Monday, 17 November 2014

1000 year Old historical Jumma Masjid of Kilakarai,Tamil Nadu

Jumma Masjid, Kilakarai, Tamil Nadu, India credit:beautifulmosque.com
Old Jumma Masjid of Kilakarai is the most ancient place of worship in the entire country and is the fourth-oldest mosque in the world. It is located in Kilakarai village in Tamil Nadu, South India.

The mosque is also popularly referred to as 'Meen Kada Palli' or 'Palaiya Jumma Palli'. The Jumma Masjid of  Kilakarai represents the glory of Islamic heritage dating back to over 1000 years and it was constructed during 628 to 630 AD. However, the mosque was rebuilt in 1036 and is believed to be among the finest examples of Islamic architecture in the southern part of India. One gets a fair knowledge of Islamic building designs with respect to places of worship and  how creative and resourceful the Islamic rulers of India were in those olden days.

The Old Jumma Masjid of  Kilakarai was  built by Yemeni merchants and traders who had settled in the
Pandya kingdom. The construction was done at the request of the Governor of Yemen - Baadhan or Bazan ibn Sasan during the age of Muhammad, after the citizens had embraced the religion of Islam during 625 to 628 AD. For some reason  the mosque was rebuilt in 11th century. Nagoor Abdul Cadir, Tamim Ibn Zayd-al-Ansari, Ibn Batutah, Sultan of Ottoman Murad, Ervadi Ibrahim Sahib, Bazan Ibn Sasan and many other Islamic scholars visited this holy place.  
Jumma Masjid,Kilakarai, Tamil Nadu, India. credit:beautifulmosque.com

The Old Jumma Masjid of Kilakarai is very much similar in appearance to that of a Hindu temple and there are no idol carvings on the walls or pillars of outer and inner walls of the mosque. 

Devotees will observe a carving on its wall which signifies the direction of prayer and this is the only singular evidence that the pilgrimage spot is a mosque. The Arabs and their next generations were given  the responsibility of managing this ancient mosque. Elaborate carvings are present on the surfaces of the walls of the mosque and lofty beams are also present in the 'pallavasal' of the mosque. The mosque bears a Dravidian architectural look, which implies a distinctive architectural pattern – a mix of local Dravidian and Islamic tradition.

This historical Mosque of great antiquity should be well maintained and preserved for the future generation because it represents the legacy of early Arab traders who had close link with this part of land once ruled by Pandyas and Nayaks.