12 October 2014


Having stayed in Xi'an for 2 days we took a domestic flight to Yinchuan where we will continue our journey by coach till the end of the silk route journey.  On arrival we visited the famous Dongguan Mosque.  The Hui minority accounts for over 26 percent of the Yinchuan population. On the road you will see sun-bronzed bearded men wearing taqiyah caps or women with headscarves on.  Majority are Muslims and most of them speak fluent Mandarin.  We were given a tour of the mosque and briefed on its history by a well versed Mandarin speaking guide.

The mosque enjoys a long history of more than 600 years and still remains the most well preserved ancient building. Architecture of the mosque combines traditional Chinese style with the local features, with grand appearance and delicate, dazzlingly inside ornaments.

There is a complex of traditional Chinese palace-style buildings in the mosque. The gate of the mosque is an elegant archway with the name of the mosque on it.  One pavilion-like building of about 8 meters high stands on each side of the courtyard, and is designed for the imam to call the prayers to worship. The main worship hall faces the east, therefore the prayers can pray facing the holy city of Mecca. Its wall is made of great cyan stones, and its roof is decorated with colored glaze. The ridge of the hall is decorated with Tibetan style Aquarius. The majestic main worship hall resembles a palace of the Han nationality. There are two-storied ambulatory-like wing halls on both sides of the main worship hall.

The side rooms are for guests and well decorated with handwoven carpets

The main attraction and center piece of the room is a model of the Mosque and the smallest Koran in display case.

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