(Kapitan Keling Mosque)
I admit, I am not a historical buff which is I think why I did not enjoy Penang much. The city tells a lot of historical stories by just looking at every walls of their historic buildings around the famous George Town. Reminiscing a funny conversation I had with a friend Regin, he said “I would love to visit all the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, like Great Wall of China”. I replied, “Really? That tells how different travelers are, like I will probably go there if I passed by the location going to somewhere I really want to go. I am more of nature/sporty adventurer and would not travel to a place like Great Wall of China just to stare at an endless wall!”, we laughed. Regin said, “I love history! In my head, when I’m there, I imagine what happened back in the time it was built for”. Make sense, but not for me. The only thing that it will make sense to me is that I know we are all different and ‘each to its own’.
(St. George’s Church)
Anyway, much of talking about it but since I was in Penang for a visa run, I did try to see places people go there to see. What I noticed about Penang is that, not only cultural but also religious diversity is present there. The first historic religious place I saw on the list was the mosque.
KAPITAN KELING MOSQUE
As said on the map’s caption, it was founded 1801 and the largest historic mosque in George Town, designed in Moghul architecture. They aren’t that strict visiting the area except going in, you have to be properly dressed and no taking of photos when somebody is praying. Reminds me of Brunei’s mosques.
SAINT GEORGE’S CHURCH
Said to be the oldest Anglican Church in Southeast Asia according to the map, it was simple yet neatly elegant. The building glows under the bright tropical sunlight.
(Mahamariamman Hindu Temple)
Oldest Hindu Temple in George Town built in 1800’s. It was said to be originally built as a shrine dedicated to Sri Muthu Mariamman. The temple is carved with wonderfully crafted 38 deities on its gopuram. Gopuram is an entrance tower of a temple that is most common in Southern India. This temple reminds me of Singapore as I lived few steps away from a Hindu Temple that looks exactly the same, only Singapore’s is bigger.
I saw the Goddess of Mercy Temple but did not took any photo of it since it is closed for renovation. It was covered outside which makes it unwelcoming for people while under construction. Although, I have photos of Teocheow Temple, awardee of the Merit UNESCO Asia-Pacific for Culture Heritage Conservation.
It is noticeable how the culture here is diverse, Chinese, Indians, Malays are happily inhabiting Penang. With it comes the religious diversity as well making their city a remarkable unique one, now I understand why its in UNESCO, it deserves to be there.