President to open Muziris Project on 27 Feb
The first phase of Muziris Heritage Project, a tourism initiative to conserve the ancient seaport's heritage would be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee on 27 February. The project would showcase and recreate the ancient seaport's heritage which was supposedly lost in the 14th century Periyar floods. More than Rs.100 crores have been put into the first phase of the biggest tourism project in Kerala.
What is Muziris?
Muziris is an ancient seaport which is believed to have existed since the 1st century BC in Kerala. It was one of the key ports for foreign trade from where spices, precious gems, metals, silk, etc. were exported to other empires. As a part of the Muziris Heritage-Project, excavations were carried out to discover various artifacts which depict the civilization of that age.
Various artifacts unearthed
Artifacts like coins, clothes, tools, inscriptions, weapons, utensils, etc. were discovered in the excavations carried out by Kerala Tourism. Also, a complete human skeleton was found for the first time in India at Muziris.
Kerala Tourism gets award for Muziris Heritage Project
Kerala Tourism won an award for the second-time from the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in the 'Heritage and Culture' category for Muziris Heritage Project, beating 269 entries contending for the award. The Macau Government Tourism Office sponsors the award which recognizes the achievements of individuals and organizations in tourism. Kerala Tourism bagged another PATA award earlier, in 2014 for its Responsible Tourism initiative.
Existence of other cultures
A Portuguese fort was also uncovered in the process of excavation. Chinese inscriptions, coins and porcelain; Dutch coins and tiles; Arabian pottery works, etc. are the evidence to prove the existence of other cultures in the past.
Pioneer effort to showcase intellectual heritage
Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR) announced that it would conserve, showcase and document the old, traditional board-games in the Muziris children museum. The museum would have a separate board-game section where excavated Roman games would be showcased, and efforts would be made to give children a hands-on experience of the games. This is a pioneering initiative to create a collection of ancient heritage.
Kerala Tourism violates MoU clauses
A prominent stakeholder for the Muziris Heritage project, Krishnabalan Paliath of Paliam Eswara Seva Trust accused Kerala Tourism of their project being incomplete with just a few days left before inauguration. According to Paliath, Kerala Tourism violated many clauses in the MoU signed with Paliam Trust, which was later terminated forcibly. A tourism official also stated that about 30% of the project is pending.
India’s first Gender Park to be opened
President Pranab Mukherjee would inaugurate the first Gender Park in India on 27 February during his Kerala visit. The park would cover the issues of all three genders and promote gender equality.