Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque

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Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque
கொழும்பு புறக்கோட்டை சம்மாங்கோடு பள்ளிவாசல் (மஸ்ஜிதுல் ஜாமிஉல் அஃபார்)
කොලඹ කොටුව රතු පල්ලිය
20160122 Sri Lanka 3611 Colombo sRGB (25770936075) cropped.jpg
The Red Mosque as seen from 2nd Cross Street
Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque is located in Central Colombo
Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque
Shown within Central Colombo
Basic information
LocationPettah, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Geographic coordinates6°56′19″N 79°51′06″E / 6.9385°N 79.8518°E / 6.9385; 79.8518Coordinates: 6°56′19″N 79°51′06″E / 6.9385°N 79.8518°E / 6.9385; 79.8518
Architectural description
Architectural typeMosque
Architectural styleIndo-Saracenic

Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque (Tamil: மஸ்ஜிதுல் ஜாமிஉல் அஃபார் அல்லது சம்மாங்கோடு பள்ளிவாசல், translit. Sammankodu Pallivasal, (known colloquially as the Samman Kottu Palli,[1] Rathu Palliya, Red Masjid or the Red Mosque) is a historic mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is located on Second Cross Street in Pettah. The mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Colombo and a popular tourist site in the city.


The minarets of Jami Ul-Afar

Construction of the Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque commenced in 1908 and the building was completed in 1909.[2][3] The mosque was commissioned by the local Indian Muslim community, based in Pettah, to fulfill their required five-times-daily prayer and Jummah on Fridays. The mosque's designer and builder was Habibu Labbe Saibu Labbe (an unqualified architect), and was based on details/images of Indo-Saracenic structures provided by South Indian traders, who commissioned him.[1] It is a hybrid style of architecture, that draws elements from native Indo-Islamic and Indian architecture, and combines it with the Gothic revival and Neo-classical styles. Originally it had the capacity for 1,500 worshippers although at the time only around 500 were attending prayers.

It is a distinctive red and white candy-striped two-storey building, with a clock tower, and is reminiscent of the Jamek Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (constructed in 1910).[2] Before other landmarks were built, some claim that the Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque was recognized as the landmark of Colombo by sailors approaching the port.

In 1975 the mosque, with the assistance of the Haji Omar Trust,[3] purchased a number of the adjoining properties and commenced building an expansion to the mosque to increase its capacity to 10,000.[4]


See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Deen, M. Haris Z (9 October 2015). "Saibo Lebbe: The unlettered architect who designed and built Red Mosque". The Island. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b Cooray, Nilan (27 November 2011). "Quarterly Tours - No. 20" (PDF). National Trust of Sri Lanka. pp. 2–3. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b Achmad, Laila (18 March 2015). "10 beautiful mosques you've probably never heard of". Aquila Style. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  4. ^ "A Spiritual Journey". Time Out. Retrieved 16 June 2017.