Friday, September 21, 2018

Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque

Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque (also known as Rathu Palliya, lit: Red Mosque or Red Musjid) is a mosque in Colombo District, Sri Lanka. It is located on 2nd Cross Street, off Main Street in Pettah (Colombo 11).

The mosque was designed in 1908 by H.L. Saibo Lebbe as a place of worship for the Bohra Muslim community of Indian origin living in the island (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). The construction work of the mosque was ended in 1909 (Rajapakshe, 2018).

At the beginning, the mosque had a capacity for a congregation of about 1,500 devotees (Rajapakshe, 2018). In 1975, it was expanded allowing a congregation of about 10,000 devotees to pray at the mosque at any given time (Rajapakshe, 2018).

The two storied mosque building is the main attraction with an aesthetic value. It has been ornate with red and white colored strips, chequers and spirals giving a vivid appearance to the building. The towers which rise to the skyward bear the pomegranate fruit shaped domes and have adorned with Islamic symbols. The total design of the mosque is seemed to be influenced by the Indo-Islamic  architecture (Rajapakshe, 2018). Altering its original appearance, some parts have been added to the mosque building later.

The Jamek Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malasia (built in 1910) is said to has features similar to Red mosque in Pettah (Rajapakshe, 2018).

1) Sri Lanka - 014 - brilliantly-painted Mosque by McKay Savage is licensed under CC BY 2.0

1) De Silva, N.; Chandrasekara, D.P., 2009. Heritage Buildings of Sri Lanka. Colombo: The National Trust Sri Lanka, ISBN: 978-955-0093-01-4.  p.133.
2) Rajapakshe, S.; Bandara, T. M. C.; Vanninayake, R. M. B. T. A. B. (Editors), 2018. Puravidya Sthana Namavaliya: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Vol. I. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-19-2. p.42.

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This page was last updated on 8 June 2019

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