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Vijayan govt plans to launch microsite on 'Islam in Kerala' to attract tourists

The Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government is starting a project to throw light on the rich culture of Islam in the state.

Kerala Tourism has allocated ₹93.8 lakh for the creation of a dedicated microsite showcasing the deep-rooted history and cultural evolution of Islam in this vibrant region, as reported by The Hindu.

Kerala, known for its cultural diversity, boasts a legacy of Islam dating back to the 7th century.

The microsite aims to cast a spotlight on the early years of Islam in Kerala, covering topics such as mosques, architectural marvels, lifestyle, culture, artistic expressions, and the vibrant tapestry of festivals.

“There is a need to bring together all the information on Islam, which played an important role in shaping Kerala, under one roof, as part of tourism promotion. This will help tourists and play a major role in bringing religious scholars, historians, students, and pilgrims to Kerala,” a senior officer from Kerala Tourism explained to the publication.

The microsite aims to focus on captivating journey through six chapters, curated to attract both international and domestic travelers.

The first chapter, ‘History of Islam in Kerala’, will delve into the origins of Islam’s presence in Kerala, tracing its roots to early traders and their settlements along the Malabar coast.

Chapter two will unfold a compelling narrative of Islamic pilgrimage centers in Kerala, from Beemapally in Thiruvananthapuram to the historic Juma Masjid in Kasaragod.

A constellation of ancient mosques, serving as important pilgrimage destinations, including Cheraman Juma Masjid in Kodungallur, Jama-at Mosque in Malappuram, Mishkal Mosque in Kozhikode, Odathil Palli in Thalassery, Palayam Mosque in Thiruvananthapuram, Ponnani Juma Masjid, Pazhayangadi Mosque in Kondotty, and Vavar Mosque in Erumely, will be prominently featured.

Chapter three will include the culinary heritage of Kerala’s Muslims, specifically the Mappila cuisine, a flavorful fusion of traditional Kerala flavors with Persian, Yemeni, and Arab influences.

The chapter on lifestyle will showcase the life of the vibrant attire and customs of the community, showcasing the weddings, pre-wedding rituals, and post-wedding ceremonies as potential attractions for tourists.

The architecture chapter will explore the fusion of Arabic architectural traditions with indigenous construction techniques in Kerala, yielding unique and visual structures.

The last chapter will include the world of art forms and festivals that characterise Kerala’s Muslim community, offering insights into the influence of Mappila song on a folklore tradition that emerged in the 16th century.

(Published 22 October 2023, 08:30 IST)

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