‘Tripunithura - Royal Heritage Walks’ aim to take people through the region’s royal past.
Ever since the birth of Kochi Muziris Biennale, residents of Ernakulam have managed to take interest and find the time to stroll across the growing city, simply to take a look at the forgotten face of the place.
Thanks to the efforts, Fort Kochi has managed to maintain it’s old-world charm. Since then it has turned into a must-visit place for tourists. The Muziris belt too has gained fame, with localites conducting heritage walks and rides through the region. Lying forgotten among all these is the magnificent Tripunithura. A place steeped in history, but fading with time.
Balagopal C.K., who was born and brought up there, saw how Kochi suburbs facade was undergoing a sea of change. He decided it was time people saw that Ernakulam has another place that is a treasure trove of history. Earlier this month, Balagopal organised the first ever ‘Tripunithura - Royal Heritage Walks’.
“When it comes to historical sites in Kochi, people always talk about Fort Kochi and Mattancherry; these are places with a colonial past. I wanted people to start a conversation around the heritage and history of Tripunithura. There are a number of historically important buildings here but no effort is being taken to protect them,” says Balagopal, a techie and co-founder of the Royal Heritage Walks.
For Balagopal, the inspiration came from his cousin, architect Krishnan Varma. “He is the first person to conduct a heritage mapping of Tripunithura. That was back in 2014. This is more like a continuation of his work.”
Nearly 150 people joined the heritage walk, both localities and foreigners residing in Tripunithura. Together, they went around exploring. A few key locations were covered as part of the walk. “In about two hours, the team visited Poornathrayeesa Temple, Amma Thampuran Kovilakom, Kalikota Palace, Irumbu Palam, Thattumalika, Oottupura, Palace Girls School and North Fort Gate. Apart from these points, we also stopped at two palaces — Edoop and Deepthi. ” The annual festival at Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple was an added advantage of the walks. The main objective of the walk is to create an awareness among the people about Kochi’s royal past. “Tripunithura should be considered as a heritage site and not for real estate,” says Balagopal.