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Istiqlal Mosque The Grand Architecture in South East Asia

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Istiqlal Mosque
The Grand Istiqlal Mosque. Img: kemenag official

Visiting Jakarta will not be complete without coming to the biggest Islamic site, the Istiqlal Mosque. Located in the center of Jakarta, the mosque lies in the former of Wilhemina Park. Istiqlal Mosque is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, with the capacity of 200.000 people.

The mosque is located near the National Monument. With the Jakarta Cathedral across next to the grand mosque. With the mosque and the church side by side, it is easier for visitors. Exploring both Islamic and Christian religious tour.

The magnificent architecture of the mosque becomes a big contribution. For people in praising the majesty of Islam in Jakarta. Istiqlal Mosque’s building built under the command of Soekarno. The first president of Indonesia, in 1951. The mosque was designed by a Christian architect, Frederich Silaban.

The Main Hall of Istiqlal Mosque.
The Main Hall of Istiqlal Mosque. Img: kemenag Official

The architect chose to use marbles for the floors and the layers of the walls. With stunning stainless steel accessories adorn the whole walls as well. The main building with 5 floors supported by 12 big towers. Lies in 24.200 m2 wide space with 45 meters huge white dome. On top of the main building.

There is a single minaret of 66.66 meters tall in the south side. The height of the minaret symbolize the total verses in the Quran. With such beautiful architect and solemn atmosphere. Istiqlal Mosque is a must visit sacred site in Jakarta.

Inside The Istiqlal Mosque

In 68 years ago, the place where the Istiqlal Mosque stands was called the Wilhelmina garden. The garden was dirty and neglected by the locals. But after the mosque construction finish. The place change into brighter and crowd with thousands of people come every week. Not only for praying, there many religious facilities that make people keep coming back here.

Arabic Calligraphy in Istiqlal Mosque. Img: Kemenag Official

Philosophical Architecture

Istiqlal Mosque was a big project of Indonesian government back then. Therefore, in succeeding the project, the best architect of the country was being deployed. The design of the mosque is modern style. Which upholds the use of geometrical accessories. With such a design, the building gives a simple and strong impression. Yet showing the elegance through the accessories.

The design also represents the Islamic values. For instance, the 7 entrance gates have the names of the God. Name that list in the 99 Beautiful Allah name. The number also represents the 7 skies trust in the Islamic cosmology.

The number of towers in the Istiqlal Mosque represents the Prophet Muhammad’s date of birth. The 12 of Rabiul Awwal, with the architecture, upholds the symbol of Indonesian principles, Pancasila. Through the number of the floors which is 5 in total.

Istiqlal Mosque at night. Img: Flickr/Prayudi Hartono

Garden and Water Fountain

Once the visitors come in, there will be a wide yard welcomes. There are 23 mini gardens distribute in every corner of the yard. The blooming plants harmonize well with the poultries in each garden.

Moving to the Southwest area of the mosque, a wide pool is placed with a stunning water fountain in the center. Some of the garden old large tree is a hundred years old.

The Giant Bedug

The giant Bedug is another thing that most visitors curious and adore. The visitors can see the giant Bedug in the corner of the main building. The height of the Bedug reaches 3,80 meters with 3,40 wide. The Bedug is made from the best teak wood. And design with Indonesian typical carvings.

Istiqlal Mosque Area. Img: Kemenag Official

Sport Facilities

The sports center is located in the east corner of the mosque area. This part is an open-air space with various kinds of sports fields inside. The visitors can play various sports activities such as badminton, futsal, volley, and basket. Although the sports center is located a mosque. The sports facilities are designed with the international sports center standard.

Islamic Library

Istiqlal Mosque is a perfect place for seeking Islamic knowledge. The Istiqlal Library provides thousands collection of Islamic books. The reading area inside the library often uses as the waiting zone. For some people to read before the praying times come.

During Ramadhan, many Muslim come to the library before breakfast time. Spend time reading the book and praying together during Ramadhan. The Muslim believes that praying together during Ramadhan is one of the many ways. To get more reward from God. When Ramadhan comes, the library will be more crowd than the regular time.

The Main Hall of Istiqlal Mosque. Img: expedia

Istiqlal Mosque Opening Hours

The main building of the mosque opens from 04.00 am to 09.00 pm every day. At 04.00 am, most people come to do the Fajr pray and recite Qur’an. In the praying times, there will be many people who come for praying together. In Ramadhan, the holy month of Muslims, the mosque will be more crowded in the evening than dawn.

Istiqlal Mosque Opening Hours
Every day04:00 – 21:00 WIB

See: Watching The Fountain Show in Jakarta Landmark, Monas.

Istiqlal Mosque Dress Code and Visitor Guideline

Some guidelines are applied in the Istiqlal Mosque. Especially for non-Muslim visitors. All visitors must come with modest attire as the mosque is a sacred place. For the non-Muslim visitors, the mosque provides sarong for men and a veil for women.

All visitors are obligated to take off the shoes or sandals when entering the mosque. Bring a plastic bag for shoes. Or simply prepare to pay Rp2.000 for a plastic bag. Furthermore, the non-Muslim visitors are not allowed to enter the main floor of the mosque.

The non-muslim can see and observe the mosque building from the 2nd floor. There is no entrance fee for visiting the Istiqlal mosque. However, a non-muslim visitors require to have a guide the whole time. It is a free tour but prepares for a small donation.

See: The Dutch Gothic Building in Jakarta Old Town

How To Get To Istiqlal Mosque

The Istiqlal Mosque is easy to access as the mosque is located across the Jakarta Cathedral. The visitors just need to go through the Katedral street. And find both buildings stand face-to-face. There is also a public transportation to get there. The easiest way is to take the Transjakarta bus or the city tour bus.

Coming from Thamrin street or Sarinah. Go to the bus shelter near the Sarinah mall. The Transjakarta bus ticket will cost Rp3.500,-. But it requires to transit to Harmoni Shelter. Changing the bus heading and stop at Juanda shelter. The city tour bus is free and will take passengers and drop at the exact tourist spot. Including the Istiqlal Mosque and National Monument.

Istiqlal Mosque Address & Location

The grand largest mosque located in Jl. Taman Wijaya Kusuma, Ps. Baru, Sawah Besar, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10710.


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