Fact Check: Photo of Muslims at a Tamil Nadu's Kilakarai Jumma Mosque mistaken for a temple

A photo of a group of Muslim men is being shared on WhatsApp with the claim that they are at a temple.

By Misha Rajani  Published on  13 Jun 2022 2:43 PM GMT
Fact Check: Photo of Muslims at a Tamil Nadus Kilakarai Jumma Mosque mistaken for a temple

Hyderabad: A photo of a group of Muslim men is being shared on WhatsApp with the claim that they are at a temple.


FACT CHECK

NewsMeter performed a reverse image search and found a 2017 article in The Hindu written by Kombai S. Anwar, an academic and Tamil documentary filmmaker. Anwar identified the religious institution as a mosque and not a Hindu temple. The mosque was built in the 17th Century and is called the Kilakarai Jumma Mosque and is located in Tamil Nadu.

He writes, "Unlike north India, Islam came to the south through maritime spice trade even as it was spreading across Arabia in the 7th Century. The Muslims who were traders enriched the country with precious foreign exchange, and hence were accorded a special place by the Tamil rulers of the day, and often received grants to build mosques, like the one at the Adhi Jagannatha Swamy temple."

Anwar says that among the many inscriptions at the Vaishnavite shrine of Adhi Jagannatha Swamy at Thirupullani, there is one about a grant for a mosque. This inscription was carved in the late 13th Century by the Pandya King Thirubuvana Chakravarthy Koneri Mei Kondan. It describes the grant made to the Muslim Sonagar and asks for a mosque to be built at Pavithramanikka Pattinam. "These mosques are all built of stone, in the Dravidian architectural style with Islamic sensibilities," he says.

In his blog Yaadhum, Anwar states that the mosque has a Dravidian architectural look, a mix of local Dravidian and Islamic tradition. Anwar and his team also made a short film on the mosque's architecture that won the Bronze Remi Award at the 48th Annual World Fest – Houston Film Festival.


According to Navarang India, a blog that focuses on history, historical vignettes, and monuments, the Jumma Masjid of Kilakarai represents the glory of Islamic heritage dating back to over 1,000 years. It was constructed during 628-630 AD and was rebuilt in 1036. The mosque is believed to be among the finest examples of Islamic architecture in the southern part of India. In appearance, it is very similar to that of a Hindu temple but there are no idol carvings on the walls or pillars of the outer and inner walls of the mosque. Moreover, a particular carving on its wall signifies the direction of prayer and this is the only singular evidence that the pilgrimage spot is a mosque.

Hence, the viral picture does not show Muslims at a Hindu temple. It is a mosque built in the Dravidian Islamic architectural style in Tamil Nadu. The claim is false.

Claim Review:Photo of Muslims at a Tamil Nadu’s temple
Claimed By:Social Media Users
Claim Reviewed By:Newsmeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:False
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