An ‘Art Street’ is being developed in a village in Kerala in the district of Kotayam as part of the efforts of the Responsible Tourism Mission (RT mission) of the state tourism department to develop this place as a structured tourism destination. The street with paintings depicting the flora and fauna, history, folklores, art forms, festivals, traditional jobs like toddy tapping are painted on the compound walls and the public buildings on either side of a 2 km stretch road in the village.

Rupesh Kumar K, state coordinator of RT mission, said the art street in Maravanthurth is the first of its kind launched in the state as part of the RT mission. The first phase of the work was completed and around 50 artists had voluntarily did the painting for three days.

The tourists, while walking through the art street, can learn about the features of the destination by looking at the paintings. The art street leads to water-street where the tourists can sail in country boats or shikharas through the canals which have been dredged and cleaned as part of the project. They will halt at houses during the rides to get a direct experience of what they had seen on the paintings on the wall like toddy tapping or art forms like ‘theeyattu’, ‘garudan thookku’, etc.

As the concept gain momentum, many houses will turn into home stays. The tourists and their authorised guides will be led by a community tour leader, an educated woman in the village, who will explain the paintings,” said Rupesh, the State RT Mission Coordinator. He also said that a part of the amount charged from the tourists will be distributed equally among the households where the paintings have come up. Apart from the compound wall of several houses in the locality, the walls of a school and a reading library in the street have also been painted by the artists. Soon, street walks and storytelling trials will begin, added Rupesh.