Thrissur: The Kerala government will build a unique museum that throws light and promotes research on the state’s temple arts and allied rituals. The proposed repository with an estimated cost of Rs 3.69 crore will be the first of its kind in southern India and is set to come up in this district’s Kodungallur town, known primarily for its two-millennium-old shrine.

Sree Kurumba Bhagavathy temple, the Chera-era religious complex, is poised for conservation and facelift under the Muziris Heritage Project (MHP), according to the minister, who also holds the state’s Devaswom portfolio.

According to Kerala’s Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran, steps are on to renovate the dining hall (oottupura) and the administrative wing (kacherippura) of the temple renowned for its deity of goddess Kali and spirit of the shakti cult, he revealed at a function convened in Kodungallur to announce the government’s package on conservation. The endeavour is in consistence with the government’s efforts to save the region’s ancient monuments and traditions.

The revamp will stick to international standards and the rules set by the country’s archaeological authorities, Surendran pointed out. None of the old buildings will be dismantled; instead they would be given reinforcements that provide a fresh lease of life and guarantee longer existence, he added.

As for the proposed museum, it will be a new structure which the government will build on a plot sanctioned by the Devaswom department that administers the state’s temples, the minister said.

Surendran noted that the government continues to give thrust on the Tourism department’s MHP that strives to showcase the civilizational richness of a coastal region along present-day central Kerala that flourished for one-and-a-half millennium. The seaport of Kodungallur, with its multi-religious culture encompassing Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity, has been among the key belts of that human advancement that came to an abrupt end owing to a natural calamity in 1341.

The prestigious MHP, launched in 2010, has led to added tourism footfalls to Kerala over the decade. It has invigorated both surface and water transport in the state, with visitors being provided innovate packages featuring heritage monuments and religious structures. The government went on to merge with the MHP similar heritage projects on Alappuzha and Thankassery downstate and Ponnani on its north-central coast.

The Kerala government in power has so far earmarked Rs 30 crore for infrastructural activities in Kodungallur chapter of the MHP, while the Alappuzha chapter has been accorded Rs 43 crore, the minister said.

By Manoj

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