I've passed this route quite a few times since it is on the road to Tanah Merah... All express buses heading for the West Coast from Kota Bahru must pass here. But it's only on that 24th December 2006 that I finally made a visit to Masjid Kampung Laut!
There... Quite something isn't it. The architecture is similar to the more famous Masjid Demak in the island of Java in Indonesia built sometime in the 15th century. Thus some believe Masjid Kampung Laut is much older than 300 years old as it is one of the rare few in the Malay Archipelago built using similar design and specifications.
The signboard here offers official findings on the mosque. Have a closer look down here...
What is not official though is how Masjid Kampung Laut is supposed to be related to some legendary saintly figures. If Masjid Demak in Java is said to be built by the famous Wali Songo (the nine saints), Masjid Kampung Laut is supposed to be built by another group of saints (can't recall who) said to be in turn related to the Wali Tujuh, a group of seven saints said to have arrived at the Malay Archipelago in the 14th century.
Now, the Wali Tujuh might not be as famous as Java's Wali Songo but some of them are believed to be much higher up in the hierarchy of Muslim sainthood. For example, the leader of Wali Tujuh, Sayyid Hussein Jamadil Kubra is said to be the grandfather of all Wali Songo. A member of his group (could be brother, could be cousin. What is sure, they are related), Sayyid Thanauddin is believed to be AdiPutra, the grandmaster who taught the famous Hang Tuah the art of war!
The legend goes that until now, some saints would stop by or converge at Masjid Kampung Laut. It's just they can't be seen by common people or they would appear disguised as someone else, normally old folks who look like they are insane vagabonds. So don't take the covered ladies in the picture as the saints ya... :]
A last look at Masjid Kampung Laut before continuing travel. The next destination in mind is Bukit Panau and Danau Tok Uban. Problem is, I was just too tired then after almost 2 weeks of travelling and being on the streets. I didn't know how to get there and I was suffering from heavy fever plus I got mums! Yep... The swollen cheek with the pain and such. Funny, why this happened at this juncture of travelling.
After deliberating the issue for a while, taking into consideration that I have to be in Muar soon enough for the Aidil Adha celebration, I decide to cut the trip short. If earlier, I planned to go to Bukit Panau and Danau Tok Uban before heading for Kedah, instead I found myself taking the bus from Nilam Puri straight to Kuala Krai... Or was it Nilam Puri to Tanah Merah, then another bus to Kuala Krai? That's when I stopped at the mosque seen in the picture above.
Whatever, I was already headed southwards. Kuala Krai is some 100km (if I remember correctly) south-west of Kota Bahru. The funny thing is I noticed this particular archictecture at this small tower within the Kuala Krai mosque compound...
Notice the 'tounge'-like wood carvings jutting out from the corners of the roof? Similar to the ones I found in parts of Perak, Penang (more towards the mainland side at Seberang Prai) and Kedah.
As far as my travelling goes, I can't find this design outside the areas mentioned what more in Kelantan but now there's one in Kuala Krai. Is there any connection between this area and Perak where there's plenty of such designs? I left the area still wondering to this day!