For tourists, a mini Tamil Nadu on ECR
Concept Involves Depicting 5 Types Of Lands Mentioned In Tamil Literature
B Aravind Kumar TNN
Chennai: Integrating Tamil culture, nativity and heritage with resort facilities, the state tourism department is in the process of setting up a ‘Miniature Tamil Nadu’ along the East Coast Road. “Marketing nativity, heritage and unique features has become a runaway success in the tourism scenario. Tourism, per se, is nothing but marketing experience,’’ says V Irai Anbu, tourism secretary, in his concept paper.
Many states have started capitalising on this principle by promoting such ventures. For instance, Choki Dhani in Rajasthan has a rural setting with native art, culture and cuisine. Foreigners throng such places and enjoy the novel atmosphere by staying there for a few days. Similarly, states like Haryana, Gujarat and Maharashtra have started rural tourism projects but no such experience is available for tourists in Tamil Nadu, which has not exploited its rich culture, continuing heritage and variegated cuisine. The miniature concept would have to take shape on an extent of 50 acres along the East Coast Road in Thirukazhukundram taluk of Kancheepuram district, depicting the five types of land forms mentioned in Tamil literature (Kurinji, Mullai, Marudham, Neithal and Paalai) and highlighting the details of flora and fauna found in these five natural backdrops.
“Not many know that Sathanur in Perambalur district has got a fossil tree and dinosaur eggs. We can present rock paintings, urns, rock cave temples in a visual fashion to stress our importance in evolutionary history,” says the tourism secretary.
Miniature versions of mangrove eco-systems will be created artificially on the premises. Models of Mamallapuram architecture, music pillars and Kallanai, the ancient grand dam built by Karikala Chola, will also find a place.
In the miniature version of the state, there will be a live presentation on the state’s handicrafts and aspects of tribal life and farm. There will be snake charmers and practitioners of traditional martial arts. Traditional food will be available to the tourists. An amphitheatre with sound and light shows highlighting the monuments, temples and other proud possessions will be further attractions.
“It is important to make this venture commercially viable. Therefore, accommodation facilities with native architecture and world class comfort will be part of the premises,” says the official. Such a miniature facility where people can travel in bullock carts, sail in coracles and pluck coconuts is expected bring more international tourists.
The Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructural Financial Services (TNUIFSL), the nodal agency, has held a pre-bid meeting with consultants in executing similar tourism projects to convert this vision into reality in about six months’ time. The bid is open till July 20.