Thalassery, often referred to as the land of cricket, cakes and circus, has a culture which is an amalgamation of different cultures owing to its proximity to coast and influence of both French and British colonial rules.
Kerala Tourism’s ambitious Thalassery Heritage project aims at enhancing the popularity of the heritage town in Kannur district and giving tourists an experience that reflects the culture, festivals, art, architecture, history and heritage of the State.
To be executed using Plan funds and aid from the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), the ₹187.70 crore master plan prepared for the overall development of the circuit will have Harbour Town, Pazhassi, Folklore and Cultural Circuits.
The project also aims at conserving and exhibiting all important heritage sites at Thalassery, one of the most historically significant locations in the Malabar region. Thalassery town will be the epicentre of the project and destinations in Mananthavady in Wayanad district and Vadakara in Kozhikode district will also be part of the circuits.
Under the master plan prepared by m/s Space Art and approved by the government, the Harbour Town Circuit will get ₹27.49 crore, Pazhassi Circuit ₹82.32 crore, Folklore Circuit ₹15.62 crore and Culture Circuit ₹30.34 crore for taking up various works.
Work to be taken up
Conservation of the Thalassery pier; development of a food street, sculpture park at Pier Road, old fire tank and a performance centre and heritage street at Thazhe Angadi; and reuse of Gundert Bungalow as a language museum and German study centre will be taken up.
In the Harbour Town Circuit, the story of the buildings in the town, remnants of the old bustling trading centre and various historical monuments that stand as reminders of the colonial era will be showcased.
The Cultural Circuit will cover virtually every important aspect of life, from architecture to folk arts to tales of mighty warriors and their kingdoms to temples and to the glorious past of handloom.
The Folklore Circuit will project the folk arts and culture of Malabar, with special focus on Kalarippayattu, which is said to have inspired art forms such as Theyyam, Kathakali, Koothu and Koodiyattom.
Pazhassi Circuit is spread over Kannur and Wayanad, covering 21 destinations that include palaces, temples, museums, and forest areas which played a significant role in Pazhassi Raja’s life and struggles.
The Kerala Irrigation Infrastructure Development Corporation (KIIDC) is the special purpose vehicle for the project. Tourism authorities and planners say the project will enhance the tourism experiences and open up an entirely new region for economic development.