Kellies Castle

Posted by: Sunny T in Historical, Travel No Comments »

Kellie’s Castle is located near Batu Gajah, Gopeng Road and is about 20 minutes drive from Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. The unfinished, ruined mansion, was built by a Scottish planter named William Kellie Smith.

William Kellie Smith was from a village in Scotland known as Kellas on March 1, 1870. In 1890, at the age of 20, he arrived in undeveloped Malaya (now is Malaysia) to seek his fortune. Smith was engaged by an estate owner named Alma Baker to help in the construction of public roads in South Perak. With this share of the profits from the venture, he bought 1,000 acres of jungle land in the Kinta District, and cleared it to plant rubber.

Smith started planting rubber trees and dabbled in the tin mining industry. He later named the estate Kinta Kellas, after his home farm, Easter Kellas. He returned home to marry his Scottish sweetheart, Agnes, and brought her over to Malaysia in 1903. The following year, the couple was blessed with a daughter whom they named Helen.

In 1909, Smith built his first mansion, Kellas House – a symbol of his prospering rubber estate venture. Five years later, with a birth of a son, Anthony and heir, Smith laid the foundation stone to the second mansion that proved to be his ultimate folly.

Kellie’s Castle was to surpass his estate bungalow. Seventy tough workers, mostly from Madras, were employed and bricks and marble were imported from India. But during the construction, tragedy struck. A mysterious illness broke out, killing many of Smith’s workers. The superstitious Smith was told that a temple must be built to appease the gods. He immediately transferred his workers to build a Hindu temple nearby.

Work resumed after the temple was completed but the castle was never to be realised. Tragedy struck again. On a visit to Lisbon, at the age of 56, Smith died of pneumonia. His wife, Agnes, sold the estate and with the passing of time, and the end of colonial rule, the castle soon faded into memory.

Kampung Keling Mosque

Posted by: Sunny T in Malacca, Mosque, Travel No Comments »

Kampung Kling Mosque located on the corner of Jalan Hang Lekiu and Jalan Tokong, or Temple Street, in Malacca. The mosque is built in 1748 and the oldest mosques in Malaysia.

Kampung Kling Mosque and its neighbors Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and Sri Poyatha Venayaga Moorthi Temple. It’s is a great symbolic example of racial and religious tolerant that existence in Malaysia old day.

The building architecture is Sumatran and with strong Hindu influences. This is particularly evident in the minaret which resembles a pagoda. There also could find unusual blend of English and Portuguese glazed titles, Corinthian columns with symmetrical arches. A Victorian chandelier and a wooden pulpit with Hindu and Chinese style carvings and Moorish cast iron lamp posts in the place of abulate for pre-prayer cleaning.

Cheng Hoon Teng Temple

Posted by: Sunny T in Malacca, Temple, Travel No Comments »

The Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is a Taoist temple and meaning of “Temple of Clear Clouds”. The temple is located at No. 25 Jalan Tokong, Malacca Town, Malaysia. It is the oldest functioning temple in Malaysia with covering of 4,600 square metres. The temple built in 1645 by Kapitan Lee Wei King with building materials imported from China, Cheng Hoon Teng served as the main place of worship for the local Hoklo (Hokkien) community. The main hall was built by Kapitan Chan Ki Lock in 1704 and was rebuilt in 1801 by Kapitan China Chua Su Cheong, who contributed to the aesthetic and magnificent structural additions of the building.

The temple is dedicated to Kwan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, whose statue is enshrined in the main hall. The side halls are dedicated to Ma Choe Poh, the Queen of Heavan and protector of fishermen and sailors; the red faced Kwan Ti, god of war, patron of literature and upholder of justice; and Sui Tai, the golden faced Goddess of Wealth. In a rear hall, memorial tablets commemorate temple leaders.

The temple, with its curved roof ridge, cut-and-paste chien nien decoration, and gable design, reflects the architectural style of South China, of craftsmen from Fujian and Guangdong. On the walls are the Eighteen Lorhans, now encased behind glass. On the outside of the main hall are columns with gold calligraphy in cao-shu, a grass style script. Within the grounds of the Cheng Hoon Teng are stelae, stone tables commemorating special events. The walls of the temples are all painted with limewash. In the olden days, lime was used instead of cement. Everything was derived from natural sources. The lime comes from the oyster shells and soot from charcoal.

The National Museum of History, called Muzium Sejarah Nasional in Malay and located along Jalan Raja opposite Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur. A walk through the exhibition galleries will boost your knowledge about the country and its culture.

