
Wat Chalong, the largest, most revered and most visited Buddhist temple in Phuket was built at the beginning of the 19th century, 1837 according to some sources. Chalong Temple (officially Wat Chaiyatararam) is one of the Must-See places in Phuket, together with the nearby Big Buddha of Phuket as they are relatively close to each other. The tallest building on the grounds of Wat Chalong is a 60 meters tall stupa (chedi) sheltering a bone fragment of Lord Buddha. Walls and ceilings of the temple are decorated with beautiful painting retracing the most significant steps of Buddha’s life. Each floor is also full of large donated golden statues. Wat Chalong Chedi is built on three floors so feel free to climb all the way to the top floor terrace to get a beautiful bird view on the entire temple grounds. Few more steps will lead you to a glass display where the fragment of bone can be contemplated.
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Phuket Big Buddha
Big Buddha Phuket is a 45-meter-tall white marble statue visible from anywhere in the southern part of Phuket. It is probably at the top of everyone’s ‘Must-Do in Phuket‘, and for a good reason. The views from up there are breathtaking. The statue is built with people’s donation and is still under construction. If you feel like doing something to help to finish the broad base of the Buddha, you can sponsor a piece of white marble for 300 to 1,000 baht depending on the size. Phuket Big Buddha started in 2002 as the foundation stone was laid by General Phijit Kulawanich, Privy Councilor on May 22, 2002. The official name is ‘Phraphutthamingmongkhol-akenagakhiri Buddha’ that translates as “Happiness on top of Nakerd mountain”
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Galerie Quynh
Spending time with Quynh Pham, founder and director of Galerie Quynh, is always a delightful experience, and highly recommended as a starting point for one’s expedition into Saigon’s dynamic art scene. Her eyes alight with passion during one-on-one tours. For more than a decade, Galerie Quynh has been Saigon’s leading art space, championing the country’s most established and emerging artists.
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Saigon Opera House
The Saigon Opera House in Ho Chi Minh is an elegant colonial building at the intersection of Le Loi and Dong Khoi Street in District 1, very close to the famous Notre Dame Cathedral and the classic Central Post Office. The restored three-storey 800-seat Opera House was built in 1897 and is used for staging not only opera but also a wide range of performing arts including ballet, musical concerts, Vietnamese traditional dance and plays. Performances are advertised around the building and information can be found in the state-operated tourist information centre close by. The exterior has the appearance of polished pearl and makes a great place to photograph – especially at night when bathed in a soft, orange light. The entrance is through a vaulted archway that is kept in immaculate condition; inside, expect swathes of red velvet, classical friezes and hardwood floors. Although the official name of the building is The Municipal Theatre of Ho Chi Minh it is by far more commonly known as the Saigon Opera House and after the restoration work in 1995, the building is just as it was at the turn of the 19th Century.
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Artinus 3D Art Museum
Artinus 3D Art Museum is an interactive art gallery, which gives it visitors a truly wonderful experience in the magic of 3D. This museum has more than 100 different 3D paintings, created by Korean artists. The artworks are created in a way that the visitors can step inside them and be part of some stunning 3D scenes. You will be amazed by all the optical illusions on display and surely have the chance of taking many pictures which will blow your friends’ minds. You can be trapped in a bottle, fight with a dragon and much more. Among the nine zones are the wildlife world, ancient Egypt, Renaissance art, Oceans and, of course, Vietnam. The Artinus 3D Art Museum is not overcrowded and therefore gives its visitors the time to enjoy the art and take pictures at their leisure.
