Sitting on top of Bukit Chandan in Kuala Kangsar, Masjid Ubudiah is said to be one of the country’s most beautiful mosques. Masjid Diraja Ubudiah was once the State Mosque before Masjid Sultan Idris Shah II was built. The mosque is now administered by the Ubudiah Mosque Administration Committee. A royal mausoleum sits next to the mosque. (Islamic Tourism Centre, 2013).
This royal mosque of Perak has been well-known for its charming, majestic architecture. Often regarded as amongst the most beautiful mosques in Malaysia, Masjid Ubudiah is another British Colonial architecture legacy in the country. Its construction was under the decree of the former Perak Sultan, Sultan Idris Mursyidul Azam Shah, who also laid the foundation stone in 1913.
Influenced by the Indo-Saracenic style of Mughal architecture, it was designed by the Public Works Department’s architect, Arthur Benison Hubback, who was also responsible for some other notable buildings, including the Masjid Jamek in Kuala Lumpur. The octagonal layout drafted by Hubback was then conceptualised by the Colonial state engineer, F.S.G. Caufield.
Its construction was once delayed due to the destruction of marble tile materials by the royal elephants. The replacement of the materials was halted due to the World War I which also occurred in Italy. It was finally completed in 1917 and officiated by the successor of Sultan Idris, Sultan Abdul Jalil Nasarudin
The striking image of the mosque can never be disassociated with its grand bulbous dome. Clad in gold-like yellow plating cresting with an attached pointed pinnacle, this projects an undulating look of the dome, right from the base and narrow drum.
Accompanying the main dome, the four octagonal minarets stand sturdily with its chattri-style balconies above. It is surmounted with amnion shaped dome with a deep eaves supported by trefoil arches. To match with the minarets, many smaller cupolas are place at the mosque flat roof level. Similar to the minaret design, it is replaced with a group of thin pedestals that net as smaller minarets. The pristine beauty is further added to a series of crenulations lined up against the roof cornices.
With its monumental verticality approach, the architect added a series of marble horizontal bands, which can be seen on the minaret and across the mosque building. The Moorish influence is visibly noted on the horseshoe arches of the veranda area, which is also used as an overspill prayer area. Across the veranda area, the Corinthian columns and pilasters are erected against the many rounded arches with the use at corbels and architraves.
Inside the main prayer hall, a different design atmosphere is seen and expressed with the use of a series of horseshoe arch windows, finished in a rich interior decoration. Intricate plaster works of moulded cornice and ceiling dominates the space, with a grand centrepiece chandelier. A rounded arch of the qibla wall with a horseshoe arch denotes the mihrab niche; an elevated timber minbar pulpit is
placed to its right (Aziz, A. A., 2016).