India's first-ever mosque in Thrissur to get a Rs 1.13-crore facelift

Cheraman Juma Masjid, Kodungallur

The Muziris Heritage Project (MHP) is set to restore the Cheraman Juma Masjid built in 629 AD at Kodungallur in Kerala's Thrissur district.

Indias first-ever mosque and the oldest in the sub-continent will be recreated in tune with its original character and aesthetics, at a cost of Rs 1.13 crore.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan will inaugurate the project, an initiative of the Department of Tourism through its heritage conservation efforts, on Sunday at the site of the religious structure, a MHP press release said here on Friday.

State Finance Minister Dr T M Thomas Isaac would preside over the function.

The Cheraman Masjid occupies a pivotal place in the Muziris civilisation that enjoyed glory as the ancient worlds greatest trading centre in the East, trading everything from spices to precious stones.

The land, also known as Mahodayapuram or Muyirikkode, was the capital of the Perumals as rulers in the line of Chera kings between 9th and 12th centuries AD.

Oral tradition says Cheraman Perumal, as the king, went to Arabia where he met the Prophet and embraced Islam in the early 7th century.

From there, he had sent letters, along with Malik Ibn Dinar, as a Persian scholar who travelled to India.

Dinar is believed to have built the masjid in 629 AD, five years after the kings death.

In the early centuries, Kodungallur was a settlement of traders, standing as the doorway to India for varied cultures and races, thus emerging as a cradle of several civilisations.

It came to an abrupt end in 1341 owing to massive floods that submerged the region.

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