Mishkal Mosque more than 655 year old, Kozhikode, Kerala

Mishkal Mosque, Kozhikode, Kerala, alamy.com

oldest  one-Mishkal MosqueKozhikode, Kerala www.tripadvisor.in

For centuries, coastal Kerala had  direct maritime trade contact  with the Arabian Peninsula, the cradle of Islam and the trade prospered to such an extend the Hindu  Chera King of Kodungallur followed Islam and made a trip to Mecca, the holiest city for the Muslims. Upon his return along with Islamic scholars he died. Upon his recommendation, the ruling king not only welcomed the Scholars from Arabia and also  extended his support to them for  building  mosques to follow their faith. The first mosque came up in Kodungallur called Malik ibn Dinar mosque. With the arrival of more Arab traders, began the conversion of natives to Islam in the friendly atmosphere of  the  accommodative social set up and the prevailing cultural ethos of coastal Malabar. Later the prominent Muslim population had close rapport with the Kozhikode  Hindu Zamorin (Samoothiri) rulers. Early mosques in Kerala do not  show the influence of Arab architecture. Nor do they exhibit that of   Indo-Islamic architecture of North India. Originally the mosque had five stories; the top one was damaged by the Portuguese settlers. Except ground floor, all other floors are made of solid wood and it bears testimony o the skill of local carpenters and workers. 

Inside Mishkal Mosque, Kozhikode, Kerala p4panorama.com

Mishkal Mosque, Kozhikode, Kerala, alamy.com

The Mishkal Mosque, Kuttichira, Kozhikode is  one of the oldest mosques in Malabar built by a rich Arab merchant and ship owner  from Yeman, Nakhooda Mishkal, in the 14th century; the word Nakhuda is of Persian origin, meaning Captain of the ship; .Considered as one of the historical and cultural monuments  of  Kerala,  this unique old mosque does not possess  any of the features normally associated with a mosque.  There are no minarets, no cupolas or domes and lots of wood went into the constriction as Kerala has vast wooded areas where lumber is  easily available.

inside Mishkal Mosque, Kozhikode, Kerala, trip advisor.com

Mishkal Mosque, Kozhikode,Kerala .www.beautifulmosque.com

Mishkal Mosque, Kozhikode, Kerala, alamy.com

With the arrival of Vasco De Gama and his entourage  from, Lisbon, Portugal on the Kappad beach  near  Kozhikode (Calicut) on May 14, 1498, the peace and tranquility  of the people living on the coastal Malabar  became  the first casualty. On his second trip in search of spices, Gama had a tough stand against the natives and their Zamorin  Hindu ruler and inflicted  cruelty upon the local  maritime traders mostly Arabs.  Dom Francisco de Almeida became  the Portuguese  Viceroy of India later and after the arrival of Afonso de Albuquerque at Cannanore  in  December, 1508 the  trouble  had begun to brew to a higher level than before. In 1510 AD, the Portuguese traders, who already developed a trading post in Goa, West India,  had attacked the mosque and partially destroyed it with an intention to driving a wedge between the majority Hindu and minority Muslim population to establish their trade monopoly. The ruler being secular and unbiased, carried out the repairs on the mosque . However, the structure had lost  one floor. Originally the mosque was built using local artisans.

The  four story mosque has  a  big  hall  supported  by   27 carved  pillars  and can accommodate  about 400 worshipers. The prayer hall, considering the tropical condition of the region, is well ventilated with  mihrab-style doors for the comforts of the people inside the building.  There are as many as 47 doors. There is a tank on the premises called Kuttichara tank. In 2014 the state Government of Kerala provided Rs.45 lakhs for  additional improvements and facilities for tourists and the face lift of the adjoining tank. This 650 plus year old mosque saw some major renovation work a few years ago fully funded by ONGC, a Central government organization.

Kozhikode is an important city on the Malabar coast and is well connected by railways and roads. There are lots of tourist spots in the surrounding places. It is also an important Islamic center in Kerala