Zahir Mosque

Masjid Zahir, architecturally beautiful mosque

The Masjid Zahir (Zahir Mosque), beautiful, and awe inspiring

The Masjid Zahir (Zahir Mosque), beautiful, and awe inspiring

The first time I saw the Masjid Zahir (Zahir Mosque) in a photo, I was in awe of its beautiful architecture. But seeing the mosque in the flesh, early morning and the sun is just a few degrees up in the horizon, I was bowled over.

The Masjid Zahir is the state mosque of Alor Setar, Kedah state’s capital. It was built in 1912 and inaugurated in 1915 and was inspired by the Masjid Azizi in Langkat, Sumatra. It is here where the annual Koran reading competition is held.

Looking at it, one can’t help feel in awe. Is it because of the five dark bulbous domes in different sizes? Or is it the white washed minarets and walls that cast a pleasing contrast to the domes? The muslim style arcade that runs almost the entire perimeter coupled by the long shadows cast by the low sun made the view more stunning.

The mosque’s land area is quite big, at 124,400 square meters, a prayer hall that is 62×62 square meters and several mezzanines. But it is because of this expanse, with the mosque at the center that makes it a wonderful view: a white and dark religious structure amidst a sea of green. Add to that the playful geometric design that is the hallmark of Islamic architecture.

That’s what I like about travel. You go to places. You discover. And you just come in awe of something in these places. And Alor Setar’s Zahir Mosque is one such place.

There is another beautiful, privately owned mosque in Alor Setar, the Masjid Albukhary.

Closer look of the Masjid. Scaffolding works slightly marred this beauty when I visited it

Closer look of the Masjid. Scaffolding works slightly marred this beauty when I visited it

A portion of the beautiful arcade that runs around the mosque

A portion of the beautiful arcade that runs around the mosque

Interior of the mosque with even more arcades

Interior of the mosque with even more arcades

A contemplative view of portions of the mosque

A contemplative view of portions of the mosque

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I’m open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

One Comment

  1. Impressive architecture of Masjid Albukhary » langyaw
    November 17, 2013 @ 22:54

    […] smaller in scale when compared to the state mosque, the Masjid Zahir, it nevertheless impresses with its plainer architecture but beautiful blue domes. As far as I can […]

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