The National Mosque was constructed in 1965 as a symbol of a newly independent and united Malaysia. It was designed by a team of British and Malaysian architects and is a bold combination of cutting-edge modernist design and Islamic symbolism. This beautiful 13-acre (5.2-hectare) site in downtown Kuala Lumpur is surrounded by pools, fountains and gardens.
Admire the bright blue folded plates of the main dome and the 240-foot (73-meter) high minaret (tower) as you approach the enormous mosque. Both features take inspiration from an umbrella, chosen to represent Malaysia’s tropical climate. The top of the minaret takes the shape of a retracted umbrella while the main dome resembles one fully extended. Throughout the complex are 48 smaller domes that sit atop sheltered walkways and administrative quarters.
Inside the main prayer hall is a vast space with intricately patterned walls, colored-glass windows and elaborate chandeliers. There’s enough room for 15,000 people inside, making it one of the largest mosques in Asia. Wander outside to find landscaped gardens, fountains, pools and a decorated courtyard.
Attached to the mosque is the Makam Pahlawan, or Heroes’ Mausoleum, which houses the bodies of key Malaysian political figures. It features a dome similar in design to the main mosque, and is surrounded by a moat and gardens.
Be sure to wear respectful clothing when visiting the National Mosque. Men and women alike should cover their legs and arms, and women need to wear a headscarf. You can pick up a robe or coat from a staff member at the entrance if you need additional clothing. Non-Muslim tourists can only enter the mosque Saturday through Thursday, and only at certain times of the day. Check the signs or with staff for details.
The National Mosque is in downtown Kuala Lumpur, next to the Lake Gardens and a short walk from KL Sentral Station. Admission is free.
Give yourself plenty of time at National Mosque. Below are the most popular things to do:
Have a look at our Kuala Lumpur things to do page to find many more activities while you're in the area.
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