UNESCO backing Kerala’s Spice Route Project
Spice Route

Thiruvananthapuram: History of Kerala, the spice kingdom of the world and its foreign visitors date back to travelers who visited this tiny State to buy Spices and herbs through much talked about its Spice Route.  State Tourism department's plan to tap the potential in the tourism sector has received support from the UNESCO.

31 countries will benefit the sharing of the heritage this ancient route development project. The initiative is expected to bring in a substantial number of foreign tourists to Kerala to trace the historic journey.

The UN cultural agency's backing for the Spice Route Project of the state government came during meetings and presentations by a team of officials from Kerala in Paris last week.

The meetings were led by India's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to UNESCO Vinay Sheel Oberoi and Kerala Tourism Secretary Suman Billa this weekend.

Secretary Suman Billa also met Unesco's Assistant Secretary-General (Culture) Francesco Bandarin and Ambassadors of several countries that are part of the Spice Route.

Kerala's Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar said that "We are delighted to receive the support of UNESCO for the Spice Route Project,".

The epic centre of the project is ancient sea port Muzris and the Kochi-Kodungallur belt in central Kerala, where the ancient spice port was located and where merchants from West Asia and Mediterranean region came by sea and land.

Archaeological evidence from excavations carried out by the State archeological department in Muziris have already given enough valuable substance to the project. They have pointed to spice trade between Muziris -- a port that flourished two millennia ago and the West, before it mysteriously disappeared.

Earlier, the Spice Route initiative had received the support of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

The project when it is realized will be a showcase of Kerala’s maritime history with the Greco-Roman times.


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