Cheraman Juma Mosque
The first mosque in Kerala is the Cheraman Juma Mosque, which is also the first mosque in India and one of the oldest mosques in the world. A legend claims that it was built in 643 CE, which makes it the oldest mosque in the Indian subcontinent which is still in use. It was built on the orders of the successor of Cheraman Perumal, the Chera King of modern-day Kerala. The mosque was constructed in Kerala style with hanging lamps, making the historicity of its date claims more convincing. However, other scholars are more sceptical and dated the structure to the 14th-15th century based on the architectural style.

The mosque has an ancient oil lamp that has supposedly been burning continuously ever since the mosque’s origin – that is for more than a thousand years. Visitors often bring in oil to add to the lamp. The mosque has had to go through several renovations, with the first being in the 11th century CE. However, the inner hall, including the ancient lamp, has been preserved as is throughout the years. Today, the mosque also houses a museum.


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