The Alappuzha port museum being set up as part of the Alappuzha heritage project is nearing completion.
It will showcase the State’s rich maritime history, especially the story of the Alappuzha port, including its formation, growth as a commercial hub of the erstwhile State of Travancore, and the decline towards the fag end of the 20th century.
The museum is set up by renovating the old port office and godowns attached to it near the Alappuzha beach. “Alappuzha port will not make a comeback. But through the museum, we can relive the glory days. The renovation of the buildings will be completed in two months and the museum will be opened to the public in February 2021,” says Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac.
According to P.M. Noushad, managing director, Muziris Spice Route Heritage Project, the museum will have details of all ancient ports that existed in the State. Artefacts from countries that had trade links with the State through the ancient ports and materials collected from the port sites will be exhibited.
Besides, miniature models of important ships that had called at the Alappuzha port along with models of boats and other materials used will be displayed at the museum. The functioning of the Alappuzha port and experiences of its workers will be recreated with the help of photographs and videos. Those visiting the museum can have an interactive experience — with the help of augmented reality — travelling with Thomas Norton, a missionary who sailed from Plymouth in England to the State in 1816.
A real ship will be installed on the seashore. “The Indian Navy has promised to provide a ship. We hope the ship will reach Kochi by next month. From there, it will be brought to Alappuzha. The last time a ship came to Alappuzha port was in 1989,” Dr. Isaac says.
By displaying documents and photogrpahs, the museum will be a treasure trove of information about the State’s maritime history, ports, personalities, and so on.
The museum is getting ready under the guidance of Benny Kuriakose, a conservation architect, at a cost of ₹5.6 crore.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will launch various works of the museum, including materials to be displayed, designing, and electrification, on November 3. The Chief Minister will also inaugurate completion/ renovation work of various other projects under the Alappuzha heritage project at the function.