MASJID NEGARA (NATIONAL MOSQUE)
The National Mosque stands diagonally opposite the KL Railway Station. It is laid out in a garden of about 13.5 acres (5.5 hectares) and cost RM10 million to build. It took 3 years to complete and was officially opened in 1965. The building itself occupies an area of almost 5 acres (2090 sq metres) and consists of the Grand Prayer Hall providing a floor area of 2,083 sq metres, the dewan, the mausoleum, the library, offices, the open courtyard and the minaret. The Grand Hall is surrounded by deep verandahs which are screened off by white grilles of traditional Islamic designs, similar to those in the mosques at Agra and Fatehpur Sikri in India. The Grand Hall and the verandahs provide a praying space of 7,432 sq metres which can acommodate 8,000 people. The floor of the Grand Hall is carpeted and the remaining area is finished in terrazzo. The Grand Hall is sheltered by a folded-plate roof in the shape of a 'semi-opened umbrella' with 16 pleats radiating from the centre instead of the traditional 'onion shaped' dome.
The dewan is located on the south side of the Mosque and is an all-purpose hall which can seat 500 persons. The mausoleum situated, at the rear of the Mosque stands in a circular reflecting pool and is connected to the main building by a covered footbridge. It is circular in plan and is also covered by a pleated shell concrete dome similar in shape to that of the Grand Hall but having only 7 folds, one of which covers a reserved area for a national hero's tomb. The air-conditioned library and offices are situated on the rear of the main building.
The open courtyard is an element in the tradition of mosque planning and is in front of the Grand Hall. It is partly covered by 48 independent concrete parasols to provide shade and architectural contrast, the fountains for ablution being located on the floor beneath.
The minaret is 3.81 metres x 3.81 metres rising from the centre of the long and narrow reflecting pool by the side of the Grand Hall. The top of the minaret is decorated with a concrete spire which takes the form of a closed umbrella and soars 27 metres above the balcony.
Ladies have a separate staircase directly connected to the ladies' ablution hall and they pray in the gallery at the north end of the building. This Gallery also provides booths for television and radio services and a place from which visitors can witness the proceedings.
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Last updated: 3rd July, 2010.
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