Muslim Expat Funds Malappuram Temple Renovation

A 400-year-old temple in Kerala is being renovated and a good portion of the cost is being borne by a Muslim expat. Here is another tale of religious harmony from Malappuram, Kerala, that comes across as a breath of fresh air at a time when there is increasing concerns on religious polarization.

When the temple administration decided to renovate the Muthuvallur Durga Bhagavati Temple near Kondotty, the Muslim neigbhours were quick to offer their help. One of the first to come forward with assistance was K P Sulaiman Kizhisseri, who offered to bear the cost of copper plating to be laid out atop the temple, the expense of which comes to around one lakh rupees.

Chairman of the Saudi Arabia based KPS Group, Sulaiman Haji, as he is popularly known, runs educational institutions in Jeddah. He has been involved in philanthropic activities for many years now and recently constructed houses for two poor families in his native Muthuvallur. He has also announced plans to conduct the marriage of 15 girls from underprivileged background entirely at his expense this year.

K P Sulaiman Kizhisseri
K P Sulaiman Kizhisseri

It is over 50 years since any renovation works have been done on the striking, circular shaped Durga Bhagavati Temple.

According to the temple committee president Chandran Pullithodi, it was decided to lay out copper plating to give more protection to the rooftop. It would require 144 kilograms of copper to complete the task.

The Muslim neighbours’ and friends’ active participation – they even sponsored the pandal to accommodate more than 500 devotees – was hailed by the committee members. They believe it gave new life and luster to the tantric rituals as part of the renovation activities that began last month.