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Istiqlal Mosque Tips (10)

Masjid Istiqlal

Masjid Istiqlal is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia. This mosque was built to commemorate Indonesian Independence, as nation’s gratitude for God’s blessings. Hence, it was named as Istiqlal (Arabic) meaning Independence. The mosque is located near the Merdeka Square.

We didn't have the chance though to get a look inside. We arrived in the vicinity just after their ceremony was held. Many Muslims are getting out and when they looked at my friend who was wearing shorts and sleeveless at that time.. i got a feeling that it's better to stay outside
For others who would be visiting this place, remember to dress accordingly. We should respect others' religion with the clothes we wear and this incident also served as a lesson to my friend.

I find it very unique to see 2 different religious sites facing each other- the Masjid Istiqlal and Gereja Katedral Jakarta. It’s only in this country that I saw 2 different religions pay respect to one another.

theguardianangel's Profile Photo
Feb 20, 2013

Huge Mosque

Dubbed as Southeast Asia's largest mosque, the Istiqlal Mosque can be seen from the MoNas. Up close, it is indeed very big in structure.

Avoid going on a Friday, as it is the worship day for the Muslims.

eagerexplorer's Profile Photo
Jul 05, 2012

May I introduce: Kokoryko’s harem !

My guide left me and told me to meet him again downstairs in his office. I could now walk in the big wide yard on the east and south side of the building and admire the high minaret (picture 1) and its light structure. I then asked my wives to pose with me, as a souvenir form Istiqlal. . . . :))))) !!! (picture 2). Here (picture 3) is my favourite of the time, she made the previous picture with my camera and is here taking a picture for herself! Which guy never thought of “having” a harem?. . . . . he who never sinned, throws me the first stone. . . . In fact, walking in the yard, you just meet people as curious about you (there are usually not a lot of tourists in that sort of place. . . ) as you are about them and the place you visit; in these cases it is good to have a bit of local language knowledge; we had a long chat, a bit fun when making pictures and explaining how different Islam can be in France and Indonesia.
Ah, and the 50.000 more worshippers? Here on the yard outside, and look (picture 4), the tiles pattern already draws the places where the people put their little prayer carpet; one rectangle for a person; it is tight!
I left the mosque with a light heart, and headed to the cathedral, located on the other side of the street; effect of Pancasilla, this Indonesian philosophy, promoting tolerance, tolerance and mind openness, as the architect of the mosque was a Christian (Frederich Silaban, a former officer of the Netherlands-Indie Department of Public Works who made a few famous buildings in Indonesia, before and after independence).. . . . . . . . and I liked to photograph these women with the cathedral in the background (picture 5).

kokoryko's Profile Photo
Apr 08, 2009

You can visit the mosque !

Visit the biggest mosque of South East Asia!
Masjid Istiqlal is indeed the biggest mosque of South East Asia, and this is nothing than normal, as Indonesia is the biggest Muslim country of the world (in number of inhabitants!) It looks quite big when viewed from top of the Monas Tower, but most impressive is the small size of the cathedral you can see just behind on the first picture.
Very good and interesting is that it is possible for non-Muslims to visit the mosque; I took off my sandals at the entrance, looked at the signs, washed my feet like the worshippers, and. . . soon a guide offered me to guide me and give some explanations about the mosque. In fact, except for praying, you cannot access the main praying area, but you can walk on a wide open balcony above.
Istiqlal means “Independence” as this mosque has been built also to commemorate the independence of Indonesia, and that mosque had to be a real big one! A big one, but also light structures through which you can see the Monas tower (picture 2), located on Merdeka square (Monas stands for National Monument, and Merdeka is “Freedom”), all is a matter of symbols.
The big dome (picture 3) has a diameter of 45 m, and the minaret is 90 metres high.
The men’s section of the main praying room (picture 4) can host 20.000 worshippers, and 10.000 women can fit in their paying room (picture 5). The general view from outside shows this building is quite massive and you see the big pillars in the praying rooms, which not only support the roof and cupola, but also wide balconies; there are 4 levels of balconies, and they can accommodate 40.000 worshippers.
Hey, they say the mosque can accommodate 120.000 worshippers on Hari Raya (Glorious day, Aid ul Fitr, end of Ramadhan) ! Where is the space for the remaining 50.000? Answer in next tip!

