At a distance of 3 km from Chennai Central Railway Station, MGR Memorial is a memorial structure situated within the picturesque surroundings of the Marina Beach in Chennai. It is one of the popular places of sightseeing in Chennai.
The memorial was built in the memory of M.G. Ramachandran, India's first actor cum chief minister and that too for three consecutive terms until his death. Considered as one of the greatest political leaders and actors of the state, his followers idolize him as Puratchi Thalaivar (Revolutionary leader). He was honoured with Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of India after his death. Spread over 8.25 acres, the memorial is located adjacent to the Anna Memorial and has the highest number of visitors along the seafront.
The memorial was built in 1988 and was inaugurated by Janaki Ramachandran, wife of M. G. Ramachandran, in May 1990. The memorial was remodeled and the whole complex was laid with marbles and opened in 1992 by J. Jayalalitha when she became the chief minister of the state of Tamil Nadu. It was designed by Architect Mr. K. Ramachandran, retired chief architect of PWD, Tamil Nadu. The body of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha is also buried at this site.
The memorial is surrounded with open areas of grass, beautiful pathways, and a splendid water fountain with the long stretch of Marina Beach as the backdrop. Initially, the memorial facade was essentially a tall entry arch greeting with folded hands. Post renovation of the memorial in 2012, the facade was replaced with a concrete replica of the two leaf emblem, which is the official symbol of the AIADMK party founded by Dr. Ramachandran. The facade was also given a Grecian touch with the erection of a 12 fee high bronze sculpture of Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology.
The memorial also houses a museum at the northern side of its campus. An ever burning lamp inside the memorial stands in the great man's memory.
Timings: 6 AM - 9 PM