Swami Vivekananda with Turban


Vivekananda House

Vivekananda House
Chennai, India

This photograph has been published as London, 1896. However, from all appearances it certainly seems to have been taken in Kolkata in 1897. It is said that having reached his motherland, Swamiji shaved his head during his nine-day stay in Chennai. The photographs of this period testify to this fact. It is obvious, even in this photo where Swamiji is pictured with a turban on, that he is shavenheaded. In this photograph (66) Swamiji looks the same as he does in the following group photo (67), minus the turban. Several notices appeared in the Indian newspapers about both photographs, 66 and 67. The March 4, 1897, issue of The Statesman and Friend of India had this advertisement: SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: The Art Workers’ League, 34, College St., have taken two photographs of Swami Vivekananda. One [66] is a cabinet-size photograph of the swami, who is dressed in a long chapkanlike garment, but wearing a puggree much after the style of a Chennai. The other is a group picture [67] of the swami and his disciples, which include Mr. & Mrs. Xavier [sic] and Mr. Goodwin, who have arrived from England. Both photographs are clear and distinct, and indeed, very well developed.7 The Bengalee paper ran this notice in its July 24, 1902, issue: PHOTOS OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: With reference to an announcement made sometime ago in these columns about the photos of Swami Vivekananda available at the Art Workers’ League at 56-1, Sukea’s Street [the manager’s address], we are informed that the bust of the swami is of simple cabinet-size and that the group (comprising both European gentlemen and ladies as well as Indian gentlemen) is in panel size or 12 x 10. The prices are Rs. 1 and Rs. 2 respectively.8 ❊ ❊ ❊ Be not afraid of anything. You will do marvelous work. The moment you fear, you are nobody. It is fear that is the great cause of misery in the world. It is fear that is the greatest of all superstitions. It is fear that is the cause of our woes, and it is fearlessness that brings heaven even in a moment. Therefore, “Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.” (CW [1973] 3:321)


  • Title: Swami Vivekananda with Turban
  • Date Created: 1897-02
  • Location: Klokata
  • Subject Keywords: Swami Vivekananda, Swami Vivekananda in Kolkata, Swami Vivekananda with turban
  • Type: Photograph
  • Publisher: Sri Ramakrishna Math & Mission, Belur Math
  • Rights: Sri Ramakrishna Math & Mission, Belur Math
  • Accession ID: Photograph 66

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