Cheraman Juma Masjid is the first mosque of India build in 629AD that resembles a Hindu temple in construction. The mosque is situated in Methala village of Kodungalloor Taluk in the Thrissur district. Cheraman mosque is the first in India and the second in the world where Juma prayers were started. People from various locations irrespective of caste and creed visit this holy place and pay their homage. The unique features of this mosque made it a historically prominent one. Irrespective of the fact that Mosques all over the world face the direction of Mecca, this particular one faces east. This mosque was designed and constructed in accordance with the Hindu architecture and art form. The building until recently was primarily made of wood.
Women visitors are not allowed to enter the mosque at any time. Male visitors are allowed only with the prior permission from the priest of the mosque. This antique mosque is a testimony to the strong relationship between Muslims and Hindus in the massive secular state of Kerala.
The Cheraman mosque uses the traditional brass oil lamp, which is mostly found in Hindu temples. Muslims, Hindus and Christians alike bring oil for the lamp during auspicious occasions in the family. The Friday sermons offered through the pulpit is made of rosewood with the carvings similar to those in temples. The architecture greatly resembles Hindu temple style. There are two tombs inside the mosque, that of Bin Dinar and his sister, where the Muslim priests light incense sticks, which is yet another Hindu practice.
The Arab territory had prominent do business contacts with Kerala coasts from early times. As per legend, Cheraman perumal, a Chera king of Kodungallure, embraced Islam and left for Mecca, and later accepted the Islam name Thajudeen. Later he married the sister of the then King of Jeddah. During his return journey, led by Malik-ibn-Dinar (RA), with many religious leaders of Islam, he felt sick and passed away. Anyhow he gave introductory letters to his kingdom and the visitors came to Musiris and, were treated with all respect and extended services to establish their faith in the land. The emperor also allowed the artisans to build the very first Mosque at Kodungallur, by translating Arathali temple into Juma-Masjid.