The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque Muscat Reviews
The Grand Mosque Feb 25, 2010
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is a must see destination during your visit to Muscat. The religious landmark took six years to build and was inaugurated in May of 2001. There is no charge to gain admittance, but men are required to wear long pants, women must cover arms, legs and wear a head scarf. Although there wasn’t massive security at the entrance gate, I can share that the armed sentry posted at the entrance to the Main Prayer Hall (wielding a nasty looking automatic rifle) required one lady to completely cover her hair up before permitting her inside while I was there.
The Main Prayer Hall (musalla) is the single most astonishing facet of the Grand Mosque, but only one of many wonders. The central dome of the main musalla rises up fifty meters and cradles a fourteen meter high Swarovski crystal chandelier – the biggest chandelier in the world! Looking up inside the Main Prayer Hall is an eye-popping experience, but there are other miracles underfoot. The Persian carpet covering the floor weighs 21 tons and was made in Iran by 600 women working for four years! A total of 1.7 million knots were tied to fabricate this fine wool floor covering.
All of this magnificence compelled me to learn a bit about mosques. The mihrab is a niche in one wall of the mosque designating this is the qibla, the wall facing towards Mecca (so it is the wall to be faced during prayers). A minbar, the raised platform from which the imam speaks, is often located in the qibla wall as well. Both of these can be found in the Grand Mosque, presented in ornate decorations that defy description.
Several arcades surround the buildings and combine tons of white marble with gorgeous landscaping to create another feast for the eyes. The conspicuous reverence of construction lies both inside and out at the Grand Mosque and you can’t help but be inspired after experiencing this holy ground.
Part of the Oman? Oh, Man! travel blog
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