Mishkal Mosque | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Over 650 years-old Mishkal mosque stands as a symbol of Kozhikode’s heritage on the Malabar coast. The medieval mosque was named after the Arab trader Nakhooda Mishkal, who built the mosque in the 14th century using timber rather than stones.
In contrast to conventional mosques with minarets, Mishkal mosques have arches in the style of temples. The four-storey structure with tiled roof has walls enclosed with wooden structures on the top two floors. All floors except the ground floor were built in teak wood.
A mosaic of Italian tiles and wood planks, 24 huge wooden pillars supporting the entire structure, and intricate wood carvings all make the mosque visually appealing.
Mishkal has the history of resisting the arson attack of the Portuguese army centuries back with the unity of both Muslim and Hindu communities in the region. A fleet led by Afonso de Albuquerque, a descendent of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama entered the city via the Kallai river and unleashed an attack in 1510. The first floor of the mosque was completely burned during the assault. In retaliation, the Zamorins, who ruled Calicut, demolished the Portuguese army’s Chaliyam Fort. The wooden structures collected from the Chaliyam Fort were used to reconstruct the Mishkal mosque.
During the Ramzan month, the kazis of Kozhikode and the members of the Zamorin family meet to rekindle their relationship.