Cheraman Juma Masjid
Cheraman Juma Masjid the first mosque of India.This mosque resembles a Hindu temple in appearance and is located 2 km from Kodungalloor town.Built in 629 AD, this is the first mosque in India and the second in the world where Juma prayers were started. People from far and near irrespective of caste and creed visit this holy place and pay their homage. This mosque is unique. Mosques all over the world face the direction of Mecca, but this particular one faces east. It is situated in the Methala village of Kodungalloor Taluk, about 20 kilometres away from the Irinjalakuda railway station. This mosque was designed and constructed in accordance with the Hindu art and architecture. The building until recently was predominantly made of wood. The mosque eroded owing to adverse climatic conditions and had to be partly rebuilt, though the wooden interiors are still intact.
Women are not allowed into the mosque at any time. Male visitors are allowed in with the prior permission of the priest of the mosque. The ancient mosque is a testimony to the strong bonds between Hindus and Muslims in the largely secular state of Kerala.
Unlike any other mosques in India, the Cheraman mosque uses a traditional brass oil lamp, mostly found in Hindu temples. Muslims, Christians and Hindus alike bring oil for the lamp during any auspicious occasions in the family. The pulpit from where the chief priest gives Friday sermons is made of rosewood with carvings similar to those in temples. The architecture also resembles Hindu temple style. There are two tombs, that of Bin Dinar and his sister inside the mosque, where Muslim priests light incense sticks, yet another Hindu practice.
The Arab world had trade contacts with Kerala coast from very early times. As legend goes, a Chera king, Cheraman perumal of Kodungallure, left for Mecca, embraced Islam, and accepted the name Thajudeen. He married the sister of then King of Jeddah. On his return trip, accompanied by many Islamic religious leaders, led by Malik-ibn-Dinar (RA), he fell sick and passed away. But he had given introductory letters for the team to proceed to 'Musiris' (Kodungallur), the Chera capital. The visitors came to Musiris and handed over the letter to the reigning king, who treated the guests with all respect and extended facilities to establish their faith in the land. The king also organised help for the artisans to build the first Mosque at Kodungallur, by converting Arathali temple into a Juma-Masjid. It was build in 629 A.C., and the area around it had been earmarked for the team's settlement.
September to March
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How to Reach:
Nearest Railway Station: Irinjalakuda, 20 kms away