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Heritage tour on the cards

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Ancient shrine: The Mulanthuruthy Mar Thoman Church, one of the ancient churches in Kerala.
Ancient shrine: The Mulanthuruthy Mar Thoman Church, one of the ancient churches in Kerala.

Staff Reporter

The circuit will cover ancient temples, churches and mosques in Piravom constituency.

KOCHI: A heritage tour of protected monuments in the agricultural belt in and around the Piravom Assembly constituency in Ernakulam district, is on the cards.

This would be interspersed with visits to farmlands where nutmeg, pineapple, coconut and arecanut are cultivated in highly-fertile areas, thus providing an impetus to farm tourism as well. Organised by the city-based Centre for Heritage Studies (CHS), the tour will cover the famed Hill Palace Museum – once the headquarters of the Kochi royal family, the Chottanikara temple, the Mulanthuruthy Marthoman Church, the Kanjiramattom mosque, the Melapazhoor Mana, the Pazhoor Perumthrikkovil, the Piravom Valiya Palli, the Ooramana Narasimha Moorthy temple famous for its murals and the Shadkala Govinda Marar Memorial.

Put short, the circuit will cover ancient temples, churches and mosques. The Piravom MLA, M.J. Jacob, played a crucial role in charting the tour programme.

CHS registrar P.K. Gopi said the State's unique farmlands are yet unknown to domestic tourists, especially those from North India. “Now, their tours are often focused on heritage sites in Mattancherry and Fort Kochi. Ernakulam district is yet to have a pre-planned heritage tourism circuit. A pilot tour of our circuit is over and the programme will be launched soon. The tour will also benefit farmers since they will be able to sell their produce directly to the guests.”

Once a group of guests expresses its willingness, the agency will arrange transportation, ethnic food (breakfast and lunch in farmlands) and a tour guide.

The guests will return to Hill Palace by 3.15 p.m., so that they can also check out the museum, its exhibits and the sprawling compound.

The palace will wear a new look soon since renovation works worth Rs 7.40 crore is getting over. The Chottanikkara Devi temple already attracts a sizeable number of pilgrims and visitors all through the year. The Kanjiramattom mosque is believed to have been built as a memorial to the Sufi mystic Sheikh Fariduddin and holds much antique beauty. The Mulanthuruthy Marthoman Church said to have been established between AD 1110 and AD 1125 has much historical significance for the Church in Kerala. The nalukettuof the Melapazhoor Mana in Veliyanad village is famous and is the birthplace of Adi Sankara.

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