President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said India’s history is one of assimilation, mutual respect and celebration of differences, respecting each other’s beliefs and values and added that the Muziris Heritage Project reminds of that.
“Being the largest conservation project in the country and first green project of Kerala Government, Muziris Heritage project has a lot to boast about, be it in the area of heritage, conservation or tourism. The spice trade and ancient ports in the state have created many islands of heritage and history within Kerala, but the tourist experiences have always been discrete. This is where Muziris heritage project offers the best of heritage tourism to global travellers,” President Mukherjee said at the inauguration of the Muziris Heritage Project at Kodungaloor in Kerala.
“There is no doubt this project will open up to Indian and foreign tourists a new destination, bringing economic benefits to the people of the region as well as knowledge and enjoyment for the visitors,” he added.
The President said he understands the next phase of the project is the ‘Spice Route Initiative’ which will explore the international connections and linkages that the Malabar Coast had with many parts of the world.
“This phase is to be implemented with the support of UNESCO and United Nations World Tourism Organization. The Spice Route Initiative is both important and timely with India seeking to once again emerge as a major centre for international trade and transport as well as a maritime power,” he said.
The President said as a country intersected by major maritime and caravan routes, India has always been one of the most cosmopolitan societies in the world, comfortable in dealing with diversity and welcoming of new ideas and cultures. He expressed hope that the Muziris Heritage Project will spread the message of Indian cosmopolitanism far and wide, adding thereby to India’s soft power across the world.
The President called upon the project authorities and people of the region to uncover and highlight the long-standing civilizational links and cultural affinities that India shares with the rest of the world.
He expressed the hope that the Muziris Heritage Project will emerge as an invaluable link between the new world and the rising India.