Visiting Kuala Lumpur for the first time and planning to explore the best Kuala Lumpur Attractions? With rich history and architecture, Kuala Lumpur city is a great destination for lovers of history, culture and architecture. During my last visit to Kuala Lumpur, I decided to explore Kuala Lumpur City Center area. Merdeka Square, Central Market and Masjid India area are located close to each other. These locations are some of the most popular tourist attractions in KL.
Masjid Negara and Islamic Art Museum have always been on my list of KL attractions I wanted to explore these monumental places in detail. I rented a budget hotel near the Central Market which makes these two locations easily accessibly on foot.
A ten-minute walk from Merdeka Square along Jalan Hashimuddin takes you to the roundabout adjacent to Majid Negara or popularly knowns as the National Mosque of Malaysia. The beautiful architecture of the mosque has become the symbol of Malaysian culture and history across the world. The light blue colour is prominent in the design and architecture of motifs, tiles and architectural structures of the building.
The location of the mosque is strategically chosen to be amidst the best places to visit in Kuala Lumpur including the Islamic Arts Museum, Botanical Gardens, Building of Malaysia Railway Station and Kuala Lumpur Bird Park.
The Mosque is also accessibly by KL Hop-on and Hop-off buses if you are planning to spend a day touring important landmarks of Kuala Lumpur.
A bit about the history of the mosque
The mosque was commissioned in 1965 by the Prime Minister of Malaysia at that time to reflect the rich cultural history of Islam in Malaysia. Other predominant communicate that occupy Malaysia include Hindus and Buddhists.
The architectural design of the Mosque uses the design pattern and motifs that can be observed in the historic architecture of Central Asia and the Middle East. The choice of blue colour is borrowed from Blue Mosque in Istanbul.
Use of Islamic motifs and principles in the design of the mosque
The architectural design is aimed to embody the principle of harmony and balance in Malaysian multi-cultural society. The core Islamic principles of Tawhid (oneness of God), Meditation (remembrance), Modesty (through use of trellis walls dividing various sections), and Ikhlas (sincerity, achieved through the abstract design of open spaces to achieve inner and outer balance.
The concept of knowledge is reflected in the use of calligraphy to re-enforce the powers of words in disseminating knowledge. The inner dome and structures in the central prayer halls have extensive elaboration of Muslim Calligraphy using the surah of the Holy Quran.
Symmetry and balance are core principles of Muslim architecture. From architectural principles, the use of the Gold Ratio helps achieve this harmony and balance. A mosque is a place of dissemination of knowledge and the inner halls are spaces used to conduct seminars, talks and gatherings.
I always enjoy exploring beautiful Muslim architecture in Malaysia. The amazing mosques in the major cities of Malaysia are the best places to visit in Malaysia for lovers of culture and architecture.
The etiquettes of visiting the mosque include covering the body with Abayah for women which are available for free use at the entrance of the mosque. Men are required to wear long shorts or trousers to cover their legs. For large groups, tours can be organized to learn the history of the mosque and its various section.
A little walk down the road takes you to one of the most fascinating museums in Malaysia. The Islamic Art Museum is an amazing piece of Islamic architecture. The pure white interior of the building takes you to the inner sanctums of the structure comprising various halls on different levels.
The layout of the halls follows a linear history of Muslim dynasties starting from the life of the prophet to Abbasyiad, Ummayed, and Khaljis who controlled most of Europe and the Middle East.
The rich history of these cultures is captured in the expansion of modern sciences, and the use of art and design in almost all aspects of social life. The expansion of Islam in the world brought with it the explosion in sciences including astronomy, chemistry, physics and mathematics. Some of the unique manuscripts dating back to over 500 years are carefully restored and documented in the museum.
The visit to Islamic Art Museum is like taking going back in time and trying to understand how people lived, dressed up, social norms, jewellery and weaponry for both war and decoration.
One section is dedicated to creating replicas of the most important architectural landmarks in Muslim countries across the world including mosques and places of worship.
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