Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Welcome to ALOR STAR situated in the district of KOTASTAR. Come visit its historical buildings. Our tour of this city begins with a quick visit to the main square of the city perhaps appropriately named as 'Dataran Emas' and a visit to the imposing Zahir Mosque. The huge door of the mosque is opened for anyone to enter the mosque. As this is quite early in the morning no visitors or 'jumaah' are seen around. Built and opened in 1914 it is one of the most beautiful mosque in the country. Not surprisingly its characteristic main dome has seen a replica atop the main building of the Prime Minister's office in Putrajaya. Observe the various domes and minarets; their sizes and features.

Imagine having a door of this size in your home. The main door is temporarily blocked as workers were cleaning the floor inside the mosque at the time I was there. The side doors are however opened.

This is the front view of the mosque seen everyday by people who walk or drive passed the mosque along the main road right in front of it. Lighted at night it gives another grand view.

Seen at another angle with the small hall in front of it which is used by his royal Highness the Sultan and entourage for light refreshment or dinner served on occasions when religious functions are held at the mosque.

I particularly like this view, with the various curves, lines and color. The staircases with slots in between at the main entrance and the sides allow for shoes to be placed inside, thus not obstructing the path while allowing for neatness and order.

As you approach the northern entrance along Jalan Kampong Perak, you will see the main clock tower on the right and this decorative concrete main fence adorned with conical designed dome shaped alternates which truly added to the total beautiful structure of Zahir Mosque. Sadly as years passed and with road buildings taking their effects, the original height of the fence has been reduced. As you can see the pavement is at a higher level than it should be. Notice the main gate way on the right.

I grew up around this part of the city and the mosque was our playground when we were children as it was no less than five minutes from the home. Thursday evenings and the evenings of Ramadhan would see us at the mosque joining in the prayers and afterwards relishing the 'nasi beraini' served to the congregations in late evening. Well that was what it was like in the early 1950's.


Queen Of The House said...

I didn't know there were slots in the steps of the stairs to allow for the storage of shoes. What an ingenius idea. Maybe homes should be built that way too .... so you won't have shoes strewn all over the entrance!

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Pak Non

Nice pics. Reminds me of my 7 year stay in A Setar. Indeed a historical city. And steps are taken now to beautify it, including the development of the riverside promenade. But I just hope the city won't eat up much more into the green padi field surrounding it.