President Unveils Kerala’s Ambitious Heritage Project To Revive The Forgotten Port of Muziris

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President Pranab Mukherjee, who was on a visit to Kerala recently, inaugurated India’s largest heritage conservation project in Thrissur district’s Kodungalloor. The Muziris Heritage Project was started six years ago by the Kerala government to conserve historical monuments and museums in the area and to also boost tourism.

It highlights the historical and cultural significance of Muziris – the area which was once a bustling seaport and the heart of the spice route in 1st century BC.

This region used to be the key trade point between southern India and the rest of the world.

Muziris as shown in a 4th century map. Photo source: Wikimedia

Muziris, as shown in a 4th century map. Photo source: Wikimedia

It is here that foreigners would first arrive for trading.

“Pepper, precious stones, silk, beads, ivory and pottery were exported from here to west Asia and Rome in exchange for gold coins, glass, wine and wheat. For centuries, the land of Kerala mesmerised Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Arabs, Chinese, Roman and Greeks, welcoming them to come and trade and even settle,” said a press release from the Kerala Tourism Department.

The project aims to showcase a culture that is more than 3,000 years old.


Photo source: Kerala Tourism

“The spice trade and ancient ports in the State have created many islands of heritage and history within Kerala, but the tourist experiences have always been discrete. This is where the Muziris project offers the best of heritage tourism to global travellers,” the President said to The Hindu.

The project includes the development work at Chennamangalam palace, Cheraman Parambu, the synagogue and waterfront at north Paravur. The project is also supported by the Union government.

Archaeological monuments spread within 125 sq km across Thrissur and Ernakulam districts will also be conserved under the project.


Photo source: Kerala Tourism

In the first phase, the Kerala government plans to introduce cycle tours in the area. The government will also have air conditioned boats and water taxis to ferry people to Kodungalloor. There are plans to open food courts in the area.

The project is also significant due to its close link with the spice route initiative launched by Kerala Tourism with the support of UNESCO. This initiative aims to revive Kerala’s age-old trade ties with 41 countries of the world.

Story courtesy: Aparna Menon

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