Kottayam: One of the oldest masjids in Kerala is throwing open its doors for women, for a few hours this summer. The juma masjid committee has decided to allow women inside the masjid on April 24 and May 8 in the intervals between prayers. Women can go inside the masjid from 8 am to noon, 1 pm to 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm to 6 pm.
The eighth-century Thazhathangadi Masjid, supposedly built by Malik Deenar along with the Cheraman Masjid at Kodungallur, draws scores of visitors everyday, but no woman has seen its famed interiors yet. The masjid marries Arabian and indigenous architecture and its interiors are filled with intricate Arab-style wood carvings.
Office-bearers of the committee said the decision was in recognition of a long-standing wish by the people in the area. Many tourists and researchers from India and abroad come to Thazhathangadi to visit the ancient mosque with its unique pillars, arches and pediments made of teak.
Believed to be one of the 10 mosques built by Malik Deenar in Kerala, the Thazhathangadi Masjid is hailed as the most beautiful in the state. The mosque is famed for a sundial, a monolithic water tank for devotees to clean themselves before the prayers and Quran verses carved in wood.