History of the old Munnar-Aluva Pathway
Old Aluva – Munnar Road ; The Reconstruction of the road was started in 1891s and was completed in the following decade. In fact the road has a much older tale to tell.
The road that the local people showed the British was the remnants of a glorious past, Bits and pieces of an ancient Royal Path that connected the historic port city of Musiris (Now Kodungallur) with the city of old Madurai.
The road covered the Western Ghat-–home to invaluable natural resources. The history of trade through this route traces back to the times before the Old Testament. There is enough evidence suggesting the importance of the road and the city of Musiris in the history of ancient globalisation.It’s a lush green carpet of tea plants.
Video – Riyas Rasheed
The presence megaliths and so many other historical monuments point towards a civilisation over 3000 years old.
The ancient Pathway(road) was constructed in the Chera Era (300 BCE to 250 CE). The road, which transported valuables including sandalwood and spices from the misty heights to Musiris, was once the backbone of an economy. As trade in these items increased, Feneshiya/Arab/Roman/Chinese traders were attracted to India, and more specifically Kerala.
The road is a rather unique one. First, it runs almost parallel to the rivers Periyar and Pooyamkutty. Second,It has no steep slopes and maintains almost a constant slop of 1:10. Third, it goes through The Western Ghats, one of the world’s ten ecological hotspots. This place is famous for the “Neelakurinji” flower.
Third, nobody has as yet traced the ancient road in entirety. The reason being, the change in topography of the land over centuries. The Great Flood in 1354 almost wiped out the city of Musiris, destroyed the port and, as if in a quid pro quo, formed the natural contours enabling Cochin Harbour.
The course of the rivers was also changed considerably, making it difficult to apprehend how the road, described as following the ancient river course, actually would have been.
However there is enough evidence to show that the road existed and a civilisation prospered by the side of it. The remnants of old Forts, Nannangadis, and Muniyaras (dolmens) around the region show the same.