The Vivekananda House or the Vivekananda Illam is one of the attractions along the beach road. The place gains its historical significance from two main factors. Swami Vivekananda stayed here for a period of 9 days when he visited Chennai in 1897. To add to the attraction, there is a permanent exhibition on Swami Vivekananda that was established by the Chennai Branch of Ramakrishna Math. The place has another history attached to it which dates back to 1842. Constructed in 1842, this place was originally used to store ice blocks imported from USA by the Tudor Ice Company, which is why it holds another famous name - The Ice House. This went on until 1874 when they decided to produce ice locally. In 1885, the building was purchased by a Bilagiri Iyengar and named it "The Castle Kernon". The building was later taken over by the government in 1930 and in 1963 it came to be called the Vivekananda House. Books and photographs of the great Monk illustrating the historical happenings associated with his life and his own writings are on display and even sold in the museum.