Id Kah Mosque

Id Kah Mosque is a magnificent mosque situated on Jiefang Road in downtown Kashgar, Xinjiang. The Mosque is the largest of its kind in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and is also the center for the Islamic activities of the entire Xinjiang region. Id Kah Mosque is well known all over the world for its long history, grand structure, and splendid national features. Every Friday, it houses nearly 10,000 worshippers and can accommodate up to 20,000 on special occasions.

First built in 1422 (although it incorporated older structures dating back to 996), Id Kah Mosque was later rebuilt and expanded several times and gradually developed into what we see today, a mosque of massive scale 16,800 square meters (4.5 acres).

Id Kah Mosque Id Kah Mosque
The exterior of the Id Kah Mosque. Local Muslims are walking into Id Kah Mosque for pray.

Id Kah Mosque mainly consists of the Main Entrance, the Lecture Hall, the Worship Hall, and the courtyard. The Gate Tower at the entrance is stunning, the most brilliant and attractive structure in the complex because of its artistic value and unique shape. The gate is 4.3 meters (14 feet) wide and 4.7 meters (15.4 feet) high. A plaque hangs above the gate while on each side there is a standing 12.5 meter (41 feet) high column minaret built of yellow bricks, which is called "Xuanli Tower". On top of the column minaret stands a "calling tower". The entrance hall has a multi-angled arched roof and on top there is also a small column tower. Seen from a distance, the mosque gate tower is solemn and magnificent, yet simple.

A venue for both religious activities and mass celebrations of Corban and Rozah (Lesser Bairam) festivals, on special days and during festivals the mosque and the square in front of it serves as a gathering place for tens of thousands of Muslims. Young people of the Uygur nationality, dressed in gorgeous attire, dance the "Sama", filling the air with enthusiasm, cheer, and warmth. In addition the amateurs, there are also different kinds of performances of singing and dancing by some professional Uygur actors in shining Uygur costumes.

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