With the onset of the cultural fiestas like the Nishagandhi Dance Festival and the popular Kochi Muziris Biennale, Kerala is all set to welcome art aficionados. The 5th edition of the immensely popular Kochi Muziris Biennale is underway in Kochi. The state endorses the dreamy lanes of Fort Kochi and a pilgrimage to this biennial which has changed the landscape of contemporary Indian art today and has helped make Kochi, the art capital of India. The Kochi Muziris Biennale will run till 29th March, 2019.
The Nishagandhi festival which is conducted every year in January, on the lush green premises of the Kanakakkunnu Palace in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram is marked by different genres of dance and is the best platform for art lovers to familiarise with the best and upcoming talents in India and to enjoy magical evenings in the company of Odissi, Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Manipuri, Mohiniyattam, Chhau and Kuchipudi.
Earlier this year Kerala tourism had bagged 4 of the nine coveted national tourism awards, including the one for the Most Responsible Tourism Project/Initiative. The pioneer of Responsible Tourism initiatives in the country, Keralas RT Mission has rolled out many experiential packages that offers rustic travel escapades, and life as lived by a local. In a first, RT initiatives have been expanded online and a platform has been created where tourists can directly buy agricultural produce, handicrafts, traditional artefacts etc and get access to the contacts of skilled craftsmen and traditional artists.
Another example of sustainable and eco-friendly tourism, the Jatayu Earth Centre was inaugurated earlier in August and is spread across 65 acres. The giant statue of Jatayu is 200 feet long, 150 feet wide and 70 feet in height, making it the largest functional bird sculpture in the world. The destination is easily accessible as it is right at the epicentre of the south Kerala tourist spots.
In the last few months, the state has produced several environmentally engaging and eco-friendly ventures to take pride in. India’s first biodiversity museum is tucked away on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram. This museum, that was once a boathouse, is now home to the state’s first-ever Science on Sphere (SOS) system.
For history buffs looking to transport themselves to another era, there is the Muziris Heritage Project. The remains of a once thriving port frequented by Arabs, Romans, Egyptians as early as the first century BC is today preserved across 25 museums as the largest heritage conservation project in India. Another offering in the historical space is the Spice Route Project that rekindled the 2000-year old ancient sea links and shared cultural and culinary legacies with 30 countries.
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