Ernakulam lies in the centre of Kerala. Munambam, Pallippuram, Kovilakam and Chendamangalam of Ernakulam district and Azheekode, Kodungallur and Kottappuram of Thrissur district comprise the Muziris Heritage Project. I read this news from a newspaper.Truly, after reading that, I felt the need for knowing more about my place and its history.
Muziris was an active port in the 1st century BC, though it is still not known when the city-port was established. The merchants of Muziris had instituted Indo-Greek and Indo-Roman-Egyptian trade with Jews, Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese, British, and many other travelers. The monuments from the Muziris era speak volumes on the history, culture and lifestyle that existed. Knowledge of the industries,craftsmanship,talents and activities of the people of past civilizations is demonstrated through these heritage sites and monuments.However, as our industrial consumer society developed, during the last four decades, the impact of the tourist inflow has done severe damage to our monuments and the natural environment. As all of us know,the enjoyment of our heritage and surroundings by the future generations depends a lot on its conservation.
Muziris Heritage Site
Muziris Heritage Site is an outstanding example of archaeological sites and landscape which illustrate a significant stage in the history of Kerala. The area bears an exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition which has disappeared from the modern world. The heritage of the Muziris is extensive and spreads across the site. There are a few notable buildings fron the 18th and 19th centuries scattered around the site, mostly in Chendamangalam and Kodungallur. The surviving elements of Muziris comprise not only buildings but also markets, streets and footways, bridges, cemeteries etc.
The natural environment is of great importance to the MHS. The network of waterways with their panoramic view has influenced and inspired the architecture and heritage building from where one can enjoy the scenery around. While the physical remains and relics of Muziris port are outstanding and form a unique ensemble, there is also the intangible association made up of cultural links, ethos and tradition of the place which contribute to its significance.The culture, belief, worship,art and learning is several thousand years old and continues today. This culture has been at the heart of forming the outstanding heritage elements of the MHS. Muziris also has had a rich association with prominent people from all strata of society, like royalty, politicians, artists, writers, and professionals, particularly from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.