The Kerala Tourism’s ambitious Muziris Heritage Project, a mammoth conservation undertaking based on archaeological findings on the ancient Spice Route linking India’s maritime contacts with contemporary ancient civilizations, was inaugurated by Hon’ble President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee here. The project should spread the message of Indian cosmopolitanism far and wide adding to the country’s soft power across the world, Shri Mukherjee said. “Kerala has through the ages demonstrated a remarkable ability to adapt to new traditions and values in every sphere of human thought and endeavour. Participation of people in planning and implementation of the project will further ensure full utilisation of the economic and employment prospects that growth in tourism will bring to the region,” he noted.
The project is an effort to conserve and showcase a culture that had existed for over 3000 years, when Kerala had established itself as a major centre of spice trade with the ancient port of Muziris as its hub. The port was the centre of trade between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean regions. Pepper, precious stones, silk, beads, Ivory and pottery were exported from here to West Asia and Rome in exchange of 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 do trade and even settle.