The Chinese Beijing Mosque of Rantau Panjang, Kelantan: Sultan Ismail Petra Silver Jubilee Mosque
The Malaysian state of Kelantan is located North East of Peninsula Malaysia. As an Islamic state, Kelantan to me is an unique place where culture and tradition is still preserved. Last week, I was there for a photo assignment. It is my second visit to Kelantan. I rented a car and I managed to tour around the state for 1 day. My colleague’s decision for not going to Kolok town in Thailand made us to detour. We still managed to go to the border town of Rantau Panjang. This time around, we found something rather unique and interesting.
As told by the friendly Kelantanese, we found the Beijing Mosque or the Sultan Ismail Petra Silver Jubilee Mosque. We were traveling from Rantau Panjang to Kota Bharu. From border, as we travel down to Kota Bharu, we spotted the mosque on our left.
Many might have mistaken it as a temple due to the influenced by Chinese architecture.
The mosque, also known locally as the Beijing Mosque, has a unique design that combines Chinese and Islamic architecture similar to the more than 1,000-year-old Niujie mosque in Beijing. It also incorporates Indian and Uzbekistan features, especially for the interior decoration. – IsraInternational.com
Developed on a 3.7 hectare land along the Kota Baru-Rantau Panjang road, visitors could mistakenly think it is a Chinese temple due to its pagoda-like structure.
Construction of the mosque started on Sept 12, 2005.The mosque is now complete.Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yaakob, who is the chairman of the project, said the mosque symbolises that Islam is for all.
He added that the mosque could accommodate up to 1,000 people at a time.
The mosque’s main complex consists of a two-storey building where the second floor houses facilities like the main prayer hall and VIP rooms.The first and mezzanine floors have amenities such as a multipurpose hall, library, kindergarten and a bazaar. – IsraInternational.com
This looks to me is a very interesting project by the Kelantan government for the people. Recognizing Islam for all, having a unique mosque like this would definitely generate interest around the world as well as generating tourism.
I didn’t go into the mosque, was just taking pictures from the outside. The structure is beautiful and I saw many Muslims going in for prayers. The mosque is fully utilized and well accepted by the locals.
I am happy that my decision to tour Kelantan with a rented car really paid off. I will post more on other Kelantan tourist attractions soon. I hope this will break the stereotype perception on Kelantan as an Islamic state. Trust me, upcoming posts about Kelantan will change your mind about this lovely state.
Thank you for reading.