This was started in 2006 with the idea of bringing attention to the musicians of Mulayankaavu near Angadipuram in Kerala. Due to various caste practices, these musicians were side-lined. In partnership with Njaralathu Hari Govindan, we set up an initiative called Musical trail that showcases the musical tradition on the banks of River Nila. The initiative received a lot of attention from national and international media and travellers. Renowned publications like Deccan Herald, The Hindu, Outlook Travellers, Outlook Business, The Guardian (UK), BBC World, Conde Nast Traveller featured these musicians for the first time. Since we launched this initiative, they have a social status and opportunities for more work. This experiment led to Hari Govindan launching a permanent campus for music as a memorial for his father who revived Sopana Sangeetham, classical Indian music developed in the temples of Kerala. Music is now taught to people from all castes and religions in this camp and is a regular stop for TBY travellers. The initiative is currently providing a platform for more than 150 students (boys and girls) to learn music regularly. Seeing the success of the initiative, the Kerala Tourism Minister announced INR 2 million for the project in July 2012. This initiative was the highlight of a national TV program called ‘Dewarists’, where our team members performed with musicians like Karsh Kale and co-created the music production called ‘Sacred Science’.
Musical trail is now designed and promoted in other locations in keeping with the local flavour, including in places like Pondicherry. The initiative is self-sustaining with almost no intervention from our side other than engaging our travellers with the musicians. More than 250 locals, including students and hundreds of musicians from the region, benefit from this initiative.
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