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Ponnani - The Cultural Potpourri of Malabar

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Located in Malappuram District of Kerala state in India, Ponnani is the smallest Taluk of the district. This tiny, picturesque town is bounded by the Arabian sea on the west and is a popular coastal belt of Malabar. Ponnani is the only port in Malappuram district and one of the oldest ones in Kerala. This tidal port is at the mouth of Bharathapuzha,the longest river of Kerala. This place is an important fishing centre. Ponnani is a town of mosques. Though described as a place of 231/2 mosques, there are nearly 50 mosques.

Ponnani has a population which is a blend of almost equal percentage of Hindus and Muslims and has set an example for tolerant and peaceful co-existence. 

Malik Ibnu Dinar, the first Islamic missionary who came to Kerala, was believed to have visited Ponnani. William Logon, the historian, records in his Malabar manual about the Ponnani Juma’ Masjid built in 925 Hijrah. Ponnani was considered as the second capital of Malabar during the reign of Samoothiri and was the headquarters of Kunjali Marakkar, the naval army chief of Samoothiri.

Ponnani enjoyed a status as an important centre for education in the philosophy of Islam.In the early period, Ponnani was considered the Al Azhar university of Kerala, for its great religious schools and teachers. Ponnani was called the 'small Makkah' in south India, Malaya, Indonesia etc.

Ponnani is a name very much associated with the nationalist  movements in the freedom struggle. A number of prominent leaders from this taluk had contributed in soul and spirit towards realising the dream of Independent India. Ponnani has also contributed a great deal to the cultural and literary heritage of Kerala.

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