Friday, August 7, 2009

Shah Faisal Masjid, Islamabad

Shah Faisal Mosque is superbly located at the end of Shaharah-e-Islamabad, against the backdrop of the picturesque Margalla Hills. This beautiful mosque was designed by the Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay.The mosque is dedicated to the memory of the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia who graciously financed the cost of the project as a gift to the people of Pakistan. One of the biggest mosque in the world, it holds about 15,000 people inside, and another 85,000 in the courtyard. It is spread over 1,89,705-sq. meters with 88 meter high minarets and 40 meter high main prayer hall. The majestic white building comprises four 88m (288ft) minarets and a desert tent-like structure, which is the main prayer chamber. The central 'tent' is faced in white marble and decorated inside with mosaics and a huge spectacular chandelier.The complex also houses the Islamic Research Centre, library, museum, lecture hall, cafeteria and the offices of the faculty of the Islamic University. Visitors to the mosque must leave their shoes at the door and they must be dressed appropriately in clothes which cover their body except for the hands and the head for men. Women should wear a scarf that covers their hair.

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