Little India & Kapitan Keling Mosque, Penang
On Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, I discovered the beauty of mix cultural neighborhood. That include commercial buildings and shop houses from British colonial period, then the Kapitan Keling Mosque and Yap Kongsi Temple located end of the corner street surrounded by old shop houses.
Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling was formerly named Pitt Street during British Colonial period. Captain Francis Light named this street after the British Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger. It was one of the important streets together with Light Street, Beach street and Chulia Street.
In the mid-18th century, as the British moved to suburbs like Western Road, the properties along this street were bought by wealthy Chinese Merchants. That is why we could see the blend of cultures between the East and West.
Keling is a racial term referring people from Indian in Malay language. Kapitan means representative of certain community or group. In other words, this is a Indian Muslim Community neighborhood. The stunning mosque was built in 1801 by the Indian Muslim traders in Georgetown. The current street name is named after the mosque of Muslim Indian.
Further south of this street ended on Lebuh Armenian, where I saw the beautiful Yap Temple.
Don't miss this part of Penang...
The Kapitan Keling Mosque is one of the best known mosques in Penang. Before the construction of the Penang State Mosque, this mosque was used as the state mosque of Penang, since it is the largest historical mosque in George Town. The Kapitan Keling Mosque was named after Caudeer Mohudeen, the head of the Indian Muslim community credited to have built it around 1800. It is generally accepted that the 18-acre plot of land on which the mosque stands was granted to the Indian Muslim community by the then Lieutenant Governor of Penang, Sir George Leith, in November 1801 for the building of a "Mohamedan Church for ever". This was not to be, however, as over the years, and as George Town grew, the government had to buy back parcels of land from the mosque, for the town's social amenities.
The name "kapitan keling" is used to denote the headman or leader of the South Indian Muslim community. The term "keling" is derived from the ancient Hindu kingdom on the Coromandel coast of South India, and the local Hokkien community corrupts the word to derive "keling-na" for Indians in general.
George Town is very culturally diverse and none more so than the small area known as Little India. The area is a bustling enclave of colourful shops selling sari's, spices, and sandalwood along with Hindu temples and Indian restaurants all to the soundtrack of Bollywood music blaring out from numerous Bollywood video shops. It's an amazing place to wander around and take in the sights and smells.
This simply mosque is very clean and eye catching. It is so modest compared to other newer and bigger mosques in Kuala Lumpur area. But I like it's low-keyed and humble feeling. First built in 1801 by British India Company. However, the current mosque is built in 1916 by the Indian-Muslim community here.
Surrounding this mosque are goldsmiths!
This quaint indian town dates back over two centuries and boasts the 167 years old Sri Mahamariamman Temple. Worth browsing here are the pre-war terrace building which house restaurants, jewellery n lots more ..
Sandwiched between Beach Street and Masjid Kapitan Keling (Pitt Street) and between China Street and Chulia Street is grid of small shops and restaurants fondly known as "Little India"
There is a colorful bazaar like atmosphere with the sound of Indian music and smell of spices and curry. You can get DVD of Indian movies and CD of Indian music. There are also many jewelry shops and money changers to choose from.
Immediately transported into "India" without leaving Penang. Best way is to spend an hour walking and going from shop to shop or having a field day with your camera.
Although the Chinese community is the most visible in Penang, Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country. There are also several mosques in the city, like the famous Captain Keling Mosque, pictured here, built in the XIX century under the inspiration of the Mogol architecture from India.
The top Harpers Bazar model in the bustling Little India, where once a lot of traditional Indian traders joined its culture and traditions. She could not stand the spicy Indian food, available at several restaurants and roadside stalls.
But it was adorable to watch the Indian men who tried so hard to rule the traffic, so the model could strike her poses as remembered of colonial times ...
Those tiny little dark sweet Indians around the blond tall vogue-moving super-vamp
... gorgeous ...
This is the part of George Town commonly known as Little India, as there are a number of South Indian stores and eating places here. This is the place to browse and shop for sarees, garlands, spices, trinkets, sculptures or Indian music. The place will be very crowded days before Diwali (the Festival of Lights) in November.
Penang is a multicultural city. It is mostly dominated by Chinese by there are large numbers of Indian people have been settled here since 18 century. These Indian people settled here and call there locality as Little India. You could enjoy the all the colours of India here.
Named after the Indian Muslim merchant, the "Kapitan Keling" (headman) Caudeer Mohudeen who built it in the early 19th century. It features an ocher yellow facade and dome-shaped minaret reflecting Moorish Islamic influence. Permission to enter must be obtained from mosque officials
The dome has a dark brown shades ...plus its creamy surrounding colour makes it like a Brown Mosque...
( located opposite a Hindu temple, Sri Mariaman and just a about 100 metres from Oldest Chinese Temple - The Kuan Yin Temple , and at the other end of the road is St Goerge Church - isnt it the most appropriate evidence of racial and rligious harmony ? ) Did anyone said Malaysian government restrict religious practice and or there is racial disharmony ?
this is where you will find the best spices,the best curries, best and cheap saree and where you get the best rates to change currencies. There is a Hindu temple too of which has carvings and ornamentals that are so enchanting. by thinking of the mouth watering valdal (indian doughnut), tosai masala, roti canai...make me drooling. I've been meaning to buy a saree from Little India for some time now. hopefully i will be able to do so in the near future for my friend's wedding.
The Kapitan Kling mosque is a large magnificent building surrounded by a very well kept garden.
It is built in malaysian/indian Moslim style, with a yellow facade and a dome shaped minaret.
You need a special permit from the guards in order to visit the interiors.
Captain Light donated a large parcel of land on this spot for the settlement's sizable Indian Muslim community to build a mosque and graveyard. The leader of the community, known as Kapitan Keling (or Kling, which ironically was once a racial slur against Indians in the region), built a brick mosque here. Later, in 1801, he imported builders and materials from India for a new, brilliant mosque. Expansions in the 1900s topped the mosque with stunning domes and turrets, adding extensions and new roofs.
Georgetown is primarily a quintessential Chinatown, but there is also a small Indian neighbourhood. Although the architecture of the shophouses is rather similar, the atmosphere is very different. Apart from saris and exotic spices, you can purchase here the top hits in the Indian charts and the last releases from the Bollywood factory.