Kerala’s first tribal heritage village lures tourists en-masse

The first tribal heritage village in Kerala named En Uru, which was recently opened at Pookode in the Wayanad district, has been a hit with tourists.

Celebrities and noted industrialists like Anand Mahindra have heaped praise on the lush green tea plantations, which showcase the rich heritage of the tribal community there. Anand Mahindra took to Twitter to share a video of En Uru, which turned into an instant hit.

“This is just beautiful. Kudos to Kerala Tourism for this concept. The pristine architectural design of the village is stunning. Showcases how ‘simplicity’ can be stunning,” he tweeted.

With just a few weeks into operations, around 6000 visitors on average arrive on weekends and about 2000 on weekdays. The shops and restaurant in the hamlet are enjoying good sales, up to Rs 80,000 per day, an official said.

En Uru is set up on 25 acres on the slope of a hillock at Pookode. The attractions of the heritage village include a tribal market, a center with 10 prototype tribal huts, a rain shelter, toilet block, landscape works, an art, and crafts workshop, a shop to introduce tribal medicines to tourists, a cafeteria, an amphitheater to showcase tribal art forms, heritage pathway, and children’s park.

The Rs 10-crore project is jointly implemented by the Tourism and the Scheduled Tribe Development departments. It is aimed at setting up a permanent platform to showcase the diverse tribal traditional knowledge and heritage as well as to enhance the livelihood options of tribal communities, Wayanad Sub-collector R. Sreelakshmi, who is also the president of the En Uru Charitable Trust, said.

The project is expected to provide direct employment to 50 people and indirect job opportunities to nearly 1,000. “We are also planning to set up a laser show,” Sreelakshmi said.

Tourism Minister P.A. Mohammed Riyas said the heritage and culture of the tribespeople would be conserved and their traditional knowledge showcased to an international audience. Riyas said the En Uru project would set a model for the sector, and be a big step in the tourism map of the state.

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