Masjid Kapitan Keling, Penang


This is the largest historic mosque in George Town, founded around 1800.

The name of mosque was taken from the Kapitan Kelings, people who were appointed leaders of the South Indian community by the British. The term ‘keling’ derived from the ancient Hindu kingdom on the Coromandel coast of South India. It was generally used to denote all those who came from there. As the Indians found it difficult to pronounce certain English words, the title “Captain” was somehow transformed into “Kapitan”. From there, the Kapitan Kelings (or Captains of the Kelings) came about.



To me, it is one of the most beautiful mosque in Penang. I had wanted to capture the photos of this mosque several times. But it was either too bright, too dark or too gloomy. To me, only the best pictures would do for a beautiful structure like this.


I stood outside the mosque perimeters along Jalan Buckingham for these photos. I wasn’t sure if non-Muslims are allowed in the mosque grounds. As I didn’t bring along my wide-angle lenses on that day, these are the best shots I can get.


As I walked along the road, on Pitt Street, I realised how lucky we Malaysians are. Along Pitt Street, just one or two buildings away, we have the Guan Yin temple which is another famous landmark in Penang. A few steps away, the Anglican St. George’s Church stands tall. Pitt Street is of course, located in the enclave of Little India where the Hindu temple, Sri Mariamman is. Aren’t we Malaysians blessed? We have so many different places of worships all within the same locality. It is a big testament of how peaceful and harmonious our country is.

9 Replies to “Masjid Kapitan Keling, Penang”

  1. can’t agree with you more on the part about us being lucky people.

    not too sure about the origin of the word keling, though.

  2. Beer Brat – I took that from the ‘historical’ part. I think back then keling is just errmm keling. Unlike now, it has become a slur pulak.

  3. Not aware of this mosque in georgetown. but agree with u that there are lots of nice and interesting historical sites in penang. i particularly like Khoo Kongsi!

  4. Disatu lorong disebelah masjid terdapat sebuah gerai Nasi Kandar, one of the best in Pg. Sorry ye kak, sebut aje Masjid Kapitan Keling me oredi cannot tahan. Dah terliur teringatkan nasi kandar kapitan keling.

  5. muteaudio – Ya, the stall is still very laku. Business is good but susah cari parking la.

    piggy – Yeah, I had been there, blogged it in my PenangFaces blog too. Really beautiful place.

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