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North Paravur – Muziris Heritage Site

North Paravur – Muziris Heritage Site

The Muziris Heritage Site stretches across from the two municipalities of North Paravur in Ernakulam District to that of Kodungallur in Thrissur District. North Paravur is an emerging suburb of Kochi City which is nearly 22 km from the city center and 16 km from city, in Ernakulam district in Kerala. The city and its adjourning villages are famous for its legacy in ancient Chera Empire, being the erstwhile capital city of so. The town rose to fame, with first major excavations carried out, that throw light into lost port city of Muziris, hailed as largest port of ancient world.

North Paravur - Muziris Heritage Site_Backwater

North Paravur – Backwater

North Paravur – History

The Cheras The Cheras named this capital known as Murichipattanam (spelled as Muziris in Greek), soon rose to international fame, due to its extensive trading relations with Egypt, Mesopotamian, Greek, Roman and Chinese civilizations. The sea route from Egypt to Muziris was known as ancient spice route, where extensive spices, cotton, rice were traded. The Cheras also built several palaces and temples, typical its traditional Dravidan culture.

From 11th century AD onwards, the fortunes of Muziris declined due to its constant wars with neighboring Tamil state, the Cholas. In 1344, the great Periyar floods made a major blow to Muziris, when river Periyar changed its course of flow and choking the port of Muziris. Soon the Cheras shifted their capital to nearby Thiruvanchikulam and renamed as Mahodayapuram. After prolonged 100 year Chera-Chola war, by 14th century, the Cholas successfully raided Muziris and set the city under fire, making the city completely lost in memories.

North Paravur - Muziris Heritage Site_Backwater & Coconut trees

North Paravur – Muziris Heritage Site_Backwater & Coconut trees

After partition of Chera Empire, the city came under control of Kochi Kingdom. The Kochi Rajas encouraged extensive farming here, due to its fertility. In 14th century, the Raja granted a township to large number of Jews, who sought asylum from Jerusalem. The town was soon occupied by colonial Portuguese, after they constructed extensive fortifications.

The town also witnessed a major battle between Portuguese and Dutch, leading to defeat of former. In 18th century, Kochi Raja partitioned Paravur into two and granted the northern portion to Travancore Kingdom as an enclave to build extensive fortifications known as Nedumkotta to thwart possible Mysore invasion. Thus a new town was established known as North Paravur under Travancore and South Paravur under Kochi. In 1949, both Paravurs were united after merge of Travancore-Kochi state. However, the name struck as North Paravur to town.

North Paravur – Muziris Heritage Site

Muziris Heritage Site is an outstanding example of building and archaeological sites and landscape which illustrates a significant stage in the human history of Kerala. The area bears an exceptional testimony to a culture tradition which is fast disappearing.

North Paravur – Location Map

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