Initially the building was built with wood and bricks to house a commercial bank in 1888. A.C Norman, a British architect who used to work in the Public Works Department, designed this amazing building using a blend of typical Moorish and Islamic architecture. The building’s architecture was also harmonized with the adjoining buildings, which were once used for the country’s administrative purposes.

It was also utilized by the Japanese Telecommunication Department during the Japanese occupation (1941-1945). As soon as the war was over, the function of the building as the main commercial bank was restarted and lasted till 1965. Later the building was taken by the Kuala Lumpur District and Land Office, now called Federal Territory Department of Land and Mines. Further, the building was occupied by the Federal Territory Religious Affairs Office, which is now called the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JAWI).

Of late, in 1991, the building was chosen to become a museum because of its strategic location and surroundings. It was formally given up to the Department of Museum and Antiques to get turned into the National History Museum. Since the original structure got dilapidated and the building was rebuilt to house the museum. In 1996, the refurbished building was opened as the National History Museum.

Today, it addresses a permanent collection of artifacts and dioramas that depict the country’s wealth of historical heritage. The several exhibits presented here include 520 million-year-old metamorphic sandstone, a 40,000-year-old Homo sapiens skull, and an eight-sided gold coin dating back to the 15th century. To sum up, the National History Museum is a must-visit place for any traveler in Kuala Lumpur.

The National Museum is located (Jalan Damansara, Kuala Lumpur) within walking distance from KL Sentral (5 minutes). If you are in Lake Garden, you will be able to see the museum as it has a distinctive Minangkabau-styled roof. Walking from Lake Garden will take you approximately 20 minutes to reach the museum. The museum contains vast artifacts and exhibits that trace the history of the nation of Malaysia.

National Museum (in Malay: Muzium Negara) was established on the site of the former Selangor Museum. It was built by the British and Selangor governments in 1898 following the formation of the Federated Malay States in 1896. On March 10, 1945, during the end of World War II, the right wing of the museum was bombed and destroyed by the US B-29 bomber, from the Allied Forces.

After World War II, the left wing of Selangor Museum was still in use as a historical site. After the Federation of Malaya achieved its independence on August 31, 1957, the federal government decided to build the national museum at the old site of Selangor Museum. Construction began in 1959 and was complete in 1963. National Museum was officially opened on August 31, 1963.by His Majesty the Third Yang diPertuan Agong of Malaysia.

It has a Minangkabau-styled roof and two front murals. The murals of Italian glass mosaic highlights the significant events and crafts of Malaysia. The museum comprises of four (4) main galleries, Gallery A, B, C and D. In each of these galleries, you will find an array of unique and interesting displays sure to captivate your mind. Gallery A holds the Culture Exhibitions, involving exhibitions on Shadow Play, Costumes and Rituals in Malaysia. Gallery B holds an exhibition on the Faces of Malaysia, a look at the difference and similarities between the many races in the country. In Gallery C, you will be introduced to Nature, it’s history and it’s many forms of life. The last gallery, Gallery D, is divided into three sub-categories, weapons, music and ceramic, and here you will see displays of each from the past and present times. We also have 3 galleries in the museum that holds temporary exhibits, The Main Hall, Gallery 1 or the Royal Gallery and Gallery 2. These halls holds a variety of temporary exhibits on interesting matters.

The outdoor of the museum has big displays that you can visit without having to purchase any ticket. You will be able to see old cars, a replica of an old Malay palace, steam locomotive and bull carts. The Malaysian Maritime Archaeology Exhibition is located in the vicinity of the museum where artifacts from 11 historical shipwreck salvaged is currently on display.

The National Mosque is Malaysia’s located near the KL Railway Station, along Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin. The location was chosen by the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Hais and completed in 1965 at a cost of more than RM 10 million. The original structure was designed by a three-person team from the Public Works Department – UK architect Howard Ashley, and Malaysians Hisham Albakri and Baharuddin Kassim.

The mosque with its very ultra-modern design is situated among 13 hectares of beautiful gardens and is one of the largest in Asia. It has a capacity of 15,000 people and took three years to construct, was opened on Aug 27, 1965

It’s is a uniquely designed building that embodies a contemporary expression of traditional Islamic art. It’s design is based upon the Grand Mosque in Mecca with 48 small domes and the main dome has the character of a multi fold “semi-opened blue umbrella” that is the roof which symbolises the 5 pillars of Islam and the 13 states of Malaysia. The 73 meter tall minaret has the shape of a “closed blue umbrella”.

