CHERAMAN MASJID, THE OLDEST MOSQUE IN INDIA
We are very happy to do the conservation of the oldest mosque in India. Although, the mosque website claims this to be the 7th century mosque, the historians attribute it to the 11th century. Due to the social changes, concrete additions, domes and minarets were added in the 70s. Luckily, the core part of the old mosque is still intact. Sri. Pinarayi Vijayan, the Chief Minister of Kerala is going to inaugurate the conservation works.
Our office had taken great pains to work out a solution to do this project which was done a few years ago. Please see the photograph of the existing mosque and the old mosque. The proposed view, has been published in many of the newspapers.
I am very thankful to Dr. Mohamed Sayeed, Faizal Edavanakad and all the committee members to take this bold step, which will be a great inspiration for all the administrators in charge of the religious institutions in the country.
The main issue in removing the ugly additions to the mosque was that the capacity of the people will come down from 2000 to 300. So we suggested having a canopy or a basement. The mosque authorities went with the second option. The main challenge was to convert the basement which will look like a car park into a sacred space.
Since it is a historic building and although several modifications have been made, we have sought the help of historians and archaeologists. Former Director of Archaeology Dr. Hemachandran S will be assisting in this regard.