Vivekananda Ashrama Center

I’ve walked past this building a thousand times during my stay here in Kuala Lumpur and I’ve always been fascinated by this pretty little building with the statue that always seems deserted. There is a gate around it and while the gate is almost always open, there has rarely ever been anyone inside the gate. The day I took this picture there was a guy walking out from the back, as well as the guy who walked in after me and started taking pictures, but other than that I’ve not ever seen anyone here. I’d always thought it was deserted. But, after finally remembering to write down the name of this place (photos are great for that), I was able to look it up and see what exactly this building is for.

The Vivekananda Ashrama Center was built in 1904 in response to a visit from Swami Vivekananda in June 1893 while on his way to tour the Western World. Swami Vivekananda was a spiritual disciple of Ramakrishna and brought Hinduism and yoga to the notice of the world during the 1893 Parliament of the World Religions in Chicago. This center was built in his honor and was used as a teaching center for his tenets. Today the building is used for spiritual education classes and prayer meetings, though not frequently. I found a newspaper article from March 15, 2004, talking about how the community should work to keep the Center from being moved elsewhere and from the looks of it, it has been moved and this building is just standing there as a reminder of what it once was.