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Gundert Bungalow to be museum

The sprawling 19th century bungalow located on a hillock in the suburbs of Thalassery is all set to become a language museum to commemorate the legacy of Hermann Gundert, the German missionary in whose name the structure, a tourism landmark of the area, is known.

Gundert Bungalow at Illikkunnu, with verandas and tiled roof, is being refurbished as part of the ongoing Thalassery Heritage Tourism Project of the Tourism Department. It comprises renovation and development of some of the historical tourism sites in and around Thalassery. The ₹2.10-crore first phase work of renovating the bungalow is under way as the Church of South India (CSI), which owns it, handed it over to the Tourism Department for the renovation works sometime ago.

“The bungalow will be developed as a language museum and language study and research centre with special focus on German language,” said P. Muraleedharan, Tourism Deputy Director here.

An expert committee has been constituted to decide on the artefacts to be exhibited at the bungalow for setting up the museum, he said adding the ownership of the building would remain with the CSI.

Dr. Gundert rendered great service to Malayalam language. He had written an English-Malayalam dictionary while he was staying at the bungalow. He had also published two Malayalam journals including Rajya Samacharam, arguably the forerunner of the contemporary Malayalam newspapers.

Other heritage projects

Works are also on to develop the Pier road, near the famous Thalassery pier, into a food street and sculpture park as part of the project. The work on the ₹2.12-crore project has begun. The work of strengthening the pier facing corrosion will be started in the second phase. The development of tourism site near the fire tank located near the pier is nearing completion. According to officials the area will be used for holding cultural events.

The project is envisaged as one which is not confined to Thalassery and nearby areas alone.

It is planned to link the project to the historical cinnamon estate at Anjarakkandy here and also places in Wayanad district.

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