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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday inaugurated former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's memorial in Tamil Nadu's Ramananthapuram district. Modi also flagged off 'Kalam Sandesh Vahini', an exhibition bus which would travel across various states and reach Rashtrapati Bhavan on October 15, the 86th birth anniversary of the former President. The memorial at Pei Karumbu was built by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at an outlay of around Rs 16 crore in a year's time. Prior to cutting the ribbon and entering the memorial, Modi hoisted the national flag at the site. Inside the memorial Modi also unveiled the veena playing Kalam's statue, offered floral tributes and interacted with the family members of the former President, who hailed from Rameswaram.
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Modi also went around the memorial that architecturally has taken inspiration from several national landmarks. The entrance looks similar to India Gate, while the two domes are on the lines of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The memorial has four main halls, each depicting the life and times of Kalam. Hall-1 focuses on his childhood and educational phase; Hall-2 the Presidential days, including address to Parliament and the UN; Hall-3 his ISRO and DRDO days and Hall-4 his post-Presidential days till he breathed his last in Shillong.
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There is a separate section to exhibit some of the personnel belongings of Kalam, including his famous Rudra Veena, the G-suit he wore during his Su-30 MKI flight and numerous awards he received. Twelve walls have been utilised for murals and paintings. The entire area has been beautifully landscaped to reflect the peace and harmony aspect of Kalam's personality. The construction material and other accessories for the memorial have been shipped to Rameswaram from many parts of India.
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The crafted front doors are from Thanjavur; stone cladding from Jaisalmer and Agra; stone pillars from Bengaluru; marbles from Karnataka and murals from Hyderabad, Shanti Niketan, Kolkata and Chennai to name a few. Earlier, Modi flew down to Madurai where he was received by Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami and others. From Madurai he flew to Rameswaram.