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 Wilhemina Park. The mosque is the largest one in Southeast Asia, with a capacity of 200.000 people.
The mosque is located near the National Monument Monas, the famous Jakarta landmark. And side by side with the gothic-style Jakarta Cathedral. Spare at least 2 hours to see both of the grand religious sites. Besides, both are the largest holy site in Indonesia.
The mosque is the biggest site for people praising and practicing Islam in Indonesia. Istiqlal Mosque was built during the Soekarno era, the first president of Indonesia, in 1951. The architect behind it is a Christian, Frederich Silaban. He also designed the famous Jakarta landmark Monas.
The architect chose to use marble for the floors and layers of the walls. Stunning stainless steel accessories adorn the whole walls as well. The 5 floors building is supported by 12 big towers. Lies in a 24.200 m2 wide space with 45 meters white dome on top of the main building.
There is a single minaret of 66.66 meters tall on the south side. The height of the minaret symbolizes the total verses in the Quran. With such beautiful architecture and a solemn atmosphere. Istiqlal Mosque is a must-visit sacred site in Jakarta.
Istiqlal Mosque Entrance Fee
There is no entrance fee for tourists to explore the mosque. However, non-muslim visitors require to be with the mosque guide the whole time. It is a free tour but prepares for donation.
|Istiqlal Mosque Entrance Free|
Istiqlal Mosque Opening Hours
The mosque’s main building opens from 4 AM to 9 PM every day. At 4 AM, people will come to do the Fajr prayer and recite Qur’an. In the praying times, there will be many people coming to pray together. In Ramadhan, the holy month of Muslims, the mosque will be more crowded in the evening than at dawn.
|Istiqlal Mosque Opening Hours|
|Every day||04:00 – 21:00 WIB|
Inside The Istiqlal Mosque
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 finished. The place turns brighter and crowds begin to flock. There are thousands of people coming every week. Not just to pray, the facilities in the mosque make people keep coming back here.
Istiqlal Mosque was a big project of the Indonesian government back then. Therefore, the best architect in the country was asked to be part of it. The design of the mosque is a modern style that upholds the use of geometrical accessories. It simply gives a simple and strong impression yet shows elegance through the accessories.
The design also represents Islamic values. For instance, the 7 entrance gates have the names of God. Name that list in the 99 Beautiful Allah name. The number also represents the 7 skies’ trust in Islamic cosmology.
The number of towers in the Istiqlal Mosque represents the Prophet Muhammad’s date of birth, the 12th of Rabiul Awwal. The architecture upholds the symbol of Indonesian principles, Pancasila. Through the number of floors which is 5 in total.
Garden and Water Fountain
A neat wide yard welcomes guests upon entering the mosque area. There are 23 mini gardens scattered 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’s large tree age more than a hundred years old.
The Giant Bedug
The giant Bedug is another thing that most visitors are curious about and adore. Visitors could 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 with an Indonesian carvings ornament.
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. Mosque visitors could play various sports activities such as badminton, futsal, volley, and basket. Even if the sports center is located in a mosque area, it has an international sports standard.
Istiqlal Mosque Library
Istiqlal Mosque is a perfect place for seeking Islamic knowledge. The Istiqlal Library is home to thousands of collections of Islamic literature. The reading area inside the library often uses as the waiting zone for visitors who intend to pray in Istiqlal.
During Ramadhan, many Muslims come to the library before the pre-dawn meal time. Some spend time reading the book or praying during the Ramadhan month. Muslims believe that praying together during Ramadhan is one of the many ways to seek God’s blessing. When Ramadhan comes, the library will be more crowded than at any regular time.
Mosque Dress Code & Guideline
There are some do and don’t tourists have to follow when exploring Istiqlal mosque. These rules applied especially to non-Muslim tourists. First, dress modestly, the mosque is a sacred place. Tourists wearing sleeveless shirts or shorts will not be allowed to enter the mosque.
For non-Muslim visitors, a sarong will be provided for men to cover their knees. And for women, a scarf to cover their head. Second, all visitors will have to take off their shoes when entering the mosque. Prepare a plastic bag for shoes or simply pay Rp2.000 for a plastic bag on the spot.
Third, non-muslim visitors are not allowed to enter the main floor of the mosque. This is where all Muslims pray. However, guests are welcome to see and observe the mosque building from the 2nd floor.
How To Get To Istiqlal Mosque
The Istiqlal Mosque location is easy to access as it’s located across the Jakarta Cathedral. Visitors just need to go through Katedral Street. And find both buildings standing face-to-face. There is also public transportation to get there. The easiest way is to take the Transjakarta bus or the city tour bus.
Tourists coming from Thamrin Street or Sarinah can take a walk to the bus shelter near the Sarinah Mall. The Transjakarta bus ticket cost Rp3.500. But it requires transit to Harmoni shelter, change to another bus heading to Juanda shelter.
The city tour bus that departs from Sarinah is a free bus. It will take passengers and stop at several tourist spots including Istiqlal Mosque and National Monument Monas.
Address & Location
The grand mosque is located in Jl. Taman Wijaya Kusuma, Ps. Baru, Sawah Besar, Central Jakarta 10710.