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De Dong Hoi Citadel
De Dong Hoi Citadel - is located in the centre of town. It is a complex of high fences and towers. A citadel is a fortress that dominates the city. This fort had to defend the king and the capital from the Nguyen dynasty defend since 1630. The citadel is 1,500 meters away from the Nhat Le beach and it is adjacent to the Nhat Le River on the east side and the forest on the west side. Only two gates and a moat remain of the citadel. You can climb up in the gates, but inside you will find syringes and burnt debris. Dong Hoi citadel has played an important position in many periods of history. In 1885 the French army attacked the citadel, but the people and soldiers of Dong Ha defended the citadel well and won the battle triumphant, that's why the French had to withdraw. During the war between Vietnam and France in 1945-1954, the locals also made several attacks on the citadel. Nowadays there is no more war in Vietnam, but the beautiful Dong Hoi citadel is still alive as an honourable symbol of the brave country. It draws many visitors from all places in Vietnam and around the world.
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Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture
With their roots dating back as far as 192 AD, Vietnam's indigenous Cham people lived an Indian way of life in both culture and language. The Cham Museum in Danang is dedicated to this period and the Champa existence which began predominantly in the coastal areas of Vietnam. Housing the largest exhibition of Cham sculpture in the world, the museum displays almost 300 terracotta and stone works of art ranging from the 7th to the 15th centuries. Many of the exhibits are considered masterpieces of their field showcased according to the region in which they were found with a total of ten separate interior exhibition rooms. All of the sculptures on display fall into one of the following sections – icon, pedestal, pediment, or fragment, with the area in which they were found determining where they are exhibited. When you've finished browsing the internal creations, step outside to appreciate the building itself carefully crafted with objects of worship including idols and holy animals surrounded by flowers, leaves and turrets all symbols of Hinduism.
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Bat Trang
Bat Trang, traditional porcelain and pottery village with a history of seven centuries is an interesting attraction in Hanoi that tourists should not ignore. Bat Trang, the seven-century old pottery village, is an interesting attraction in Hanoi that tourists should not ignore. Bat Trang ceramics are produced for daily household use (bow, cup, plates, pot, bottle…), worshipping, or decoration purposes. Nowadays, the pottery artists bring into ceramics many innovations in production techniques, and creativity in products’ features, hence many new products have been born, and even daily household items may have the beauty like decoration ones. Visiting Bat Trang, tourists can take a walk or join a buffalo tour for sightseeing and shopping. Besides many ceramic stores along the road in the village, tourists should visit Bat Trang Porcelain and Pottery Market where they can directly make pottery products by themselves. Many youngsters and foreign tourists are interested in in this pottery- making experience, and spend a whole day in the market to make a gift for family or friends.
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Temple Of Literature
The Temple of Literature is often cited as one of Hanoi’s most picturesque tourist attractions. Originally built as a university in 1070 dedicated to Confucius, scholars and sages, the building is extremely well preserved and is a superb example of traditional-style Vietnamese architecture. This ancient site offers a lake of literature, the Well of Heavenly Clarity, turtle steles, pavilions, courtyards and passageways that were once used by royalty. Visiting the Temple of Literature you will discover historic buildings from the Ly and Tran dynasties in a revered place that has seen thousands of doctors’ graduate in what has now become a memorial to education and literature. Originally the university only accepted aristocrats, the elite and royal family members as students before eventually opening its doors to brighter ‘commoners’. Successful graduates had their names engraved on a stone stele which can be found on top of the stone turtles.
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Hanoi Opera House
The beautiful Hanoi Opera House was built in 1911 by the then ruling French. It’s a phenomenal piece of neo-classical French architecture featuring Gothic themes on the doors and domes with pillars, shuttered windows, balconies and a glass room. Musicians, actors and dancers play to a 600-strong audience delivering powerful operatic and classical performances, making it a very popular theatrical attraction. The Hanoi Opera House is the biggest theatre in Vietnam and speaks volumes as historical and cultural evidence of Vietnam under French rule. The interior is even more magnificent than the exterior with many arguing it is aesthetically even more appealing than the Paris Opera House. Visitors today will be entertained at this architectural landmark which features a range of events including local Vietnamese opera, traditional folk music, ballets and many international concerts.
