Muziris: Mystical Magic of Muziris Heritage Project in Kerala tourism
Kerala's ancient sea-port Muziris has been acclaimed for its rich contribution in international trade and religious significance. The Kerala Government has recently inaugurated the Muziris Heritage Project, which includes major portion of Ernakulam and Thrissur districts.
The cultural and historical significance of Muziris Heritage Project includes Dutch Palaces, churches, majestic forts, synagogues and other excavation sites. Still enveloped with the nostalgic sea trade-related narratives from the very antiquity, this sea-port is lauded for its virgin beauty, untouched purity and rustic charm. The salubrious ambiance of Muziris still enlivens the bygone era of pearl and spice trade with Romans, Greeks and other empires.
The history of Muziris is replete with the rich intermingling of Romans, Jews, Dutch, Portuguese, Arabs and Buddhists. Unearthing the hidden secrets, embraced by the golden sands of Muziris, has been mentioned in tantalizing words, in the historic Sangam Literature.
Following are the main attractions of Muziris:
The Holy Cross Church
Established in 1577 by the Jesuit Priests of Portugal, this sacred church has historical significance. Nestled peacefully in the village of Chendamangalam, it also used to be the abode of the great Christian Missionary Saint Francis Xavier. In fact, the advent of Portuguese missionary saints in Kerala also transformed the basic architectural style of constructing churches. Initially, the churches followed the Hindu style of temple making. Hence, one can easily spot the evolution in architecture with the Holy Cross Church as an epitome in Kerala.
Paravur Jewish Synagogue
Embellished with a pillared gateway, the main synagogue building enters into the sacred prayer place. Lying in the quaint quarters of Paravur region, the synagogue has a reconstructed Bimah and Ark. The original ones were transported back to Israel during 1922. Furthering enhancing the cultural hegemony, the street outside the synagogue is called as the Jewish Street.
Paliam Dutch Palace
Located in the Chennamangalam village, it initially used to be the abode of Paliath Achans, the Prime Ministers of Kochi. During the 16th century, the Paliath Achans safeguarded their rulers against inevitable Portuguese attack in this palace. The Portuguese later had revamped the structure, adding their own cultural style of designing. Balustrades, staircases and other intricate building features adorn the 2 storey building.
Established by the Portuguese in 1523, it was popularly also called as the Cranganore Fort. The Periyar River embroiders it. Later, the Dutch took over its control in 1661 and eventually, the Ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan destroyed it. The current ruins of the fort is called as Tipu Fort. Later, the Department of Archaeology of Travancore constructed a memorial pillar to eulogise the historical significance of the place.
Cheraman Juma Masjid
Acknowledged as the first mosque of India, this mosque is located in the Thrissur district of Kerala. Malik Ibn Dinar had built it in 629 AD. The famous Malayalam poet Kodungallur Kunjikkuttan Thampuran has also divulged the importance of the Masjid in his hymns. The archaic parts of this mosque has remained untouched and flawlessly preserved over the history of time.
Excursions from Muziris
Intrepid travellers can explore near-by tourist destinations like Aluva (22 km), Kochi (36 km), Paninjayam (41 km) and Munnar (137 km) and Calicut (145 km).
Shopping in Muziris
The main shopping destinations in Muziris are in Paliam, Kottappuram and Paravur.
When to Reach
The best time to explore the Muziris Heritage Project from October to February, due to favourable weather conditions.
How to Reach
Airport, Railways and Bus facilities connecting Muziris Heritage Project from other parts of Kerala are present in Calicut, 145 km away.
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