Jamae Chulia Mosque in Singapore

The Jamae Chulia Mosque is Singapore's one of the oldest mosques. The Jamae Chulia Mosque is situated in the district of Chinatown, which is within the central business hub, the Central Area. The Jamae Chulia Mosque was established in 1826 by the Indian Muslims, called Chulias who hailed from South India's Coromandel Coast. The Jamae Chulia Mosque was officially declared a national monument on 29th November, 1974.

History of the Jamae Chulia Mosque

The Jamae Chulia Mosque was built by the Indian Muslims, called Chulias who hailed from South India's Coromandel Coast. The Chulias who were mostly money-changers and traders constructed three mosques in a short period of time and Jamae Chulia Mosque was the first of the three. In the year 1894, the Jamae Chulia Mosque was placed under a board of trustees appointed by the court and the status quo continued till 1961.Till 1968 the mosque was under the management of the Muslim and Hindu Endowment Board before the MUIS or the Muslim Ugama Islam Singapura took over. Since its completion in 1830, the building of the mosque has remained unaltered though there were attempts to rebuild the mosque. The Jamae Chulia Mosque is directed towards the Muslim holy city of Mecca.

Architecture of the Jamae Chulia Mosque

A gateway leads to the mosque which is bordered by two octagon-shaped minarets capped by onion-domes and the front of a small four-storied palace. Each minaret stands on solid bases and consists of seven floors, all decorated with mihrab motifs. Between the two minarets the palace facade sits atop the gate and it has cross-shaped windows and tiny doors. The mosque-compound houses the main prayer-hall, a covered foyer, an ancillary prayer room, and a shrine in memory of the Muhammad Salih Valinvah, a Muslim religious leader of Singapore. A stairway from the foyer takes you to the parapet,the place from where prayer-timings were announced.

Next to the foyer lies the ancillary prayer-room which is an airy room and its walls are provided with arched openings. Chinese green-glazed tiles adorn each opening as do the bars and timber fanlights. The main prayer room is within the ancillary prayer room and it is also an airy hall and two rows of Tuscan-columns support the room. On the north and south sides, lie the verandahs separated by timber-doors from the main hall. The mosque has an eclectic architectural design.

The shrine and the two prayer-rooms are inspired by the neo-classical design of the famous architecture George Drumgoole Coleman whereas the gate leading to the entrance follows South Indian Architectural pattern. The uniqueness of its architecture has made Jamae Chulia Mosque a landmark building whose photograph is found in postcards dating all from the 19th century up to the present time.

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