Seeking solace at The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque!

For those who want to witness ‘divine architecture’, you have to visit The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi! Did I say ‘divine architecture’? Is that even a term?

Well, in my defense I was at a loss of words when I saw it. It’s your turn now!

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is touted as the masterpiece of Islamic architecture, and as you can see, words will never be able to do justice to it.

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It’s not just a mosque. It’s a work of art!

No matter which religion you practice, or whether you are an atheist or an agnostic also, this place has to be on your bucket list.

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This jewel of Abu was the vision of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, the first president of the United Arab Emirates. Its construction was finished after the leader’s death in 2004.

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The stunning courtyard of this mosque features the largest marble mosaic in the world at 180,000 square feet. I am not good with numbers but that sure is a LOT of square feet!

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Now let us explore the interiors of this mosque & its intricate carvings, marble flooring, the prayer room & a lot more. I have compiled a set of stunning shots to give you a great experience.

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Did you know that the main prayer hall houses the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet?

The 45-ton green colored carpet with a total of 2,268,00 knots is 5,700 square meters large took more than took one year to complete at an estimated cost of US$8.5 million. Phew! This carpet was designed by Ali Khaliki.

This mammoth rug was woven in Iran by 1,200 selected carpet weavers & its unique design, features five big medallions depicting various traditional flower motifs.

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It has four 350-foot minarets, 82 white marble domes, and inlaid flowers wind across the mosque’s 183,000-square-foot marble courtyard!

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Isn’t this mosque completely gorgeous? Well, you aren’t alone in admiring this iconic architecture!

The Qibla wall (the wall that faces Mecca) features the 99 names of Allah written in calligraphy and illuminated with fiber-optic lighting. Just look at the lighting & the gold shimmering all over! Divine.

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This breathtaking, pristine white building can host over 40,000 worshipers. Approximately 38 contracting companies and about 3,500 workers helped realizing in the construction of The Sheikh Zayed Mosque over a period of almost 12 years.

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Just look at the glittering ceiling of the mosque. It would have taken some immensely talented artisans and craftsmen to deliver this work.

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Here is a fact that left me bamboozled.

It took 12 years & an estimated cost of Dh2.167 billion to complete this mosque.

It is the third biggest mosque in the world after Islam’s two holiest sites in Saudi Arabia – Mecca’s Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina.

It is said that the design and location of the mosque was chosen by late Shaikh Zayed himself as he wanted it to be in the middle of Abu Dhabi.

This is how the beautiful Abu Dhabi looks when the sun sets, just to arise the next morning!

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I hope you feel as serene after reading this article, as I did after writing it.

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Jitesh Jaiswal