Kaaba gets covered in new multi-million-dollar cloth
Kaaba was on Saturday covered in a new $5.4-million silk and gold cloth at the end of the annual hajj pilgrimage, an official said.india Updated: Feb 01, 2004 03:07 IST
The Kaaba, the cube-shaped structure in Mecca revered by Muslims, was covered on Saturday in a new $5.4-million silk and gold cloth at the culmination of the annual hajj pilgrimage, an official said.
The new black cloth, known as the Kiswa, was placed on top of the Kaaba, at the centre of Mecca's Grand Mosque, as some two million faithful converged on nearby Mount Arafat in the climax of this week's pilgrimage.
The Kiswa is 14m high, to match the height of the Kaaba, and 47m wide, enough to cover the four sides of the Kaaba, which are not identical in dimension.
Its upper half is decorated with a 95-cm wide strip featuring verses from the Koran, the Muslim holy book, inscribed in gold plated silver thread, which weigh 120 kg.
Nearly 650kg of natural silk was required to make the Kiswa.
The silk is imported, but the Kiswa was designed and tailored by more than 200 Saudi employees at a special factory set up by the kingdom some 30 years ago.
The total cost of the Kiswa is estimated at 20 million riyals (around 5.4 million dollars), funded by the Saudi government.
In the past, the Kiswa used to be sent by different Muslim countries.
Every year, pieces of the old Kiswa are offered to Muslim countries and senior Muslim personalities.