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Visit the Largest Mosque in Southeast Asia

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It is almost amazing that the Istiqlal Mosque in the heart of Jakarta attracts not only devout Muslims, but also visitors and important personalities from all over the world.

The Independence Mosque, as its translated name is, is part of the religious center of the capital of Indonesia. About 90 percent of the Indonesian population belong to the Islamic faith. But non-Muslims are also welcome guests in this huge national mosque. The visit is free for everyone.

Foreign visitors are usually welcomed by English-speaking guest managers on site and made familiar with the religious conditions.

Commissioned by the Indonesian Government as a sign of its independence in 1949, it will be the largest mosque in South East Asia when it is completed and opened on 22 February 1978. Since then, 120,000 believers have sought a place to pray.

What To Expect In Istiqlal Mosque

COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/ebv/visit-the-largest-mosque-in-southeast-asia/ by Jaya Mckeown on 2021-01-15T14:24:45.857Z

As in all Muslim places of worship, great importance is attached to appropriate clothing. At least the head, shoulders and knees must be covered, and shoes must be taken off before entering the mosque. These can be handed in at a counter specially set up for this purpose, whereby everything is very organized and there is no risk of losing shoes despite the large number of people. Of course, suitable robes and changing rooms are also available for tourists. No one interested should have to turn back due to their wardrobe.

With the aid of light panels, the path to the various rooms of the mosque is easy to find. Once inside, the same simple, modern architecture goes on, which surprises some visitors from outside. Unlike most other mosques or Buddhist temples in Jakarta, the Istiqlal Mosque is very simply designed.

Ornaments or colorful decorations were largely avoided. Prayer hall has a huge dome supported by twelve columns and is surrounded by several galleries. It is a place of calm and contemplation in the otherwise very lively city. The prayer hall was decorated with minimal decorations.

At this point it is worth booking a guided tour of the mosque's visitor center, because the special features of the Istiqlal Mosque are somewhat hidden. If you look closely, you will find, for example, numerous small characters on the walls and on the edge of the dome, which quote verses from the Koran.

Great attention was also paid to detail in the design of the mosque, and essential symbols and numbers were taken into account. For example, the dimensions of the building or the number of gateways, columns and minarets refer to the Islamic background and the year of independence.

In this way, many such little secrets are kept within the Istiqlal Mosque. Discovering them and exploring beyond the facade of this giant Jakarta makes a visit worth a visit.

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About The Authors

Jaya Mckeown

Jaya Mckeown - Jaya moved to Boston from New York to pursue a master's degree in corporate communications at Emerson College. This experience, combined with her undergraduate degree in psychology and teaching, has equipped her with valuable skills that she employs on a daily basis in real estate negotiations, homebuyer and seller education, and successful promotion of the team's listings. Jaya's clients often characterize her as meticulous, proactive, and enjoyable to be around.

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