Jalan Kathedral, Jakarta, Indonesia
Istiqlal Mosque Jakarta Reviews
The Istiqlal Mosque Jul 18, 2011
The Istiqlal Mosque (Masjid Istiqlal) in Jakarta was completed in 1978 and is the largest mosque in all of SE Asia. It was built in more of an Arabic style rather than in the traditional Javanese style mosques. Bennie (BMatital) and I took a tour inside during his visit. The guided tour is free, but they kind of expect a little donation. If you wear shorts (for men), as I was wearing, you will have to put on one of their robes that they provide to enter inside. They also expect you to sign the guest book.
According to our tour guide, the mosque can hold more than 200,000 people, although different sources have varying reports of how many the mosque can actually hold...which is reportedly closer to 120,000. Our guide also told us that this was the largest mosque outside of Saudi Arabia (in terms of how many worshippers it can hold...not in area), but I've only heard that it was the largest in south east Asia. Whatever the truth actually is, this mosque is huge and impressive. The main prayer area is covered by a large dome which is supported by 12 pillars covered in aluminum plates. Surrounding the pillars and the prayer area are 4 levels of balconies.
Connected to the main building is a large courtyard and the Istiqlal Tower. Across the street from the mosque is Jakarta's largest Christian Cathedral. The tour takes only about 10 minutes and the guide will let you stop and take pictures. You don't have to be Muslim to take the tour, and they seem to appreciate it when westerners and people of other religions show some interest. I would recommend this as a place to visit if you're in Jakarta, especially since it's free (minus the tip to the tour guide).
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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