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Kapitan Keling Mosque, Penang Overview

Standing with the pious spirit and magnificent architecture since the 19th century, Kapitan Keling Mosque is a beautiful place of worship at the Jalan Buckingham, George Town. The largest mosque in the city, it is part of the World Heritage Site of George Town.

Built-in 1801 in Islamic architecture by the Indian Muslim traders, it sits in the neighbourhood of Tamil Muslim residents known as Chulias. A long passageway leads to Kapitan Keling Mosque, surrounded with gardens, providing tranquillity and peace of mind. The leader of the chulias community, Cauder Mohuddeen Merican is the founder of the mosque. He was called ‘Kapitan Kling’, thereby giving the mosque its name. During prayer time, non-muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque.

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Architecture of Kapitan Keling Mosque

Kapitan Keling Mosque Penang
Kapitan Keling Mosque with Yellow Domes (Source)
  • The architectural style of Kapitan Keling Mosque is Islamic or Moorish with whitewashed walls and large yellow domes of Mughal style.
  • The long passage leads to the prayer hall with arches alongside and gardens along with white arches of Gothic, Moorish and Roman style in the huge hall, shining brightly by the big and beautifully crafted chandelier hung above.
  • The beauty of the place is unmatchable owing to the wonderfully calligraphed wall panels and glass windows with floral and geometrical motifs and glass panels with Star of David, being a major attraction.
  • There are crescent and stars on the domes and marble floor with rugs for prayer.
  • Encompassing an area of 8 acres, it is one of the largest mosques of the area with a tall Minaret and a Madrasah for classes within the compound.
Kapitan Keling Mosque Penang
Main Minaret of the Kapitan Keling Mosque (Source)

How to Reach Kapitan Keling Mosque

201, 206 and 401E bus lines stop near the mosque. The closest stations are Opp. Kapitan Keling, Kapitan Keling Mosque, and Restoran Rose Mutiara being two minutes away on foot. After getting down at the bus terminal, cross the Lebuh Chulia, Jalan Kapitan Keling Mosque, take a left. A trishaw ride from George Town is also a good option.

Kapitan Keling Mosque Penang
The stunning Kapitan Keling Mosque (Source)

Need to Know

  • There are free guided tours by the Islamic Propagation Society.
  • Decent clothing, covering arms and legs is necessary for the visit.

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