The 200 year old Juma Masjid at Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram popularly known as the Kerala Mosque stands majestically in the heart of the beautiful city of Thiruvananthapuram, sandwiched by an ancient Catholic Church on one side and an ancient temple on the other. The co-existence of these places of worship is a distinct symbol of secularism and communal harmony of the State of Kerala from time immemorial. The Masjid and the related Madrassa, etc. are situated in Sy. No. 2460 at Puthenchantha, Palayam of Vanchiyoor Village.
The establishment of the Palayam Mosque dates back to 1813 A.D During the period , the erstwhile Travancore (Now Kerala) was an independent State ruled by the Maharajahs. The bodyguards, cavalry and infantry viz. soldiers, drafted from the British Indian Army stationed in North India commanded by the Maharajahs used to camp at the Contonment (Palayam-in Malayalam) adjacent to the Masjid where the Police Stadium, Vikas Bhavan etc. are functioning. The Urdu speaking North Indian Muslim Officers and Soldiers of the 2nd Regiment put up a small Masjid near the Contonment area for offering prayers and an Eidgah for Eid Prayers.
Later in 1824 AD, the Muslim Officers and men purchased the land on which the said Masjid was functioning and appointed a Qasi (Imam) to look after the affairs of the Masjid. Again during 1849 the Muslim Officers and Soldiers of the 16th Regiment effected improvements to the existing Masjid and constructed an entrance resembling Indo-Saracen Architecture.
In 1898 late Hajee Yoonus Sait, son of Hajee Usman Sait, a philanthropic businessman of Trivandrum took up renovation of the mosque and constructed a mosque building and the Masjid remained as such without change for the next 50 years or so.
In 1947 the Muslims in and around Palayam unanimously elected a Jama-ath Committee consisting of 25 members headed by Marhoom Jb. Hussain Khan Sahib as the President to carry out the administration and to control its activities in a democratic manner. This arrangement continues.
Consequent on the formation of the State of Kerala, The Masjid being at the heart of the city could not cater to the needs of the large number of people who used to assemble to offer namaz during congregational Prayers on Fridays etc. although the Masjid had very spacious halls and a thatched hall. This proved to be insufficient to accommodate the crowds. Many more were forced to pray in the open courtyard.
To overcome this contingency, the Jama-ath Committee decided to reconstruct the Masjid at the earliest. Accordingly in 1959, a Committee was constituted for the purpose. This committee with the unstinted cooperation and generous financial contributions from many of our stalwart members took up the challenge of re-construction. The work was completed in 1967. Considering the importance attached to the Masjid and its location in the middle of the city, much care was taken to maintain its architectural beauty and grandeur by adopting Indo Saracen Architecture. The reconstruction was supervised by very eminent Engineers and Architects.
The reconstruction of the Masjid was minutely supervised at various stages of construction by late Er. Kuttiammu Sahib in a consummate manner. The sketch and design was prepared by Late Er. J.C. Alexander, Former Chief Town Planner and consulting Architect of the Govt. of Kerala.The reconstructed grand Palayam Juma Masjid of Trivandrum was inaugurated by Jb. Dr. Zakir Hussain Sahib, Hon’ble President of India on 20th December, 1967 in the presence of a huge gathering of Muslims from all walks of life.