Ironically, one of Singapore’s most established mosques is located in the heart of Chinatown! Built in 1826 by the Chulias (Tamil Muslims from the famous Chola Kingdom of Tamil Nadu along the Coromandel Coast of Southern India), the Jamae Chulia Mosque was the first of three Islamic heritage buildings in Chinatown erected by these early Singapore immigrants who became mostly traders and money changers. The other two are Al-Abrar Mosque and Nagore Durgha (originally called Shahul Hamid Durgha in memory of the holy man whose visit to Singapore the building is said to commemorate). Both are on Telok Ayer Street.
The Mosque’s architectural style is eclectic. While the entrance gate is distinctively South Indian, the two prayer halls and the shrine are in the Neo-Classical style typical of colonial architect, George Coleman. This unique appearance has made the mosque a well-photographed landmark, seen in postcards from the 19th century to the present day. It was gazetted a national monument on 29 November 1974.
During Hari Raya Haji, on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah in the last month of Islamic Lunar Calendar, Muslims celebrate the successful completion of their annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Along with Muslims around the world, the Jamae Chulia Mosque embarks on the sacrificial ritual of goats and sheep in remembrance of the Prophet Abraham who showed his readiness to offer his only son to God as a sacrifice. Visitors are welcome to watch this ritual. Guides are on hand to explain the Islamic way of slaughtering, the purpose of the ritual, and other fascinating details.
Visitors are advised to dress conservatively as this is a place of worship. Skirts or trousers should be long and no sleeveless tops.
218 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058767
Take MRT to City Hall Station (EW13 / NS25), then take SBS Transit bus 103, 166 or 197 or SMRT Bus 61 from North Bridge Road. Alternatively take the NEL MRT to Chinatown Station – Exit – South Bridge Road / Pagoda Street side, then walk to Jamae Chulia Mosque via Pagoda Street.