In a city that is largely filled with Hindu culture, the fact that it blends in with ease with the Islamic and Christian cultures and shrines is a sight for sore eyes. The perfect meaning to secularity can be seen here at Madurai. I click my SLR to share with you the simplicity and the stupendous beauty of the Goripalayam Mosque.
With the dome at 70 feet in diameter and 20 feet in height, the entire piece is made of a single block of stone, brought by the King Thirumalai Nayakkar from the Azhaga Hills, specially constructed for his Islamic subjects. The Mosque also stands as the grave for two of the great Sultans and Saints of Islam, Madurai Hazrat Sulthan Alauddin Badusha and Hazrat Sulthan Shamsuddin Badusha. The Goripalayam Mosque is placed along the Northern Banks of the Vaigai River, giving the Dargah more energy to draw from and spread calm and peace among its visitors.
I am told that the lineage of the Sultanate that once ruled the Northern part of Madurai survives, as they mingle with the city dwellers and care and maintain the Kazimar Mosque.
The Kazis and their Reign
I am amazed that what we read in novels, still lives and is a part of our lives while we go about unaware of its significance and mechanisms. I see here an inscription upon the Maqbara of the Darga Campus. It speaks of the lands purchased by the Sultans of Oman from the then Pandiyan King for a price of 14,000 gold pieces and a Feet of Gold Pieces.
The Land of the Goripalayam Mosque and six Villages were bought by the Sultans and is still part of their reign under their lineage. When a dispute arose regarding the rights to the lands during the reigns of King Veerappa Nayakkar, the King declared the land to belong to the descendants of the Sultans for eternity.
Like the festivities of the temples that throng the city every year, the Dargah celebrates the Urus festival on the 15th night of the Islamic month of Rabi-al-awwal on every Hijri year. The people here tell me that the Islamic festivities of the mosque are worth experiencing.
Care to share my experience?