kokoryko's Profile Photo
Apr 08, 2009
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Where Jakarta People Prayed

This stately national mosque is Southeast Asia’s largest mosque and positioned on the corner of Merdeka Square. About 90% of the Indonesia people are Moslems. You may experience the amplified chanting from the Istiqlal minaret, echoed by hundreds of other smaller mosques throughout the city to call Jakarta’s citizen to pray five times a day.

kenari's Profile Photo
Aug 29, 2006

Masjid Istiqlal

In the very centre of Jakarta you will find the biggest Mosque of the whole of South East Asia: the Istiqlal Mosque. This beautiful white building was constructed between 1961 and 1967, although the building wasn't opened before 1978, by the former president Soekarno. The building was designed by a christian architect, and was completely made of a white marble, taken from the East of the island of Java.

The area of the mosque takes a surface of 9 and a half hectares. The mainbuilding is a 5 stores high, square building, roofed by a dome with a diameter of 45 metres. The mainentrance has a dome of 10 metres of diameter. Inside the building not only has praying areas for more then 120.000 people at the same time. There also are spaces for bazaars, conferences, education and other social purposes.

At the other side of the large square inside the area, you will see the tall minaret. Right down that tower a big drum is located. This drum is used for the Friday Prayers and was made in Borneo. All over the square you see lines pointing towards Mecca, used during the prayers.

For a small tip, the quards at the entrance are very willing to show you everything inside and tell a lot about it, proud to share their culture with other people.

Pieter11's Profile Photo
Jun 24, 2006

Istiqlal Mosque, the Largest in East Asia

Istiqlal Mosque is Indonesia's national mosque as well as the largest in east asia. Around 90% of Indonesians are Muslims, making Indonesia the largest Muslim country in the world.

The mosque itself has a modern design and could be mistaken for an office building if not for the large dome and tall minaret.

Rodan44's Profile Photo
Jun 11, 2004

Istiqlal Mosque

The biggest mosque in South-East Asia. can accommodate more than 10,000 people and 800 vehicles. there are five level, all wakways, floor and wall covered with marble from tulungagung. official opening in 1978 by second President of Indonesia Soeharto. The erected inspiration cames from Indonesia's first president Soekarno and Ironically Soekarno choose christian architec.

mkurniawan's Profile Photo
May 23, 2004
kokoryko's Profile Photo


"Wonderful people in a hectic, polluted megalopolis"
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black_mimi99's Profile Photo


"Enjoy Jakarta"
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belgianchocolate's Profile Photo


"the big doerian. ;-)"
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ukirsari's Profile Photo


"Jakarta, The Megapolitan"
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latte18's Profile Photo


"Jakarta - Indonesia's Melting Pot"
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istiqlal mosque

beside the istiqlal mosque,you can also visit the cathedral;java is a moslem island,but it was a former dutch colony,so christian;and hinduism and buddhism are the ancient backgrounds of the javanese culture

fabrice's Profile Photo
Nov 12, 2002

Mesjid Istiqlal

Proclaimed as the biggest mosque in South East Asia (ASEAN) since 1960’s. Designer by a famous Indonesian architect, Mr. Frederick Silaban –-grandfather of my closest friend Robert Silaban. The location of this mosque is very unique; the main entrance is very close to Gereja Kathedral (Cathedral Church), only separated by street. This closeness also symbolizing my Nations in term “Diversity in Unity”. * see my travelogues about Waterlooplein.

ukirsari's Profile Photo
Aug 26, 2002

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Getting to Istiqlal Mosque


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