The Mosque

Mecca of the east and the crown of Malabar: Ponnani Valiya Pally at night. Built by Sheikh Zainudin Makhdum I (1465/1522) in early 16th century (1518). Partially damaged by the 1550 Portuguese assault but successfully resisted by the Makhdum II and his holy warriors. He composed The Tufatul Mujahideen in 1580s. The Thachan or Vastusilpi who designed it is also buried along with the Makhdum I in the Valiya Pally and called Asari Tangal in deep reverence.

Ponnani is often linked to golden skies and golden Arabian coins, that is to "Pon Vanam and the Arabippon Nanyam." But in the etymological deep structures of place names in Kerala there is something that links the affix Pon (gold) with the Jain and Buddhist past as in Ponmudi (plenty of them on the western ghats), Ponkunnam, Ponmala, Ponnambalamed (Sabarimala) etc. It can be well assumed that before becoming a seat of Islamic learning in the 8th century Ponnani was a Chamana cultural hub and harbor.

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