A unique mosque steeped in Secularism - Pottalpudur Dargah of Tirunelveli,Tamil Nadu

pottalpudur Mosque(1674),Tirunelveli,Tamil Nadu, India  www.hikeezee.com
Pottalpudur  Dargah is one of the most prominent centers of pilgrimage in the district of Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, India. This famous Dargah is the oldest in the Tirunelveli district which was built around 1674. This Dargah, attracts not only Muslims  but also Hindus and Christians in equal numbers. This famous Dargah which has the architectural style of the Hindu temples is well-known for its services to the people of all community and it stands as a  good example of secularism and communal harmony.

At this Dargah, if the prayers of the pilgrims are answered, they pay their offerings  in large numbers  during the Kanthuri festival with great reverence. In the Pottalpudur Dargah where the Lebbais ( a particular Muslim community of Tamil Nadu) act as priest, customs followed in the rituals are very much similar to those followed by the Hindus. Holy ashes obtained from ghee, tamarind bark and flowers called ''Nerchai'' are distributed to the devotees who visit this Dargah.

The devotees bring a large number of sheep and fowls from different parts of the state and various other parts of the country and sacrifice at the 

Pottalpudur Dargah  before the Andavar as they do generally do before the local Amman deities. There are also people who offer fruits for their worship rather than fowls and sheep. A paste of sandal is prepared in a pot on a large scale at the time of the Kanthuri festival in this Dargah and is then sent to the Hindu village of Ravanasamudram, from where the sandal paste is again brought back to this Dargah with lots of pomp and glory. This sandal paste is offered to the Andavar, and later the paste is distributed to the eagerly waiting crowd regardless of caste or religion.  This Dargah is regarded as a pious and a sacred one equal to the Nagore Dargah and only next to Baghdad by the people of this place.