KOCHI: With the state's heritage sites drawing international attention, a new research institute is in the pipeline for promoting studies related to the heritage of coastal Kerala.
Christened the Institute for Heritage Studies of Coastal Kerala (IHSCK), the establishment will be set up through the facilities provided by the Muziris Project Ltd (MPL). Its governing body will have 15 members, including the Tourism Minister who will be the chairman, the Culture Minister who will be the vice-chairman, four IAS officers and four MLAs of the constituencies where the Muziris Heritage Project is being carried out.
MPL managing director Nowshad P M confirmed IHSCK's association with the MPL. “We have started the procedure to appoint people who would head the institute. Applications have been invited. We will provide the facility for IHSCK's functioning. We have enough space at the Muziris International Research and Convention Centre in Kodungallur for the purpose,” Nowshad told 'Express'.
He said research activities at IHSCK will provide an insight into the rich culture, history and heritage of Coastal Kerala.
“Coastal regions of Kerala were in touch with more than 30 countries. The cultural exchange took place through trade activities. Various religions set foot in Kerala through the region. Excavations conducted at various sites there established the state's trade connection with European, Arab and South-Eastern countries,” Nowshad said.
With the government approving the Alappuzha and Thalassery heritage projects, there will be a wide scope for IHSCK to conduct research activities across the state's coastal regions. IHSCK will not be confined to studying the Muziris heritage, history and culture, but will focus on heritage across Kerala coast.
Experts associated with history and heritage studies have shown interest in associating with the Muziris project. “Several representatives and experts from foreign universities have visited Muziris sites and expressed their excitement upon seeing our conservation drive. They are ready to associate with us. Foreign universities, including those from the US and Europe have expressed interest in the project. Once IHSCK starts functioning, we can partner with other universities to study about foreign influence in our heritage,” Nowshad said.