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Water Puppet Theatre
The world-famous Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi has its roots in an art form that dates back to the 11th century. The tradition of water puppet theatre stems from a time when rice paddy fields were flooded and villagers would make entertainment by standing in the waist-deep water with the puppets performing over the water. Using large rods to support the puppets it appeared as if they were moving across the water with the puppeteers hidden behind a screen. This tradition is unique to North Vietnam but has recently found fame on stages all over the world; so it’s a rare treat to see the puppets perform in their original location at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. Performances are accompanied by a Vietnamese orchestra playing traditional music using drums, wooden bells, horns, bamboo flutes and cymbals. There are also authentic Vietnamese operatic songs telling the story that is being acted out by the puppets. Most of the shows recount Vietnamese folk tales and legends with topics including the celebration of the rice harvest depicted in a humorous fashion.
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Bach Ma Temple
Bach Ma Temple is believed to be the oldest temple in Hanoi. This Buddhist temple was originally built in the ninth century by King Ly Thai To in honour of Bach Ma. According to a sign inside the temple, originally the site of the temple was Long Do Mountain. The temple was moved to its current location in the Old Quarter of Hanoi in the 18th century, during the Ly Dynasty, to guard the east side of Thang Long. The translation of Bach Ma is ́White Horse ́ and this refers to a story behind the construction of the Temple. King Ly Thai To had been struggling to build the temple as its walls kept collapsing. It is said that a white horse delineated the best area to build the temple with its hooves to help the king in constructing the temple.
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Bank Negara Museum & Art Gallery
A museum on money established by the country’s central bank, the Bank Negara Malaysia located in the Sasana Kijang Complex. Here you can learn all about money through interactive and computerised games, as well as interesting facts and information on money. There is an Economics Gallery, Islamic Finance Gallery, Numismatics Gallery and Children’s Gallery. You will also be able to view the Central Banks art collection of renowned Malaysian contemporary artists in the Art Gallery. Guided tours can also be arranged for groups of visitors from schools, universities and non-profit organisation.
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Musical Fountain
This musical fountain is located at the esplanade outside Suria KLCC. It is programmed to provide 150 magical dramatic animations. The total effect is a light hearted and gregarious atmosphere.
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Kota Iskandar Johor
Kota Iskandar, Johor State Administrative Centre was opened in April 2009 and is now one of the must see places in Johor. Inspired by Moorish-Andalusian and Johor Malay designs and motifs, Kota Iskandar is Malaysia’s first Experiential Parliament where visitors through our guided tours will be allowed the chance to enter Johor’s beautiful state parliament hall and immersed in Johor’s rich culture and history while understanding the symbolisms and abstract interpretations in true style and splendour of Kota Iskandar- Johor’s Living Legacy.
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National Museum of Singapore
If you have time to visit only one place to learn about the history and culture of Singapore, this is probably it. The National Museum of Singapore tells you the intriguing story of this country in a manner that is both fun and rewarding. Imagine standing in the midst of a vast darkened space surrounded by a massive video montage showing everyday life in Singapore while a rousing symphony plays in the background. That’s just a taste of the immersive experience you can expect here. The museum hosts a dynamic range of events throughout the year—from art installations and festivals to performances and film screenings—in addition to presenting exhibitions involving historically and culturally important collections of artifacts. One of the latest immersive art installations – Story of the Forest by teamLab allows visitors to experience the treasured collections of the Museum being brought to life through a spectacular digital presentation.
