Thiruvananthapuram: In a move to boost the tourism sector, hurt by two successive years of flood, Kerala Finance Minister Dr T M Thomas Isaac has earmarked Rs 323 crore for tourism development in Kerala Budget 2020 presented here on Friday.
The finance minister has announced four new projects and completion of ongoing Muziris Heritage Project to revive the sector.
Tattvamasi Pilgrim Tourism Project
A new pilgrim tourism project 'Thattvamasi' has been announced in the Kerala Budget 2020 although the Finance Minister has not divulged details. 'Tat Tvam Asi' stands for 'Thou art that' and the name assumes more significance for it is inscribed at the Sacrosanctum of Sabarimala Temple in Pamba.
Travancore Heritage Project
Travancore Heritage Project was the latest addition to the heritage development projects initiated by Kerala Tourism. Through the Travancore Heritage Project, the state aims to underscore the historical and cultural significance of Travancore region.
Travancore boasts of many cultural sites including the Kuthiramalika Palace Museum, situated near the Padmanabhaswamy temple, which is renowned for its Travancore-styled architectural features and its structural elegance.
Muziris Heritage Project
Muziris was an active port in the 1st century BC, though it was pushed on the back foot when the city-port was established. Merchants of Muziris had instituted Indo-Greek and Indo-Roman-Egyptian trade with Jews, Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese, British, and many other travellers.
As a result, the region became a melting pot of cultures which gave birth to multiple monuments and has a total of 29 museums. Kerala finance minister has announced that this project which started in 2010, will finally be commissioned to the nation this year.
Alappuzha Heritage City
The announcement that Alappuzha will be a heritage site does not come as a surprise because the Kerala government had earlier announced a heritage development project for the 'Venice of East' on the lines of the Muziris project.
There is more to Alappuzha than the houseboats and backwaters. Many neglected heritage monuments, canals networks, coir factories will now be revived. The now-defunct Alappuzha port, which was the first commercial port in the princely state of Travancore, will also be preserved.
Revival of temples
Placing further significance on pilgrim tourism, the Finance Minister has announced Rs 5 crore for the restoration of temples in the traditional way in Kerala. The state boasts of a magnanimous list of temples from different periods of history.
Many of these temples have been diligently preserved for devotees and tourists, but some are in a dilapidated state. It would be interesting to see these neglected temples prop back to the thriving pilgrim circuit of Kerala.