Thursday, June 8, 2017

Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah | Intricacy of Kelarai




Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah; a mosque similar to Istana Kenangan that I never knew existed until now.



The intricacy of kelarai or woven strip bamboo; a heritage art form of Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah wall has made this mosque famous nation wide. Also known as Masjid Kampung Kuala Dal, it shares similiarity with Istana Kenangan in Bukit Chandan of which it was influenced by.

Located just 4.8km from the Royal Town of Kuala Kangsar, this unique 1936 mosque with arabes motif was financed by Al-Marhum Paduka Seri Sultan Iskandar Shah, the Sultan of Perak and was built by a Chinese craftsmen, helped by the locals. Leafy windows (approximately 20 of them) decorated with "straight punch, no silat" carved with peanuts, Crescent moon and stars are located around the masjid (mosque). It is said that what makes Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah unique is because of the architectural design, aside from its kelarai with arabes motif, it is aslo said to resembled a bird cage.



The story behind it is pretty interesting, according to Jabatan Warisan Negara, the mosque was built after the Sultan had fulfilled the vow to build a mosque when one of his children recovered from an illness and will donate RM 8,000.00 to build a new mosque on a piece of land granted by Juragan Abdul Shukur bin Mohamad Ali. This decision was made upon Sultan Iskandar Shah returning from a picnic at Lata Bubu, seeing his subjects praying in a dilapidated madrasah. Being a pious leader, he believes that a mosque is not just a house of God but an important place for the community. Therefore, he had commissioned the construction of Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah of which named after him.

The architecture of the mosque was inspired by the Sultan himself, where else the construction of the mosque was built by Chinese artisans and assisted by local residents. The ornamentation and wall of the mosque are also carved and woven by locals making it even more special. However, the mosque was not used in 1976 after a new mosque known as Al-Wahidiah Mosque was built just next to it.




In 2008, Jabatan Warisan Negara (Department of National Heritage) has initiated the conservation work on the mosque. Upon the the completion of restoration work on 17 Dec 2009, DYMM Sultan Azlan Shah officially re-opened the mosque on 6 May 2011 and it was accorded heritage status by the Jabatan Warisan Negara.



Above the importance of unique historical buildings and architecture, the National Heritage Department has carried out conservation work in December 2008. Among the problems faced by the project is the preparation of the backdrop due to the absence of skilled craftsmen and the lack of manufacturing materials ie bamboo oils Locally to create a cliff wall. Therefore, the National Heritage Department has obtained a wickerwork and bamboo source from Perlis State according to the original type. This conservation work has been carried out using systematic work arrangements to preserve the originality of original architecture.

- Jabatan Warisan Negara –







Both ‘Jelajah Kesultanan dan Warisan Melayu Perak 2017’ and ‘Perak World of Wonders -- Ramadhan Edition 2017’ Media Fam Trip are organised by Tourism Malaysia with KTMB as main transportation partner and Tourism Malaysia with #GayaTravel as media coordinator respectively.




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