The Legacy of Muziris


A legendary port, the heart of the historic Spice Route vanished off the grid over 3000 years ago. Historians and archaeologists spent years hunting far and wide for it but to no avail. Little did they know that a small town in Kerala, Pattanam, held the secrets to that ancient port hidden in its bosom.

The ancient world’s greatest trading centre in the East, the lost port Muziris traded in everything from spices to precious stones with the Greeks, Romans and the rest of the world. The name “Muziris” is said to be born from the native Tamil name to the port, “muciri”.

Hundreds of Amphora jar fragments, West Asian and Mesopotamian pottery, thousands of glass and stone beads, small gold, lead and copper ornaments, brick structural remains, human bones, roof tile pieces and more have helped piece together the rich legacy hidden in these sands.

The Muziris Heritage Project initiated by the Government of Kerala with the support of the Central Government is reviving that lost legacy to conserve and showcase a culture of 3000 years or more for posterity.

The heritage that sleeps in these sands is as significant as the Indus Valley.

The project utilizes at a global level the possibilities of a region that forms a part of the heritage tourism circuit between North Parur and Kodungalloor.

The Muziris region is home to social reformer Sahodaran Ayyapan, Nationalist leader Abdul Rahman Sahib, scholars like Kunjikuttan Thampuran and Kesari Balakrisha Pillai and social movements like the Paliam Satyagraha. The entire project is designed to involve and integrate the local community in all intended developmental initiatives.

A MoU with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has been signed to begin a historic cooperation between the State and the world’s foremost cultural organization for promoting and protecting the ancient Spice Route heritage.

Muziris welcomes you to the cape of trade culture, left behind by its ancestors from around the world, to the waves of Azhikode where Christianity first entered India, to the Cheraman mosque, which gave out the first Muslim call for prayers, to the legendary Kodungalloor Bhagavathy Temple, to the original culture of the Jewish synagogue, to the village where handloom spins think of heritage, to the Palium palace and to the old waterways that lead one to Muziris.

Once the doorway to India for varied cultures and races including Buddhists, Arabs, Chinese, Jews, Romans, Portuguese, Dutch and even the British, Muziris has stood witness to civilisations being born, wars being waged and history being written.

Come… let us together clamber down the ladders of time to a past whose riddles await us. A past cloaked in the grandeur and glory of our ancestors…


The video of the same title is available on You Tube]


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