My trip was briefly thrown from time lane. I, the lone traveler, must succumb to interest of all Maestro Travel passengers who were in a hurry to catch their respective flights. I just enjoyed in spending one hour to stay in travel car which took them to Minangkabau International Airport and afterwards I headed to Padang downtown.
Driver: “Where do you want to drop, Uda (Uda is designation for brother in West Sumatra)?“.
Me: “Drop me off at Grand Mosque of West Sumatra, Uda!“
I preferred to get off at a destination which I want to go rather than having to follow travel path which would take new passengers from their office. Economical and effective of course.
Got off on Khatib Sulaiman Street, right at bus stop of Great Mosque of West Sumatra, I was confronted directly towards the grandest mosque in West Sumatra. I quickly entered its area through West Sumatra Malay Park which is also part of this “Thousand Wind Doors Mosque” courtyard.
In the park, I was alone with a middle age man from Makassar City who also deliberately stopped by to look at this “mosque without dome“. His standing distance which was too close made it difficult to put the entire form of mosque in his selfie box. Seeing me who was busy capturing some picture, he seemed brave to approach me. As I guessed, I would have been asked to take his picture with this mosque as its background….Haha.
I managed to command him at will to get the best picture….Finally we were selfie together in his wide tab. See you Mr. Upe, had a nice trip for going back to Makassar.
Is a brilliant architect who managed to double meaning of unique roof as dome replacement. Physically visible, it is an “Gonjong (Gonjong is a typical roof from West Sumatra)” roof consisting of four tops which were placed on each side. But in fact, Its form holds a historical meaning. That is a fabric shape which was used by leaders of Quraysh four tribes when moving the Black Stone (Hajar Al-Aswad) in the Kaaba.
Honestly, I myself never thought this mosque shape which is very grand and unique. I’ve never seen its form throug internet surfing or tried to find out before visiting it. So you can imagine how I was amazed when standing right in front of this iconic religious building.
Occupying four hectares area, Grand Mosque of West Sumatra in addition to being the largest place of worship in region, it has also become a city landmark, a religious tourism destination, and even has a reserve function as a disaster relief, that is as an evacuation shelter if tsunami happens…. Understandably, Padang was ever haunted by tsunami due to a large earthquake in 2009….Luckily, tsunami didn’t really come.
The first extraordinary impression which I got when I stopped by for a moment in Padang.