Idgar Mosque, Kashgar
The Mosque was first built in 1442 and has a history of over 500 years. The building complex is in grand Islamic style, with strong religious features consisting of a gate tower, a courtyard, a doctrine-teaching hall, and a large Hall of Prayer.
As they wind through the Tower Gate, visitors see a large courtyard. The south and north sides of the courtyard are lined with 18 doctrine-teaching halls. In the courtyard, poplar trees tower high up against the blue sky, and pines and cypresses flourish. The entire yard is heavily shaded. A pool in the yard with crystal-clear water embeds the lush vegetation. The yard provides a tranquil and secluded environment for relaxing and refreshing oneself.
The Hall of Prayer is built on a high platform and it contains three parts: the Inner hall, the Outer hall, and the Hall Entrance, all which sit on a dais over one meter high over ground. The roof of the Outer Hall is supported by 140 light blue wooden pillars. These seven-meter high pillars were laid out on a grid pattern, artistically spaced. On the roof and on the pillars are exquisite carvings and beautiful pictures. The brick gate tower, which faces Id Kah Square, is full of elaborate flower-pattern carvings, mainly in green.
Each day, between 2000 and 3000 people come here to worship, with this number increasing to between 6000 and 7000 every Friday. During religious festivals, the number of Muslims piously kneeling around the mosque reaches 40,000 or even higher. Over the years, the Idgar Mosque has become a sacred religious place as well as a place for celebrating important festivals.
"Idgar" means festival worship and assembling place in the local dialect, which explains the name for the square outside the mosque, Idgar Square. The square is ideal for a leisurely walk, doing small business, and traveling. On important occasions, such as the Coban Festival, the square is filled with enthusiastic Muslims who bit drums and play suona horn to celebrate their own festivals. Usually, all of the Muslims in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region come to this sacred place on one day. They get together at the square, in front of the mosque, dance and play all night. The unprecedented scene is a quite unique, and attracts many visitors.
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I updated this article on February 15, 2013
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