Jamek Mosque (Masjid Jamek)
The Jamek Mosque (Masjid Jamek) sits at the meeting of Kuala Lumpur’s two main rivers, Sungai Klang and Sungai Gombak. This is the city’s oldest mosque, built in the early 1900s and officially opened by the Sultan of Selangor in 1909. The design of the building was inspired by the Mughal architecture of northern India. The mosque remained the city’s primary place of worship until the National Mosque opened in 1965. Today, with its surrounding palm trees and waterside location, the Jamek Mosque complex appears as an oasis of peace and quiet in the busy downtown area. Except, that is, on Fridays, when Muslims come for prayers and crowd the area.
Gaze up at the trio of white domes above the main halls as you wander around this impressive complex. You’ll notice two 88-foot (26.8 meter) high red-and-white minarets, tall slender towers from which the summons to prayer is cried by the muezzin. Admire the impressive intricate archways that open onto the prayer areas.
Avoid visiting during prayer times, and be sure to dress respectfully. Men and women should cover arms and legs, and women also need to wear a headscarf. If you don’t have appropriate attire, you can pick up a robe or coat at the entrance.
If you’re visiting on the weekend, check out the bazaar near the mosque. A variety of stalls sell everything from regional food and crafts, to jewelry and fabric. From here, it’s an easy walk to other major shopping destinations like the Central Market, China Town and Little India.
The Jamek Mosque is in the heart of downtown Kuala Lumpur. Simply follow the rivers to where they meet or ask a local for directions. It’s easily accessible on foot from other destinations in the area, but there’s also a Light Rail Transit (LRT) station at the mosque, which is open daily, but it’s best not to go during Friday prayers and on major religious holidays.