Palembang Grand Mosque, The Inheritances Of The Palembang Sultanate
Palembang Grand Mosque is one of the inheritances of the Palembang Sultanate. This mosque is known as the center of Palembang city. It was built from 1738 to 1748 by Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin I, also known as Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin Jaya Wikramo. Some say it was the largest mosque in Indonesia at that time.
When it was first built, it covered a land area of 1,080 square meters (about 0.26 acres) with a capacity of 1,200 persons. It was then expanded by Sayid Umar bin Muhammad Assegaf Altoha and Sayid Achmad bin Syech Sahab under the leadership of Prince Nataagama Karta Mangala Mustafa Ibnu Raden Kamaluddin.
From 1819 to 1821, a renovation was made by the Dutch colonial government. After that, further expansions were made in 1893, 1916, 1950s, 1970s, and lastly in 1990s. During an expansion in 1966-1969 by the Grand Mosque Foundation, its second floor was built covering a land area of 5,520 square meters with a capacity of 7,750 persons. During renovation and development in 1970s by Pertamina, towers were constructed. The original Chinese style tower was maintained as it is now. This mosque is very typical of Palembang tradition. Most of its timbers have Palembang typical carvings called Lekeur.
At present, the original building of this mosque is located in the middle of a new building, officially inaugurated by Indonesia’s fifth president, Megawati Soekarnoputri. Since it is surrounded by the Musi River and its streams, this mosque is located as if it is in the center of the city.
Since it is located in the City Center, you won’t find any difficulty finding local foods here. Not far from the Palembang Grand Mosque, you can enjoy Palembang traditional foods like empek-empek panggang and kerupuk (crackers) for Rp 1,500 to Rp 22,200 per piece, depending where you eat. There is also a food stall selling es belimbing (star fruit ice). It is the only food stall that sells es belimbing.
Near the Palembang Grand Mosque, you will find two markets seeling various types of food and souvenirs including fruits and Songket (woven fabrics). These markets are called Pasar 16 Ilir and Pasar 35 Ilir. About two kilometers from there, you could find a Songket center and 50 meters from there, you could find a Lekeur (carving) center.
This building is located in the City Center making it easy to find hotels nearby. You can find star-rated or ordinary hotels along Kapten A Rivai, Sudirman, R Sukamto, Veteran, and POM IX Streets.
If you are a Muslim, don’t miss the chance to pray here, while reading Asmaul Husna (99 names of Allah) written on the mosque ceilings. If you want to know more about this mosque, you can go to its library for free.
You can walk around to explore this great mosque, and visitors will find it unique in every corner of the building.
Palembang is the entry point of South Sumatra province. Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport at Tanjung Api-Api Street is the primary entry way to the provice, and is accessible from Malaysia, Singapore, China, and Thailand. The distance between the airport and mosque is about 6 km. You can go to this historical building by a taxi or rented car from the airport.
In the city center, there are nine types of public transportation including seven city buses from various destinations that can take you to Ampera.
This mosque is a suitable site for religious and cultural tours because it reminds us of God Almighty and the cultural diversity of Palembang.