• Benny Kuriakose

CORAL STONE MOSQUES OF MALDIVES AND THEIR COMPARISON WITH KERALA MOSQUES

The islands of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean are known for their exquisite scenery and rich cultural heritage. With the coral stone mosques of Maldives and other historic buildings built out of coral stones, traditional Maldivian architecture is unique. The islands were a transit point for the sea traders coming to India and the East. Due to the influx of traders from different parts of the world, a blending of different cultures occured in the Maldives. This might be getting reflected in the architectural elements, building styles, and construction techniques of Maldives.


Table of Contents:


1. Introduction to Traditional Maldivian Architecture

2. Comparative Analysis of Architectural Elements of the Coral Stone Mosques in Maldives with the Architectural Styles of Kerala

2.1 Plinth

2.2 Elevation

2.3 Walls

2.4 Doors

2.5 Columns

2.6 Window

2.7 Interior Details

2.8 Minbar

2.9 Ceiling

2.10 Timber Joinery & Roof Coverings

2.11 Ablution Tanks

2.12 Carvings and Mouldings

2.13 Calligraphy in Islamic Architecture

2.14 Lacquer Work In Maldives And Kerala

2.15 Timber

2.16 Entrance

3. Conclusion


1. Introduction to Traditional Maldivian Architecture


Construction in any region in the old days was mainly dependent on the availability of local materials. Maldives with its numerous islands surrounded by beautiful coral reefs led to a unique kind of architectural style, different from that prevalent in many of the countries which would have influenced its architecture. The mosques of Maldives were built with coral stone walls and timber roofs.


2. Comparative Analysis of Architectural Elements of the Coral Stone Mosques in Maldives with the Architectural Styles of Kerala


This article concentrates on enumerating the similarities and differences between the architectural styles of Kerala, mainly focusing on the religious buildings of Kerala, and the six focal mosques in Maldives, which have been nominated under the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.


The analysis has focused on understanding the similarities and distinctive features in the architectural styles of the two areas by comparing the architectural elements, building techniques, and materials of the various buildings in Kerala and Maldives.


2.1 Plinth


The following images illustrate the similarities observed in the plinth of the religious buildings of Kerala (Photo1) and the mosques of Maldives. It also focuses on the details that can be observed in the foundation and plinth of the mosques of Maldives (Photo(s) 2, 3, 4, 5). It can be o