1st February 2015 – Bursa, Turkey
When the roar of the city wind demurely hid behind, 2 doors of immense proportions, calligraphed and calling. When a hundred knees hit the floor, followed by foreheads, I stood in silence, with only my loud conscience blaring.
The upbeat weather continued today, so I found myself heading back to Bursa. This time, to check out the grand mosque.
The Bursa grand mosque, or Ulu Cami in Turkish, is an Ottoman era mosque. It has a total of 20 domes, and I can’t think of any other reason to call it ‘grand’!
There are many interesting architecture feature around the mosque, especially the 2 ablution fountains – one outside and one inside. And like a god’s gift to mankind, there was a free toilet inside too.
Oh, a little bit about toilets, and why I am glad to see one. Everywhere in Turkey, toilets are pay-and-use. In bus stations, metro stations, everywhere. The prices range from 1 lira to 1.5 lira. Its ridiculous, because I spend nearly 5 lira everyday just peeing. Damn you, bladder!
But coming back to the mosque, the real beauty is inside. There are many calligraphic inscriptions, from various Ottoman times, adoring every part of the mosque. And the best thing is, if you can enter the mosque during prayer time. Technically, the doors are closed. But if you enter the mosque before the azan (prayer call) goes off, nobody is going to ask you to leave. You just have to keep your silence.
I did that. And was privy to a sight of hundreds of people praying, while I silently clicked away.