Three of Kerala's age old heritage mosquse - a brief note

Unlike other parts of India, in Kerala Islam has been around for a pretty long time - far before the arrival of Muslim rules from NW of India. It was  through Arab traders during the time of Prophet Muhammad(CE 570 - CE 632) Islam was introduced on coastal Kerala. They were traders in spices, etc. Kerala is known to have ancient relation with the middle east even during the Pre-Islamic period. Muslim merchants (Malik Deenar) settled in Kerala by the 7th century AD and introduced Islam. The Cheraman Juma Masjid said to be the very first mosque in India situated in Kodungallur Taluk, in state of Kerala. According to historians , Cheraman Perumal, the last of the Chera kings, became Muslim and travelled to visit prophet Muhammad and  upon his death he  requested his family members  to be kind to Malik ibn Dinar to whom he gave a letter and advised them to follow the path of Islam. Malik Dinar in the 7th century took the initiative and this was the beginning of Islam in this otherwise predominantly a Hindu state. Cheran Perumal who  took a Muslim name now is buried in Salalah, Oman.

Kerala Muslims generally referred to as Mappilas in Kerala share a common language (Malayalam)  and culture with the rest of the population. In this state  next to Hinduism,  Muslim population forms 26.56% of the total  population of Kerala. Islam is growing fast here on account of large conversions and birth rates.

Kerala has the distinction of having some of the oldest mosques in this country. The amazing feature is some of the mosques follow the old Kerala architectural tradition and design  relevant to  this region and seasons. They are made of wood, masonry with tiled roof. Only the recently built mosques (Pallis) have  traditional Islamic features like minarets, etc. 

Thazhathangady Juma Masjid:

Thazhathangady Juma MasjidTripAdvisor
Thazhathangady Juma Masjid is a  heritage site located in Thazhathangady, Kerala, and is vey close to Kottayam town. It is one of the oldest mosques in India and is more than 1000 years old. Famous for

Thazhathangady Juma
its rich of architectureand fascinating wood workof immense beauty , it is being visited by lots of tourists. In 2012 some changes had been made on the south side as the structure was too weak to handle. With disturbing the heritage aspect, the south side is pulled down and extended  with iron pillars, aluminium sheets and minars to keep the mosque intact from additional damage. Situated on the banks of the Meenachil river in the midst of serene surrounding, it was built by the early settlers who migrated from different parts of Kerala.  The Muslims from this area  took an active role in India's  Freedom Struggle and other National Movements. This vintage masjid goes by the name of the “Taj Juma Masjid”of  Kottayam. Here, Muslim wome have a sepate space for prayer and are not allowed to perform rituals. Only on two days -  April 24 and May 8, women with proper attire are allowed inside the masjid.

The Cheraman Juma Mosque:

The Cheraman Juma Mosque in Methala, Kodungallur Taluk, Thrissur District of Kerala is the first mosque in India. The masjid  located in Paravur is also believed to be one of the oldest in the world.
Cheraman Juma Masjid,Methla, kerala
Built in 629 AD, by Malik Deenar, an Arab propagator of Islam, it is believed, that this mosque was first renovated and reconstructed in the 11th century AD. The Arabi-Malayalam script in the masjid gate denotes  5 Hijri. Many non-Muslims conduct initiation ceremonies (Vidhyaranbham) to the world of letters of their children here. This mosque has an ancient oil lamp that has been burning more than 1000 plus years. People of all faiths bring oil as an offering for the lamp to keep it burning so that the blessed light will remove the darkness in their lives. In April 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted a gold-plated replica of the Cheraman Juma Masjid to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. A few years ago this mosque was renovated. 

Mishkal Mosque:

Mishkal Mosque,Calicut.  kalli valli
interor Mishkal Mosque,Calicut
Mishkal Mosque,  a medieval mosque located in Kuttichera, Thikkipuram beach  Calicut in the Indian state of Kerala is one of the oldest in this region. Historically, architecturally and culturally this old mosque occupies a proud place in the history of Kerala.  Built by a rich Arab merchant, Nakhooda Mishkal in the 14th century, the mosque carries his name. Entirely made of heavy timber wood with
no cupolas and minaret, this strikingly unique mosque has 5 stories. The top floors are  damaged when the Portuguese rulers invaded this place and set fire to the mosque in 1510. Reconstruction was done after this destruction

Mishkal Mosque originally had five storiesbut now  has four stories.  The mosque that can accommodate  400 people at a time has 47 doors, 24 carved pillars supporting a big well ventilated prayer hall.