Kerala Tourism rolls out cultural experience package

After remaining grounded for months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Kerala Tourism is all set for revival. The Responsible Tourism Mission under the State Department of Tourism has rolled out a ‘Cultural Experience package’ to facilitate guests explore the local culture and heritage with focus on rural destinations in the South Indian state.

The package, offering experience in art and ritual traditions from Yakshagana Bommayaatta to Theeyyaattu and Theyyam, seeks to network the cultural heritage of different locations to attract visitors.

According to K. Rupesh Kumar, State RT Mission Co-ordinator, the innovative attempt is to attract visitors to destinations beyond the existing map of tourism and introduce them to a set of new cultural points in the state.

“The guests will be given a subtle experience in the art form of choice, which involves interaction with artists and artisans who work as micro enterprise units, narration of experiences, watching theater shows and even learning the art. This will help to extend the duration of stay of guests in the select locations,” he said. However, ritual art forms like Theyyam will be promoted only in its natural settings as the department is against promoting them as capsule models.

For instance, visitors opting for Yakshagana Bommayatta, a puppetry tradition prevalent in the villages sharing the border with Karnataka, will be introduced to activities right from doll making to narration of stories to be performed in the evening, among other things. As majority of these activities take place in the afternoon, the guests could be also taken for a sight-seeing trip in and around the village during the mornings.

The programme also includes artforms like Garudan Thookkam, Kalamezhuthum Paattum, Yakshaganam, Kathakali and Margam Kali. Around 6000 Art and Culture units have been registered with the RT Mission, covering around 14, 000 artists. Out of these, 800 units will be part of the latest initiative.

Around 6000 art and culture units have been registered with the RT Mission, covering around 14,000 artists. Out of these, 800 units will be part of the latest initiative.

The package also offers culinary delicacies exclusive to each of the remote locations. “The packages do not follow a structured pattern and can be recast based on the personal choice of each guest,” Kumar told Ayurveda Magazine.

With the Covid-19 related restrictions likely to be in place for some more time, the immediate focus of the package will be intra-state travelers. It will later be extended to inter-state and international guests as and when the travel restrictions ease further.

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