to be the earliest mosque in India, Cheraman Juma Masjid is located 1500 m
from Kodungallur centre. Founded in the seventh century, this is the first
Juma masjid in India.
The mosque is situated in the Methala village of Kodungalloor Taluk, around 20 kilometres from the Irinjalakuda railway station.
This mosque was designed and constructed in accordance with the Hindu art and architecture. People from all walks of life visit this mosque. The present building dating from the sixteenth century was until recently 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. There is a large Kerala oil lamp in the centre and Muslims, Christians and Hindus alike bring oil for the lamp during any auspicious occasion in the family.
It is locally believed that King Cheraman Perumal went to Mecca, embraced Islam and accepted the name Thajuddin. He married the sister of the then King of Jeddah and settled down there.
Before his death he handed over to the King of Jeddah several letters addressed to some rulers of Kerala seeking their help to propagate the tenets of Islam in Kerala. After his death the king came to Kerala and met the Rajah of Kodungalloor who helped him to convert the Arathali temple into a Juma Masjid.
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 festivals of Ramadan and Bakrid are celebrated with a lot of fervour in this mosque.