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Century-old Travancore boat jetty to turn biodiversity museum  

Wednesday, Jul 19, 2017,13:47 IST By anju A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | A century-old boat jetty here, once a busy trade centre during the royal era, will soon become a biodiversity museum and expected to boost tourism prospects of the city.
 
Built by the Travancore royals, the heritage jetty located at coastal Vallakkadavu, about five km from here, had been left unused for decades with the advent of modern transportation systems.
  
The Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB) has taken the initiative in converting the jetty to showcase the terrestrial biodiversity of Kerala.
  
The board has renovated the 5,000 sq ft jetty to exhibit the rich and rare biodiversity legacy of the state and it would be thrown open for public soon, KSBB sources said.
   
The museum is expected to boost the tourism prospects of the state capital and woo nature enthusiasts and students to have a glance of the biodiversity of all the 14 districts of Kerala besides creating awareness about its conservation.
 
It will have a 3D theatre, exhibits throwing light into the biodiversity hotspots of the state from the below-sea level farming of Kuttanad, popularly known as the ‘rice bowl’ of the state, to the unique biodiversity of high range Agasthyamala, display of rare seeds and screening boards showing conservation messages, the sources said.
 
Commenting on the project, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said its objective was to create knowledge and awareness on the need for protecting and preserving the biodiversity.
   
Highlighting the heritage significance of the project, he pointed out that the museum was coming up at a structure built by the Travancore royal family.
  
Vallakkadavu boat jetty was the hub of trade and commerce in the erstwhile princely state, he said in a facebook post.
  
“The state Biodiversity Museum is getting ready in the state capital. Science on Sphere and a 3D theatre on biodiversity are among its major attractions,” Vijayan said.
  
Science On a Sphere (SOS) is a room sized, global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six foot diameter sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe.
  
The Chief Minister said this was the first time that such a facility is introduced in the state.
  
Detailing the features of the museum, he said the core subjects like biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity products had been given importance in its design.
 
Exhibits, showcasing the exotic paddy seeds of the state and marine flora and fauna, would be the other major attractions, he said adding a special video screening would throw light into the biodiversity richness of the state.