The Masjid-i Jahān-Numā (the "World-reflecting Mosque"), Palayam, Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram). This congregational mosque, seen here in a three-quarter view, is also known simply as the Kerala Mosque, since it is the main mosque in the town. It makes a threesome in the old cantonment area with its two neighbours, the Hindu Ganesha temple and St Joseph's Roman Catholic Cathedral.

Left: The front of the Masjid-i Jahān-Numā.

The mosque was originally established in 1813, when the state was called Travancore, and Trivandrum was the seat of the Maharajah. At this time, "[t]he 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" ("About Us"). Improvements and renovations during the Victorian period included constructing "an entrance resembling Indo-Saracen Architecture," but it still had a thatched roof. Eventually this older structure proved inadequate, and there was a major reconstruction in the 1960s, "with much care ... to maintain its architectural beauty and grandeur by adopting Indo Saracen Architecture..... The sketch and design was prepared by Late Er. J. C. Alexander, Former Chief Town Planner and consulting Architect of the Govt. of Kerala" ("About Us").

The mosque is very impressive from every angle, and it is pleasing to see the three places of worship, for different sectors of the community, co-existing harmoniously here. The obelisk next to the mosque is the town's war memorial.

Photographs and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]


"About Us: History." Palayam Muslim Jama-Ath (the mosque's own website). Web. 27 April 2019.

Created 24 April 2019