During my visit to chinatown on the eve of the mid autumn festival, I also got to walk around and check out the grand Jamae Chulia mosque. For those who have been to chinatown, this was the mosque that gave the name to mosque street, that famous backpacker alley in singapore.
So, where exactly is it?
The Masjid Jamae is located in the Chinatown region of Singapore, tucked into the South Ridge Road. One interesting aspect of the location is that it stands proudly – along with the nearby Sri Mariamman temple – in the heart of Chinese-dominated Chinatown. That speaks volumes about Singapore’s cultural integration.
So, what’s special about it?
Called the Jamae Mosque, the Maideen mosque or even the big mosque, the Masjid Chulia is one of the oldest mosques in Singapore, and was set up by the Chulias in 1826. The Chulias were Tamil muslims from South India, who started trading in Singapore. Building a local mosque was an important part of their life, to continue their religious preferences in a foreign country. An interesting part of the architecture is that, while it blends in with the street grid, the mosque is also aligned to face the Mecca.
Unlike most other mosques, this one was open to the public, and photography was allowed too. Entrance is definitely very Tamil, similar to the mosques that you can find in Tamil Nadu, India. But the interior has more substance to it, than it looks from the outside.
The mosque contains a shrine to the local muslim leader, Muhammed Salih Valinvah, along with a prayer room and an ancillary prayer room.
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