Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Malacca Straits Mosque (Masjid Selat Melaka) - The Floating Mosque @ Melaka [Malaysia]

One of the stopovers of the cultural tour i participated in Malacca was this floating mosque located on this man-made island known boringly as Pulau Melaka. 

Built at a cost of almost RM 11 million, this place of worship for our Muslim friends can hold a capacity of approximately 2,000 persons and overlooked what is arguably the busiest straits in the whole world; the Straits of Malacca. 

The above 30-meter tall minaret has an additional function as a lighthouse for boats and ships traversing up and down the straits. In the midst of low-rise buildings on the small island, the tower appeared like an imposing beacon shining the surroundings. 

Initially, i thought the mosque was built only in the last one or two years and commented to my friends that workmanship must be pretty bad to have the paint peeling after such a short while. I am wrong! The building was officially opened in 2006, making it almost seven years old!

Design of the palatial mosque was a beautiful blend comprising of both Malaysian and Middle Eastern influences and i personally love the stained glass windows that provided a striking contrast to the generally white building. 

Known affectionately in Malacca as the floating mosque, i was expecting the structure to be literally bouncing on the water. From the picture, the many beams supporting the mosque can be seen and hence, "floating" is hardly the right word to use.

Literally floating is out of the question but there was a basis to the title bestowed upon the mosque; it was said that the mosque would appear to be floating in the event of high water level brought on by high tide. 

I could not confirm as it was definitely not high tide when i visited. I was more intrigued by the men who were performing dangerous rectification works on the viewing platform! 

Entry to the mosque's main hall was denied for those who were not wearing long pants (including me) and i just had to make do with taking photographs outside the premise. Note: wear jeans the next time!

Found quite a number of couples taking wedding shoots using the mosque as the backdrop.

At the moment, there was nothing much to do on the island. Let's hope that the area would be more vibrant with a Middle Eastern themed mall that was nearing completion and the realisation of plans to have more tourist attractions.

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