Explore Kerala's ancient heritage with the new Muziris passport

A passport system and a dedicated website are among the various plans afoot to attract tourists.
Synagogue at Chendamangalam
Synagogue at Chendamangalam Photo | Express

KOCHI: Within three to six months, tourists visiting Kerala will get to chart a course through history, just like how people in the past did. With nearly all 35 Muziris heritage projects nearing completion, and the last seven of them expected to be completed within six months, visitors will get to explore the more than 3,000-year-old culture and traditions of the state.

A passport system and a dedicated website are among the various plans afoot to attract tourists. “Passport is another interesting project launched for the tourists,” says Muziris Heritage Project managing director Manoj Kumar Kini.

He says visiting the entire 51 sites under the Muziris project would take three days. “At the start of the trip, the visitors will be issued a passport, the pages of which can be filled with photographs of the places they visit. The passport has a validity of six months. Those who visit all 51 Muziris sites will be made the Muziris brand ambassador and awarded medals,” he says.

While a lot is happening under the Muziris Heritage Project, Kini says various factors have contributed to the delay in completing the seven projects. “The Chavittu Nattakam Museum at Gothuruthu has dragged on as the priests are yet to vacate the space earmarked for the museum. Once that is done, everything will happen quickly. In case of the Cheraman Juma Masjid Islamic History Museum, the work can move ahead only after the namaz area is cleared. The masjid authorities are constructing one, and once they shift, the work will proceed. It is expected to be finished in three months,” he says.

There have been some hiccups in big projects like the Maritime Heritage Museum and the mobile application aimed at the global traveller. “In the case of the maritime museum project, some issues regarding land acquisition caused a delay while some payment-related concerns delayed the launch of the app. However, both issues are being sorted out and the app will be launched soon,” Kini says.

The Pattanam Museum has been handed over to the Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR), he says. “They are the ones spearheading the Pattanam excavations and have a treasure trove of ancient artefacts and relics. These will be placed on display in the museum,” Kini pointed out.

Detailing the Muziris project, Kini says, “All the sites are connected through waterways. These projects have been envisaged as living museums. Something alive, and the experience too is very life-like.”

He says a good crowd of domestic tourists is arriving at these sites. “We also want the fame of Muziris to spread outside the state and country,” he adds.

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The New Indian Express