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MINT Museum of Toys
MINT Museum of Toys houses a world-class collection of vintage toys and collectible items in an international award-winning contemporary building on 26 Seah Street. Since its inauguration, the museum has expanded its collection, amassing over 50,000 items, 8000 of which are on display in the museum. The toys and items hail from over 40 countries and range in date from the 1840s to 1970s. These are displayed across the rooftop, basement and 4 thematic levels of the museum: Outerspace, Characters, Childhood Favourites and Collectables. The collection is made up of various key collections, including Batman, Dan Dare, Japanese character and space-related toys, and collectibles. In addition to toys, the museum houses a collection of confectionary vintage tin boxes, large-item displays, such as Mobo horses and pedal cars, as well as original enamel advertising signs. Over the years, these have been incorporated into various exhibitions and programs run by the museum, serving as windows into the past as well as inspirations for the present. Today, the MINT Museum of Toys serves diverse and expanding audiences, including tourists, families, collectors, artists, and students. It continues to fascinate and inspire the imaginations of audiences, taking them on a journey of rediscovery to rekindle that Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys (MINT).
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National Gallery Singapore
Situated in Singapores Civic District, the Gallery consists of two national monuments, the former Supreme Court Building and City Hall, and has a combined floor area of 64,000 square metres, making it the largest visual arts venue and largest museum in Singapore
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Thian Hock Keng Temple
Beautifully restored, Thian Hock Keng Temple, which is dedicated to Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea, is the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore. Built-in 1839 with the support of prominent members of the Hokkien community, such as philanthropist Tan Tock Seng, Thian Hock Keng Temple is Singapore's oldest Chinese temple. Dedicated to Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea, early Chinese immigrants came here to give thanks for their safe passage across the vast waves of the South China Sea. At the temple, take in the remarkable architecture in the traditional southern Chinese style. Keep an eye out for the detailed carvings and sculptures of dragons, phoenixes, and deities, as well as the colorful broken porcelain on the roof ridges, a Fujian decorating technique. Amazingly, not a single nail was used in the original construction of the temple, which is now a gazetted national monument and managed by the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan.
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Ahsan Manzil
Ahsan Manzil is an attractive tourist spot in Dhaka. It is one of the most meaningful architectural heritage of Bangladesh. It is situated in Old Dhaka on the bank of the river Buriganga. The area is called Kumartuli in Islampur. Here you you’ll enjoy the feeling of the lifestyle of the Nawabs of Dhaka. The pink palace was actually built by Nawab Sir Abdul Gani in 1872, and was reconstructed after the tornado of 1888. Now it has been established as a museum. It is an epitome of the nation's rich cultural heritage. Todays renovated Ahsan Manjil a monument of immense historical beauty. It has 31 rooms with a huge dome atop which can be seen from miles around. It now has 23 galleries in 31 rooms displaying of traits, furniture and household articles and utensils used by the Nawab.
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Bangladesh National Museum
National Museum is the biggest museum in Bangladesh and one of the largest museums in South Asia. It has several departments like archaeology, classical, decorative and contemporary art, history, natural history, ethnography and world civilization of displays. It has a rich collection of paintings, old coins, metal images, world famous embroidered quilts (Nakshi kantha) and much more. You can also find valuable articles of the heroic liberation war here. The Museum is noted for its collection of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin and works of other contemporary artists.
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Reed Flute Cave
The cave got its name from the verdant reeds growing outside it, with which people make flutes. Inside the cave is a spectacular world of various stalactites, stone pillars and rock formations created by carbonate deposition. Illuminated by colored lighting, the fantastic spectacle is found in many variations along this 240-meter-long cave.
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Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street
Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street in Liwan District, Guangzhou, is one of the busiest commercial pedestrian streets in China. Located in the old town of Xiguan, the 1,218-meter-long street is lined with more than 300 shops.
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Sacred Heart Cathedral
The cathedral, 35 meters wide, 78.69 meters long, and its twin towers 58.5 meters high is the largest Roman Catholic church in the Gothic style in China and Southeast Asia. It is sometimes referred to as 'Notre-Dame de Paris' in the East. Sacred Heart Cathedral, or Stone House, a Roman Catholic cathedral, is one of the oldest churches in Guangzhou and the largest of its kind in Southern China. Located on the north bank of the Pearl River, the church stands in the heart of the busy old town. The cathedral was consecrated in 1888 after 25 years of construction. The construction of the cathedral turned out to be very challenging. None of the Chinese workers at that time had seen a western cathedral before, let alone built one. It was also tough for them to communicate with the French clergy who commissioned the building.
