Muscat’s top-attraction – Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
If you are ever in Muscat, you cannot miss its magnificent Grand Mosque. The main mosque in the Sultanate of Oman is breathtakingly beautiful, to say the least. Commissioned in 1992 to mark the 30th anniversary of Sultan Qaboos’s reign, the mosque was completed in 2001. It is one of the only mosques in Oman that allows non-muslims in the mosque too.
The unique architectural gem has many astonishing facts. Know all about the mosque so that you can revel in its complete glory the next time you visit.
5 astonishing facts about Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
A chandelier that sweeps you off your feet!
As you enter the men’s prayer hall, your eyes automatically are guided to the ceiling, where a gigantic chandelier hangs high. When the mosque was being built, this chandelier was the largest on Earth, but today it has slipped down to the position of being the second-largest. Measuring 45 feet tall and 26 feet wide, the chandelier is roughly the size of a small house.
Adorned with 600,000 pieces of Swarovski crystals and 24-carat gold plating, the chandelier took four years to complete. It is so enormous that it comes with its staircase that helps the workers maintain it and its 1122 halogen bulbs. Apart from the giant chandelier, there are 34 small ones of the same design hung in other places of the mosque.
A dreamlike handwoven carpet
The second major feature of the mosque is its prayer carpet. Measuring 70 by 60 meters, it was the largest single-piece carpet in the world when it was made. Now it is second to the carpet in Sheikh Zayed Mosque of Abu Dhabi. The carpet is an amalgamation of classical Persian Tabriz, Kashan, and Isfahan design traditions. It weighs around 21 tonnes, has 1,700,000,000 knots, and 28 colors in varying shades majorly obtained from vegetable dyes.
A literary jewel
The library of this impressive mosque treasures over 20,000 books. The library timings are from 9 AM to 2 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM on Saturday to Wednesday and 9 AM to 2 PM on Thursday. A walk around the library, especially the outer corridor, is a must as you can enjoy a myriad of mosaic artworks in different styles.
Interiors that are a class apart
The mosque is not only magnificent in size but also the intricate work in the interiors. It is embellished in beautiful and colorful mosaic patterns and is a one-of-a-kind piece of art. The timbered panels are a reflection of traditional Omani architecture.
It’s all about numbers
The mosque covers a whopping 416,000 square meters and can accommodate up to 20,000 worshippers. The building is made with 300,000 tons of Indian sandstone. The prayer hall is 5535 square meters, and the central dome rises to a height of 50 meters. The main minaret is 90 meters tall, and the four minarets that flank it are 45.5 meters. In short, everything at this mosque is larger than life.
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