Muziris Heritage Project

Muziris Heritage project is a project that has been started by the Kerala Government. The aim of the project is to showcase the cultural and historical value of the Muziris which is considered as a legendary port. There are numerous monuments in this area that showcases the architectural marvel of the previous eras and that also brings to the light about the Historical growth.

Muziris Heritage Project

The project is different from other projects of this type as the support of the local community is also taken to make this project a grand success. The heritage site has been stretching towards Ernakulam from Chennamangalam, Chittatukara, Vadakekkara, and Pallippuram are the areas in Ernakulam area that is involved in this project and Kodungallur, Eriyad, Mathilakam and Sreenarayanapuram are the areas that is involved in the project from Kodungallur area. The present Government of Kerala has also decided to support the project there by continuing the works undertaken by the previous government.

The Salient Features of this Muziris Project

  1. The project is considered as one of the biggest heritage conservation project that India has undertaken.
  2. The project has been tagged as the first Green project that has been undertaken by the Government of Kerala.
  3. The project has got various government machinery working towards its success.
  4. The project has helped in the infrastructure growth of the area.
  5. There are research and academic institutions that are involved in support of the project.
  6. Lot of museums is part of this project and their number reaches more than 25.

What the Muziris Project Stands for

The project aims at building awareness and understanding of the cultural distinctiveness and the project aims at conserving the cultural assets so that future generations can learn a lot from it. The project aims at sustainable development throughout the area and the project makes sure that people have access to historical aspects. The heritage management will be integrated and there will be learning for it in the local media.

The Muziris

The Muziris was a port during the 1st century BC which was the active port during that era. There were trades with various nationalities and there was trade with the Jews, Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese, British, and many other travelers. There are several monuments during that era which need to be preserved for future. There are many buildings, have been built in the 18th century and in the 19th century that are available in Chendamangalam and Kodungallur.

We can find the remainings of the market, street, bridges, cemeteries and foot-ways along with the buildings from the Muziris era. We can find stunning display of buildings which has been built to get a panoramic view of the waterways surrounding it.

Heritage Sites Involved in the Muziris Project

  1. Pattanam Excavation Site
  2. Kottayil Kovilakom
  3. Vypeekotta Seminary
  4. Chennamangalam Jewish Synagogue
  5. Paliam Dutch Palace
  6. Paliam Nalukettu
  7. Gothuruthu
  8. Kottappuram Fort
  9. Cheraman Parambu
  10. Kizhthali Siva Temple
  11. Thiruvanchikulam Mahadeva Temple
  12. Cheraman Juma Masjid
  13. Kodungalloor Bhagavathi Temple
  14. Abdul Rahman Sahib’s House
  15. Marthoma Church
  16. Pallippuram Fort

Pattanam Area excavations

Pattanam means town and this place is situated approximately 8 kilometers to Kodungallur south and 25 kilometers to northern side of Ernakulam. This is situated in Chittatukara Panchayat and this Panchayat is situated in the northern shore of the River Paravoor which is a subsidiary branch of river Periyar.

The archaeological excavations done in this area has shown signs of Roman trade and commerce and it has been discovered beads and ornaments from this area. The site has a covering of 45 hectares to be done. Excavations in the Pattanam area led by the KCHR since 2006 have yielded evidence of Kerala's ancient maritime links with regions in West Asia, Africa and Europe.

Maliankara is a place that is located inside Pattanam and Syrian Christians believed this as the place where St. Thomas landed in 52 AD.

A Chera coin, Amphora and semi-finished beads had already been excavated from this area pointing to the historical importance of this area. Roman coins were unearthed from another village, Kochal near Valluvally, on southern side of North Paravoor.

Some of the Museums that are part of the Muziris Heritage Project

There are many traditional buildings that are part of this project which are supposed to be turned to museums.

Lifestyle museum or Paliam Nalukettu

The Paliam family builds this museum in the year 1786 and the family settled here after shifting from Vanneri to Chendamangalam. The building has a courtyard and this is situated in the middle with rooms surrounding it. There is a place called purathalam where the members of the family are supposed to meet for recreation and conversation. It is proposed to turn this building to lifestyle museum.

  • Name of the Monument: Paliam Nalukettu
  • District: Ernakulam
  • Region: Paravur
  • Local Authority: Chendamangalam Panchayat

Paliam History Museum – Paliam Palace

This is the palace that has been renovated and given to Paliath Achan who was the Prime Minster of the Cochin in the 16 AD by Dutch. An historical museum is planned at this place.
Name of the Monument: Paliam Dutch Palace

  • Name of the Monument: Paliam Palace
  • District: Ernakulam
  • Region: Paravur
  • Local Authority: Chendamangalam Panchayat

Kerala Jews Museum Paravur

It is believed that 10 Jewish families came to Kodungallur on 605 BC and established a community. This place is very close to Paravur market. The synagogue dates back to 1615 and is claimed to be built on the ruins of a synagogue that was built in 1165.

  • Name of the Monument: Paravur Synagogue
  • District: Ernakulam  
  • Region: Paravur
  • Local Authority: North Paravur

Other Museums proposed to be the Part of Muziris Hritage Project

  1. Kerala History Museum
  2. Site Museum, Pattanam
  3. Museum on Christian Religious Art & Traditional, North Paravur
  4. Syrian Christian History Museum, Kodungaloor
  5. Museum on Handlooms, Chendamangalam
  6. Traditional Art Forms Performance Centre, Paliam Oottupura
  7. Kerala Maritime Museum
  8. Museum of Aquatic Life, Vadakekkara
  9. Museum of Kerala Literature, Kodungallur
  10. Museum on Kerala Jews in Israel, Chendamangalam Synagogue
  11. Museum on Coir and Inland Fishing

Foreign Funding on Muziris Heritage Project

A Dutch heritage conservation agency is likely to help the Muziris project with underwater archaeological study at Pallippuram and Kottappuram, where the remains of Dutch and Portuguese fortifications still survive, and also trace the route change of the Periyar in the 14th century (Ref.).