Some of you might remember the post regarding the time when I went to Kota Kinabalu with my family for my Semester Exam. When i finished the exam, we had a few days to tour the city I last visited several years before.
When i visited the city around the mid 2000s, we only went around the city centre; we have no idea about the surroundings except for the immediate areas we stayed in . Nowadays, plenty had changed, and for one, beautiful change is the mosque that was built to commemorate the proclaimation of Kota Kinabalu into a city.
The Kota Kinabalu City Mosque is the second main mosque in Kota Kinabalu after the Sabah State Mosque, in the city centre. It was officially opened to the public on 2 February 2000 to mark the commemoration of Kota Kinabalu as a city status. Back then, we obviously did not know the mosque exists, since it was situated a little farther into the city’s suburbs, almost approaching Mount Kinabalu.
The mosque general profile should be familiar to any Muslims – the building is based on the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina of Saudi Arabia. The mosque is surrounded by a vast lagoon, reminding me of our own Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Brunei.
The mosque grounds are covered with verdant gardens of tropical trees and palms. In front of the mosque, just outside the main entrance stood a building which holds a kind of bazaar that sells Muslim wear, food and drinks and the like. Apparently the mosque is a tourist attraction – there were literally busloads of tourists coming at the carparks, but did not enter the mosque itself. The bazaar served as retail theraphy to these travellers.
The pathways leading to the mosque winds through the lagoon. At first we thought that the entrance was under the main dome, turns out it was just a pathway to the mosque grounds. The only entrance that was open that particular time was the main gate in front of the bazaars. We had to detour around the mosque, taking in the scenery meanwhile.
There were plenty of Islamic visual art to be seen here. The minarets is of the octagonal type, with three tiers ending with an azure dome. At first glance, one might mistaken the underneaths of the tiers of the minarets to be Muqarnas, however on close inspection, it was nothing but painted on to resemble the hanging stalactites of Islamic architecture, aided visually with addition of square blocks..
Very much of niches, arches, doorways and windows were decorated with Mashrabias of concrete, utilizing the eight pointed star on a grid of squares. However, the whole composition looks disjointed, as the pattern replaces octagonal shapes with eight pointed star, which makes the lines a little thicker around it.
On the next installment of this articles, we will look into this impressive mosque interior