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Date [ 2014-06-10, 04:59 ]

Once abandoned, it is now the pride of the village inhabitants.

The mosque in 1938, just after its opening.

(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress) Azmi Anuar =Returning from his favourite picnic spot, Sultan Iskandar Shah, Perak’s 30th ruler, saw  some villagers praying in depilated madrahsah (prayer hall). Feeling his subjects should have better praying amenities, the Sultan vowed if his son, who was sick at that time, got better, he would build a mosque.

Accordingly his son got well and the Sultan donated a princely sum of 8000 Pounds Sterling to construct the Isaniah Iskandariah Mosque in 1938. The mosque soon came to be popularly known as Kampung Kuala Dal Old Mosque.

The land was bequeathed to the state by a nobleman called Juragar Abdul Shukur.  The villagers too played a part in the construction of the mosque in the spirit of ‘gotong royong’ (working as a team).

The mosque is situated some 5 km from the royal town of Kuala Kangsar in Padang Rengkas. Many uponfirst looking at it will not realize it is a mosque. There are no minarets, no dome and has a boxy appearance. In fact it looks more like a bird cage than a mosque. This unique architectural design is said to be based on the Kenangan Mahligai (Palace of Memories) in Kuala Kangsar.

The mosque was built by Chinese artisans with the help of the villagers and is looked upon as a symbol of unity by the residents of Kuala Kangsar. The building has a flat, low pitched roof of zinc sheets. The prayer hall was placed on the first floor and can accommodate 200 people. The ground floor is a multipurpose hall for various social functions.

The walls draw special attention as they are made from hand woven bamboo panels called ‘dinding tepas.’ Each panel carries a diamond shaped pattern called ‘kelarai.’ All the windows are decorated with fanlights carved from timber. They carry such motifs as bamboo shoots, the crescent moon and stars.This gives the whole building a fresh, airy and beautiful look.

In 1976, just close by, a new mosque was built, the Al-Wahidah Mosque. Subsequently, the Kampung Kuala Dol Mosque was abandoned. It was not very long before it fell into disrepair. Neglected for many years, the mosque has been saved by the Department of National heritage, because of its unique features.

Wishing to restore the building to its original glory, the restoration work began in 2011 and took almost a year to complete. Local craftsmen did the bamboo cladding and woodcarving.  Care was taken by heritage officials and the workers to restore the original glory of the mosque.

On May 28, 2011, the Sultan of Perak officially reopened the mosque. At the same time, it was gazetted as a national heritage site. However it is no more used as a mosque but as place for Quranic teachings and for meetings of the village mosque committee.

Today, the Kampung Kuala Dal Old Mosque stands as a symbol of pride for the people of Padang Rengas and also the state of Perak.

abc@koreanpress.net
Slowly decaying away.

Former glory restored.


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