Visitors are advised to observe the rules of dressing and decorum which are listed at the entrance. They need to remove their shoes and must be respectably dressed. Special robes are provided if you are not appropriately attired.

Batu Caves

Posted by: Sunny T in Hill, Historical, Temple, Travel No Comments »

Batu Caves is said to be around 400 million years old. When the caves were in a pristine state before 1860, several of the 18 cave mouths were used by the indigenous “Besisi people” (also referred to as Orang Asli) as transit shelters when they went out hunting from their jungle hamlets. Batu Caves is a limestone hill, which has a series of caves and cave temples, located in Gombak district, 13 km north of Kuala Lumpur. It takes its name from the Sungai Batu or Batu River, which flows past the hill. Batu Caves is also the name of the nearby village.

As early as 1860, Chinese settlers began excavating guano for fertilising their vegetable patches. However, they became famous only after the limestone hills were found by American Naturalist, William Hornaday in 1878. Batu Caves is said to have been discovered by K. Thamboosamy Pillai, an Indian trader, in the 1800s. He was inspired by the “vel-shaped” entrance of the main cave and was inspired to dedicate a temple to Lord Muruga located within the caves.

In 1891, Pillai, who also founded the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur, installed the murti (consecrated statue) of Sri Subramania Swamy in what is today known as the Temple Cave. Since 1892, the Thaipusam festival in the Tamil month of Thai (which falls in late January/early February) has been celebrated there.

Wooden steps up to the Temple Cave were built in 1920. Of the various cave temples that comprise the site, the largest and best known is the Temple or Cathedral Cave, so named because it houses several Hindu shrines beneath its 100 m vaulted ceiling.

Rising almost 100 m above the ground, Batu Caves actually consists of three main caves and a few smaller ones. The biggest, referred to as Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, has a 100 m-high ceiling, and features ornate Hindu shrines. To reach it, visitors have to climb a steep of 272 steps.

Sri Maha Mariamman

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The Sri Maha Mariamman Temple is founded by Thambusamy Pillai in 1873 and was initially used as a private shrine by the Pillai family. The Temple was originally sited near the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. It shifted to its present location along Jalan Tun H S Lee (next to Kuala Lumpur Chinatown) in 1885. The family threw open the temple door to the public in the late 1920s and handed the management of the temple over to a board of trustees.

The initial “attap” structure was demolished in 1887 and a brick building was erected in its place after the major fire of Kuala Lumpur . That structure was demolished to make way for the current temple buildings which were completed in 1968. The impressive gateway to the Temple (gopuram) was completed in 1972. This new Temple was consecrated in 1973.

The Temple opens daily from 6.00AM to 9.00PM. Visitors are reminded to remove their footwear before entering the Temple.

Kuan Ti Temple

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Kuan Ti Temple located on Jalan Tun H. S. Lee nearby China Town. This temple also known as Guan Ti or Kwong Siew Temple and is a Taoist temple dedicated to a Chinese deity, Kuan Ti, the God of War & Literature. Two stone lions guard the temple at the entrance and in the main lobby, statues of the God of Examinations & Fate and the God of the Elderly greet visitors to its main prayer hall, where the statue of Kuan Ti proudly takes it place at the central altar.

This temple is built in 1888 by the Selangor & Federal Territory Kwong Siew Association. Visitors may find it interesting to know that the temple houses an antique – a ‘guan dao’. This long knife has been brought here from China more than 100 years ago. Legend has it that such a weapon was the favourite of Kuan Ti.

From 1898 to 1902, it also helped to settle disputes that were lodged with the association by fellow villagers as well as those from other municipalities. According to records, a total of 486 cases of dispute were mediated within this period, many of which were settled to the satisfaction of all parties. It is therefore not surprising that the temple is dedicated to the God of Righteousness.

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church located on Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur and not far from Telekom Museum. This church was the original Scottish planter’s church. It was built between 1917 and 1918 and opened for worship amid much colonial fanfare. The building of this church was originally opposed by Loke Chow Kit who wanted the land for a Chinese language school.

The church has the best church pipe organ in working condition. The Riddel-Eminent organ is a hybrid made up of components of the original 1939 Riddell organ married to the 1998 Eminent console by organ builder Mr Robert Navaratnam of Singapore.

In 1992, the St. Andrew’s Cross was installed. The Cross is a replica of an 18th century brass altar cross found in the ancient church of Llandyfrydog on a wind-swept western isle in Britain.