Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan would dedicate the first phase of Kerala Arts and Crafts Village atVellar near Kovalam on January 16 to promote and showcase the vibrant art and cultural heritage of the state.
Spread around 8.5 acres of panoramic locale, the village has been designed and implemented by Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society Ltd (ULCCS Ltd) for Kerala Tourism Department.
The purpose is to make the village an ideal destination for visitors and art buffs to enjoy the best of Keralas traditional, folk and ethnic art, craft and performing traditions.
ULCCS has completed the first phase of the project at a cost of Rs 20 crore.
Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran would preside over the inaugural function.
"Kerala Martial Arts Academy floated by the state government to preserve and promote centuries-old Kalaripayattu will also be housed in the Arts and Crafts Village," Surendran said.
The key features of the complex include an amphitheatre, museums, studios for craftspeople to work and an art gallery enabling the visitors to have a hands-on feel of the rich and diverse heritage of Kerala handed down through centuries.
The campus has dedicated spaces for artisans and craftspeople, mostly from south Kerala, to work and sell their products.
Visitors can buy souvenirs and curios to add to their collection.
A part of Keralas southern tourism circuit, Kerala Arts and Crafts Village is a unique project to present the splendid artistic legacy of south Kerala before a larger audience. It will be a go-to spot for tourists in the post- COVID-19 phase besides being an easy-to-reach family outing site for people in the region," the Tourism Minister said.
Minister for Tourism, Madhya Pradesh, Usha Thakur, along with a team of officials from that state, visited the village on Wednesday.
Madhya Pradesh had formalised a pact with the Kerala government for replicating the states pioneering responsible tourism model.
Kerala Arts and Crafts Village has the potential to be a hub of cultural events and spectacles for domestic and foreign tourists. It can also be an academic destination for traditional arts and crafts," said Tourism director P Bala Kiran.
The facility has modules for over 750 craftsmen and artisans excelling in a variety of traditions to work on their concepts, while being looked on by visitors.
The artists to be engaged by the campus include those working on a variety of materials like wood, bamboo, reed, coconut shells, palm leaf, coir and cotton.
More than 50 crafts are presented in 28 studios with facilities for production, display and sales.
An annual international theme-based art and craft biennale, which would feature paintings, terracotta, handloom, sculptures, and reed and bamboo products along with workshops, would be conducted in the village.
Craft food festivals (in April) and arts festivals (in September) are other highlights of the village calendar.
Besides, an annual international handicraft products festival is being planned in December.