Kapitan Keling Mosque is located on the street that is named after it. It is the largest historic mosque in George Town. The design of the mosque is influenced by Moghul architecture with multiple domes and a towering minaret. Beautiful arches are found at the outer passageway. The mosque started as a simple single-storey brick structure in 1801.
Masjid Kapitan Keling which in English literally means the “Captain of the Keling people Mosque” was built in 1801 by Cauder Mohuddeen Merican. He was the Kapitan Keling and the leader of the Tamil Muslim community in Penang. Builders and stones used to build this largest mosque in George Town were brought from India.
The design of the mosque was infused with Indian and Muslim designs. It is topped with large Mughal-style domes, adorned with crescents and stars. The mosque also features a single Indian-Islamic style minaret from which the call to prayer can be heard 5 times a day.
Kapitan Keling Mosque boasts of graceful arches along its outer passageway. Inside, tall arches of Moorish designs create an illusion of depth to the already spacious prayer hall. The walls are covered with calligraphy panels and the floor is made of solid white marble.
The initial structure was just a basic square building, but the mosque continued to improve even after the death of the founder. In 1930s, a golden dome accentuating the Moghul architecture was added. In 2002, the traditional architecture was restored and in 2005, additional allocation was granted by the authorities to polish the golden dome.