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Yuexiu Park
Yuexiu Park, named after Yuexiu Mountain, built in 1952, is the biggest comprehensive sight-seeing park.
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Night tour of the Pearl River
The Pearl River is the third longest river in China with a length of more than 2,000 kilometers. The river is composed of four separate river systems, which join up in Guangzhou, flow for about 70 kilometers, and then pour into the South China Sea.
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Lamma Island
It is one of the very few places in Hong Kong that still hangs on to its old fishery ancestry customs and traditions and a real treat to visit any time of the year. It is hard to imagine that only 20 short minutes away from the sparkling skyscrapers and maelstrom of Central, you can find yourself in a different kind of sparkle: Gleaming white sand beaches with crystal clear blue waters; Contrasting brilliant green hills; Sleepy fishing villages; Fantastic fresh seafood in the waterfront... Whether for a day or only a few hours, Lamma Island is a great option for an escape from the tumult of the city. There are no vehicles or public transport here, except for service vehicles. It's either walking or bikes... a nice change of pace!
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Udayagiri and Khandagiri
The caves, 6 km from West of Bhubaneswar city centre, were chiseled out for the ascetic Jain monks, also has some inscriptions describing the exploits of king Kharavel.
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Avenue of Stars
With the best waterfront view of the harbor and convenient transportation, millions come every year for the skyline, harbor and mountain scenery, to watch the daily Symphony of Lights, and catch the fireworks shows on various holidays such as New Years. The Avenue of Stars Hong Kong is probably the most popular area of Victoria Harbour. Victoria Harbour is the most popular area of Hong Kong for tourists, and Hong Kong is by far the most popular city for tourism in the world. So the Avenue of Stars promenade is one of the most popular places in the whole world!
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Victoria Harbour
Discover the heart of Hong Kong — Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour is probably the most popular tourist area in the world! Find out why, and how to enjoy it! Victoria Harbour is an almost ideally naturally sheltered channel between Hong Kong Island and the Hong Kong mainland. The channel is deep enough for the biggest ships and sheltered by the high mountains on Hong Kong Island from storm winds. It is also naturally curved like a semicircle around the north shore of Hong Kong Island so that high waves are blocked out. Islands to the east and south and a narrow opening on the eastern inlet further shelter the harbor. This sheltered area was one of the British Empire's biggest military and trading ports, and it is now both the world's premier tourist area and one of the world's busiest commercial ports. Two big cruise ship ports bring in tens of thousands of eager shoppers and sightseers each year, and the transportation connections to the harbor area are among the world's best and quickest. The new tourist attractions and facilities really interest tourists and make the harbor area more ideal for combining shopping, recreation, cultural experiences, and education together for an enjoyable trip.
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Wong Tai Sin Temple
As one of Hong Kong’s most famous and popular temples, Wong Tai Sin Temple is not only famous among locals, but also very well-known among Chinese from all around the world. This has mainly to do with the history and myths behind this unique temple.
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Vivekananda House
Tudor Ice Company was built in 1842 to store ice blocks. From then it is being called as Ice House even after the company’s closure. Bilagiri Iyengar, a noted Lawyer bought it in 1885 and named it “Castle Kernan” in honour of his Justice friend. Vivekananda stayed at the Ice House between 6 February 1897 to 14 February 1897. Every year this event is celebrated as Vivekananda Nava Rathiri. The pujas and festivals performed by the Ramakrishna Mutt were shifted to New Mutt premises in Mylapore. But the premises continued to be the Memorial of Swami Vivekananda. Later the Government took over the building in 1930. In 1963, on his birth centenary, it was renamed as Vivekanandar House. In 1999, on Centenary of Swamiji’s return to India from the United States, the house was renovated and opened a fresh by the then Chief Minister.
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