Tag Archives: Mosque

Masjid Negara – A Beautiful, Serene Mosque in Kuala Lumpur

Inside View of Masjid Negara
Source: commons.wikimedia.org

By Lakshmi:

Who?  Anyone visiting Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and has an hour or more to spare.

What? Masjid Negara also known as the National Mosque was built in 1965 and is a fully functioning mosque in the heart of the city.

How? The mosque is located across the street from the old Kuala Lumpur railway station at

Jalan Lembbah Perdana  50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Entrance is free.  As this is a place of worship, please ensure that you are modestly attired and have a head scarf and clothing that covers your arms and legs.  Additionally, you need to remove your shoes before entering.  Please check with your hotel on prayer times and go in when you are likely to find the mosque to yourself.

Why? The Masjid Negara is a jewel in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.  The mosque is located on a site with 13 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, reflecting pools and fountains and is a lovely tranquil spot feeling a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  It is a vast mosque, capable of housing 15,000 devotees at a given point in time.  As you approach the mosque, you are drawn in by the very unusual roof which resembles a partially opened umbrella.  This vision in blue is meant to depict the five pillars of Islam and the 13 states of Malaysia.

The mosque strikes the visitor as a very modern structure seeped deeply in tradition.  It is a perfect blend of the old and the new.  You face the beautiful, intricately carved walls as you feel the coolness of the marble on your feet.  The blue tile and glass work juxtaposed against the white of the marble and the blue of the carpet brings together the perfect blend of materials and art for a very soothing effect to the eye and soul.

We spent a couple of hours here, first taking in the mosque and then just walking around the grounds and fountains, emerging out into the very busy streets of Kuala Lumpur in a very serene state.

Al-Azhar Mosque – A Jewel in Cairo

By Lakshmi:

Who? Anyone who is visiting Cairo should plan to spend a few hours at this jewel.

What? The Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo was completed in 972 AD and has seen many a renovation and addition since its inception. This place of worship is indeed a serene, tranquil place in the heart of Cairo and is also the center of the prestigious university with the same name.

How? The Al-Azhar Mosque is located at El Darb El Ahmer in Cairo and is literally a short walk from the famous Khan el Khalili bazaar. There is no entrance fee, but when we entered, one of the administrators at the mosque offered to show us the madrassas and the minaret for a nominal fee.

Please remember that this is an active place of worship. So it is best to check with your hotel and avoid prayer times. Since it is a place of worship, visitors need to dress conservatively. A head scarf is necessary and clothing must cover the arms and legs. You need to remove your slippers before entering.

Why? In addition to being an important place of worship and learning, the mosque presents some exquisite architecture which has evolved with the additions over time. As you enter the mosque, you see the madrassas (schools) on your right where young kids come to learn. Immediately you walk into a beautiful open courtyard with architecture from the Fatimid period. You are greeted with a visual of people praying along the perimeter, kids running around with parents chatting and of course, tourists admiring the intricate, elaborate architecture that beholds them.

Tourists are allowed to walk into the carpeted prayer hall, the red carpet with signs pointing to Mecca forming a contrast against the alabaster columns. There is a beautiful interplay of light that you can see as it makes its way in through the doors.

If you do get a chance, please do visit the minarets. In addition to seeing the architecture from a different vantage point, you can also get some great city views.

To get a virtual, 360 degree tour of the mosque click here.