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Kerala Tourism to launch Malanad-Malabar River Cruise on Feb 15

Monday, February 8, 2021, 11:28 Hrs  [IST]
Asmita Mukherjee | Hyderabad

Kerala Tourism is launching the pioneering Malanad-Malabar River Cruise Project next week, rolling the first of the 11 types of boat-rides that provide individual thematic experiences and attracts tourists to the less-explored places up the state.

The inaugural cruise boat will enter the waters on February 15 as part of the innovative project that aims to brighten the waterways in the northern districts of Kannur and Kasaragod. The first service will be on the route linking Parassinikkadavu and Pazhayangadi.

The project will also help showcase the Malabar region’s culture, rich with local legends and folk arts. The endeavour envisages 48 boat terminals and jetties along seven rivers across the districts of Kannur and Kasaragod. The work on two terminals is over.

Upholding the principles of Responsible Tourism, the project also ensures the participation of the local population. “It guarantees a better livelihood to the people around,” said Tourism Minister, Kadakampally Surendran. “They include the fisher folk, farmers, drivers of cabs and auto-rickshaws, handicraft workers and handloom labourers,” he added.
KTDC will run the boats, six of which are being manufactured, in the first phase, by the Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation. The project is being implemented by the government’s Inland Navigation Department and state-owned KEL, with T V Madhukumar as the architect.

Rani George, Principal Secretary, Kerala Tourism, said the state-of-the-art boat terminals at Parassinikkadavu and Pazhayangadi in Kannur district have been completed involving a cost of INR 7.5 crore. “Both the government and private parties would run the cruises,” she said. “As for the rest of the project, 90 per cent of the work on the terminals and jetties is complete.”

The cruise project had, in September 2018, been sanctioned INR 80.37 under the Swadesh Darshan scheme that promotes rural tourism circuits. Kerala Tourism Director Shri P Bala Kiran said the developmental work was “fast progressing” under the scheme. “The Malanad-Malabar project will get world-class cruise packages once the Swadesh Darshan enters its second phase,” he informed.

The cruise project is being carried out along the rivers of Mayyazhi, Valapattanam, Ancharakkandi, Kuppam, Perumba, Kavvayi, Thejaswini and Chandragiri rivers besides the sprawling Valiyaparamaba backwaters. Not limiting to just trips down these waterways, the concept features cruises based on the varied themes of North Malabar culture.
For instance, the Mayyazhi river cruise will give the tourist an experience of Kalarippayattu martial art, while the Anjarakkandy package will commemorate the anti-British struggles of Pazhassi Raja and the region’s spices.

The other thematic cruises are on Malabari cuisine, Birds and Agriculture (along the Valapattanam river). Besides, there is the Mangrove cruise (Kuppam), Music cruise (Perumba), Handloom and Handicraft cruise (Kavvayi and Valiyaparamba), Water Sports and River Boating Cruise (Thejaswini), Model Responsible Village cruise (Valiyaparamba) and Yakshagana cruise (Chandragiri).

Overall, the plan is to bring Malabar out of its near obscurity. It will effectively work as a tool for the economic development of places up the state, authorities said.

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