Thiruvananthapuram, September 10: The Vellar craft village at Kovalam, a joint venture by Kerala Tourism and Kudumbasree units is set to get a makeover as an international tourist destination that offers visitors a unique glimpse into ethnic crafts.
The Rs 10-crore project, divided into marketing and entertainment zones, is an attempt to provide international exposure to Kerala’s handicraft and other ethnic craft products.
Spread along a 10 acre stretch, the craft village, modelled on the lines of Dilli Haat in New Delhi is built without disturbing the natural terrain of the region. “Minor alterations in landscaping and rock cutting methods are used to build the craft village, which is in complete harmony with nature,” says Kerala Tourism Minister, Shri AP Anilkumar.
“The marketing zone will have a total of 27 shops, with five shops constructed in hexagonal structures, for the exhibition, sale and promotion of traditional craft items and handicrafts from various artists, organisations and craftsmen,” added the minister
Sellers and craftsmen will be aided with subsidy grants to provide financial security. New amenities being set up include signages, parking facility, landscaping, lawn beautification and a bio gas plant.
“Our aim is to give a fillip to traditional crafts and artisans through this initiative,” said the Tourism Director, Shri PI Sheik Pareeth. We are also planning to give artists a space to show the making of craft products for tourists who are curious to know about the technical side of craft practice he added.
The entertainment zone is bound to be a favourite weekend haunt with cafeterias, a park with a water feature and sightseeing spots. Four cafeterias, including two traditional ‘thattukada’ serving authentic Kerala delicacies, are also nearing completion.
“Cultural programmes will be here held during weekends,” said Shri Sheik Pareeth.
He also noted that the government is aiming to establish Vellar as one of the main avenues for cultural programmes like the Nishagandhi auditorium and Kanakakkunnu palace.
“We will also lend out this place for wedding and film shooting,” he added
An open auditorium, connected to the restaurants where performance arts can be held, adds to the facilities. Also, a conference hall with a capacity to accommodate 1,500 people is being built where international conferences can be conducted.
Sargaalaya in Kozhikode is yet another craft village project set up by Kerala Tourism in the state.
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