I placed this into a separate entry because I’ve never been inside a Mosque before and the mosque that I choose happens to be the largest in Asia and in the Kashmir (I visited the day before I helped polish off a bottle of whisky…I don’t know what that means).
I was hesitant about entering at first given that it is Ramadan, but this one fellow saw me looking at the door and asked me and my friends if I wanted to enter. He also said it was ok to take photos if I wished. I took off my shoes and in I went. I’m sure that while inside I probably engaged in some taboos, but hopefully nothing too extreme.
Around 4pm…just before afternoon or evening prayer…I’m not too sure…really, I probably had no business being inside if I didn’t even know that.
Individual prayer mats.
There are 324 wood pillars in this mosque…each made from one tree.
Huge – one easily feels the spirituality while inside something this magnificent. I quite like Mosque architecture of this Kashmiri wooden variety. It is very simple, yet elegant and spares no heed to the grandiose. Aside from the pronounced gender segregation, everyone appeared equal while inside the Mosque.
There are separate places for men and women to pray.
Inside the open-air courtyard. My friends and I were the only visible westerners around at the time and created somewhat of a stir with the kids.
East entrance to the Mosque, looking from inside the courtyard.
Washing before praying. I didn’t stay around for the prayer.
Probably the highlight of the Kashmir.
I don’t have any photos of the journey from Srinigar to Dharmasala. There was a big heavily fortified 2.5km long tunnel. A 6 hour stop-over in a filthy bus-station in Jammu in which I discussed money for several hour with the ticket agent and a 3am solo deposit along the highway near Dharmasala.
It rains a lot in Dharmasala.