The District Tourism Promotion Council, Kozhikode has applied for a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for the famous Beypore Uru (boat).
About ‘Beypore Uru’ –
- It is a wooden dhow (ship/sailing boat/sailing vessel) handcrafted by skilled artisans and carpenters in Beypore, Kerala.
- It is mainly made of Malabar teak, probably the biggest handicraft in the world.
- Beypore urus are purely made of wood, without using any modern techniques, and traditional methods are used to launch this ship into the water.
- The carpenters manually join each piece of wood to build the large boat.
- Uru making in Beypore is a centuries old tradition that was established since India began its maritime trade with Mesopotamia.
- Beypore is a town located on the banks of the Chaliyar River.
- According to records, Uru ships have been in high demand for around 2,000 years.
Who are the ‘Khalasis’?
- The Khalasis are the traditional artisans responsible for the manufacture of the Uru.
- They are the ones who launch these urus into the water, setting them ready for travel.
- Arab traders were especially enamoured of them, and were among the first major patrons of these vessels.
- It takes at least four years and the effort of over forty Khalasis to build an Uru.