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 utilization 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.
Realizing the cultural significance of this ancient maritime trade route, Kerala Tourism has launched the ‘Spice Route’ tourism initiative linking 41 countries in Asia and Europe with India, particularly Kerala. The President also released a coffee table book on the Spice Route, which in first-ever by a tourism board, is also available on Kindle. Delivering the Presidential address, Hon’ble Governor of Kerala Justice P Sathasivam said through the Spice Route project, Kerala Tourism is opening new opportunities to researchers and students in reinventing the rich cultural history of Kerala as a major hub of spice trade in the world.