Muslims join efforts to revive ancient temple in Kerala

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 24-11-2022
Locals of Therlayi Island in Kerala standing outside the 600-year old Shiva temple
Locals of Therlayi Island in Kerala standing outside the 600-year old Shiva temple


New Delhi

The Muslim inhabitants of a small island in Kerala have decided to revive an ancient temple located on their land that could also attract tourists.

This has happened in Therlayi Island under Chengalayi Panchayat of the Kannur district of Kerala.

The community largely farmers are working towards reviving the 600-year-old Lord Shiva temple. The temple is in a dilapidated condition with just three Hindu families living on the Island the management is facing a financial crunch in even performing even daily prayers and rituals.

V M Ganesh, Executive officer of the Shiva temple said that devotees do not visit the temple regularly.VM Mohanan, Sarpanch of Chingali panchayat said only three of the 140 families living on the island are Hindus and the rest are Muslims and this has meant no offerings at the ancient temple.

He said devotees from outside the island coming here could generate revenue not only for the temple but also for the island community. He said plans are afoot to include the temple in the tourism development package of the Arikur Assembly constituency.

Girish a resident says the six-century-old once the place is included in the tourism project, the condition will improve.

"We need around Rs 25-30 lakh to give the temple a facelift," he said, adding that when the Muslim families came to know about the restoration effort, they cooperated wholeheartedly,” he said.

On the political level, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has extended support for the project. Ward member and the secretary of the part for the Arikur constituency Moosankutty Therlayi said grass and bushes that were growing on the road leading to the temple have been cleared by the party volunteers.

Some Muslim families also donated part of their land to widen the road.

Musankutty added that the State President of the Youth League, Sayyid Munavvar Ali Shihab Thangal, had volunteered to be a part of the rehabilitation effort. He along with other members of the party planning to visit the island and support the efforts for the restoration of the temple.

"As of now, we have decided to offer support for the development of facilities outside the temple," Musankutty said. We have also decided to provide financial assistance for the revival of the temple.

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According to Musankutty, this gesture of Muslim inhabitants and the party that also draws its support from among the community was “not a matter of tolerance but of humanity.”