Religions in Kerala
Ancient religion in Kerala was Dravidian in Nature. Jainism reached Kerala in 3rd century BC. The famous Koodalmanikyam Temple at Irinjalikkuda dedicated to Bharata was a famous Jain temple. It is assumed that Buddhism reached Kerala during the period of Asoka in the 3 rd century BC. The Sangham work Manimekhalai mentions about the spread to Buddhism in Kerala. A large number of Buddha images have been found from kunnathur and karunagappally taluk of quilon district. Famous Buddhist images Karumadikuttan has been discovered from karumadi near ambalappuzha. Buddhism began to decline from the 8 th century AD. Christianity was introduced in Kerala in the first century AD (52 AD) by St. Thomas. St. Thomas founded seven churches in Kerala, ie Malankara, Palayur, Kottakavu, Kokkamangalam, Quilon, Niranam and Nilakkal. St. Thomas Christians were called Syrian Christians. The Jews came to kerala in 68 AD and first landed at kodungallur. The white Jewish synagogue at mattancherri was built in 1567. After the birth of Jewish state of Israel in May 1948 the Jews in Kerala migrated to Israel. Islam was introduced to Kerala probably in 644 AD by Malik Ibn Dinar. He founded the cheraman mosque at kodungallur. One and only Muslim ruling dynasty in Kerala was the Arakkal Dynastry. It had its centre at Kannur. The ruler of this dynasty is a male he is known as Ali Raja and female is known as Arackal Beevi.