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Colombo's Red Mosque: A Dazzling Beacon of Faith

Towering over the bustling streets of Pettah, Colombo, Sri Lanka, lies the Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque, a captivating landmark renowned for its vibrant colors and architectural marvel. Also known as the Red Mosque, this historic structure boasts a unique blend of cultures and a fascinating past.

A Red & White Masterpiece

Construction of the Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque began in 1908, commissioned by the local Indian Muslim community. The architect, Habibu Lebbe Saibu Lebbe, was an unlettered builder who relied on descriptions and images provided by South Indian traders. The resulting design is a mesmerizing fusion of Indo-Islamic and Saracenic styles.

The mosque's most striking feature is its unmistakable red and white candy-striped facade. This dazzling design, along with the clock tower and tall minarets, made it a prominent landmark for sailors approaching Colombo's port in its early days.

A Place of Worship and Community

The Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque's interiors are just as captivating as its exterior. The two-story building features a spacious prayer hall that could originally accommodate 1,500 worshippers. In 1975, the mosque underwent an expansion to cater to an even larger congregation.

Today, the Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque serves not only as a religious center but also as a vital community hub. Muslims from all walks of life gather here for daily prayers, especially the vibrant Friday Jummah prayers.

A Must-Visit in Colombo

The Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque is a must-visit for anyone exploring Colombo. Be sure to dress modestly and respectfully when visiting, as it is a functioning place of worship.

This architectural gem offers a glimpse into Colombo's rich multicultural heritage and the vibrant Muslim community. So, step into the Red Mosque and be mesmerized by its unique blend of colors, cultures, and faith.


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