There are many beautiful mosques in the world. Though domes, minarets and prayer halls are some of the more prominent similarities, different countries will have its unique identity. Have you seen some of these mosques in Asia? Here, we found a few that fits the amazing list:
1. Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, Brunei
Credit: By Camera Operator: PH2 JACOB JOHNSON, USN [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Located in Bandar Sri Begawan, the capital of Brunei Darussalam, it is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful mosques in South East Asia. Besides a place of worship, it is also a major historical site and a famous tourist attraction. Visitors of Brunei would not miss this structure as it dominates the skyline with one of its minarets being the tallest building in Bandar Sri Begawan. Apparently the sultan ordered the top storey of a nearby building removed, in order for it not to exceed the minaret’s height. It also features a ceremonial stone boat in the lagoon, which is based on a 16th
-century royal barge.
2. Jama Masjid, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra, India
Jama Masjid is one of the largest mosques in India. Built by the Emperor Shah Jahan in the 16th century, it was part of the World Heritage
Site, Fatehpur Sikri – the capital of the Mughal Empire for some 10 years. With its beautiful Iranian architecture, Jama Masjid also serves as one of the most visited tourist destinations in Agra. The construction of the mosque marks a transition in Islamic art in India where the blend of Persian and native elements are very much evident.
3. Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque, Colombo, Sri Lanka
With the blue mosque in Istanbul, there is also a red mosque in Colombo. In one of the busier commercial districts of Colombo - Pettah, stands this striking and unique structure. Each brick used in the construction of this outstanding piece of architecture is painted red or white and used in contrasting designs – hence, being commonly known as the Red Mosque. Its Indo-Saracenic architecture, featuring pomegranate-shaped domes gives this mosque its own character and remarkableness. Some also claim that this building was used as the landmark of Colombo by sailors approaching the port in the past.
4. Crystal Mosque, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
Credit: tedytravel Within the grounds of the Islamic Heritage Park in Kuala Terengganu, the Crystal Mosque was built on a man-made island. It was officially opened in February 2008 and is the country’s first ‘intelligent’ mosque with built-in IT infrastructure and WiFi connection
providing visitors with internet access to read the Quran digitally. Its stunning architecture is made of steel and glass giving the mosque its crystal-like appearance. Also with the display of lights at night, the mosque truly deserves it reputation of one of the most beautiful mosques having its domes and minarets change colours to pink yellow, green and blue.
5. Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Built in the 15th
century, the Bibi-Khanym Mosque was one of the largest and gorgeous mosques in the world. In 1897, an earthquake brought down parts of the mosque but slowly and surely, major parts of the mosque have been restored. According to some legends, the mosque was built by Bibi-Khanym, Tamerlane’s favourite wife in order to honour his return from India with the aim of it being the most grandiose creation and structure on Samarkand. It features three domed rooms, covered galleries, 8 minarets (4 restored and 4 yet to be completed), and also an open courtyard with a stone pedestal – a huge Quran stand.
6. Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Credit: seriouslytravel Displaying unique black domes, made of hard wood shingles combined as tiles, this mosque is one of the better known in Indonesia due to its significance during the 2004
tsunami. Many cited divine intervention as the reason this 130 year old mosque somehow survived and withstood the disaster when neighbouring structures around the mosque were flattened by the unstoppable swell. Numerous locals took refuge here while the tsunami ravaged the landscape of Banda Aceh. Images of the incident still mesmerises even to this day. With its design based on the Mughal revival style, today it features 7 domes, 8 minarets and 32 pillars.
7. Mashkhur Jusup Central Mosque, Pavlodar, Kazakhstan
Adorned with an 8-axis star, a dome and 4 minarets, this mosque can be found right in the city centre. Being true to its function as a proper mosque, it also features a school, wedding hall, library, cinema, dining room and also an Islamic culture museum among others. Built primarily form monolithic iron concrete, bricks, metal, marble and aluminium, its architecture became an inspiration and has influenced many urban designs in the country. Certainly its centre piece is unique and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Know of any other breathtaking mosques in Asia that we have missed out? Let us know in the comments below!