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17 Martyrs of Ramanthali

There is a graveyard in the courtyard of Juma Masjid at Ramanthali, on the valley of Ezhimala. There lay the 17 martyrs in eternal peace, who sacrificed their lives fighting against the Portuguese invaders. Portugese army became a dominant force in Malabar  after the arrival or Vasao da Gama in 1498 at Kohikode. This has resulted invasion of Portugese towards the local community and their culture in Malabar especially Muslim community.  When the aggression of Porugese crossed all its limits, Muslim community under the leadership of Sheikh Zainudeen  Maqdoom Thangal decided to fight against this invasion to protect their cultural and social identity and even their survival. Various  warriors like Kunhali Marakkar of Kottakkal, Kuttippokkar of Ponnani, Mammail of Kannur , Pokkal Moopan of Ramanthali also lead the war against the foreign army.
Ramanthali was a small village and the social and cultural life of the Muslim community in this village were concentrated at the Juma Masjid situated there. The Portuguese invaders  who were engaged in mindless atrocities all over Kerala, reached this small village and established their army base there. They setup a fort at Ramanthali on the valley of Ezhimala. The army base was installed much closer to the  Juma Masjid which was considered as a gesture to provoke the community there.
When the aggressive approach of the invaders grown to an intolerable level, the community decided to defend for their very survival. As a precautionary measure to engineer the attack they shifted women, children and elders to safer places like Padanna, Kavvayi and Kunhimangalm. The group who were not having much arms and ammunitions to fight against foreign army lined up under the leadership of Pokkar Moopan for the final war. Many of these brave soldiers gave up their lives after killing a number of foreign enemies. The desecrated and chopped up bodies were accumulated in the well near the Masjid.  They were later identified with the help of the relatives and were buried in the same premises.  They were buried in a style that Pokkar Moopan was in the middle and his fellow soldiers on both sides. Only 10 names among the 17 martyrs were known. They are Pokkar Moopan, Pari, Kalandar, Kunhipari, Pari, Qamber, Abubacker, Ahmed , Bakiri Hassan and Cherikkakka. 
It is believe that this historical incident happened somewhere around 1528. The excavations conducted in this area prove this assumption. Various weapons were excavated from a location called “kottayilparambu”  situated in the south of Juma Masjid. The place were these 17 martyrs rest in peace is considered as a holy place. The common folk irrespective of creed and faith visit this place for the blessings.

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