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.

The Stadhuys

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

Building Stadhuys that is built in 1650 as the official residence of Dutch Governor and his officials are the best examples of Dutch architecture of that. It is believed to be the oldest Dutch building in the East. Building An outstanding example of colonial Dutch architecture, it now contains the Museum of History and Ethnography Museum. On display are traditional bridal costumes and relics from the history of Malacca 400 years ago. Both museums are well organized and detailed explanations of how these costumes and relics played a role in the past.

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, 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.

Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall was established in 1923 and located at Jalan Maharajalela, Kuala Lumpur, club building is in the Republic of China Niansan year (1934) completed by the opening ceremony of His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor. Malaysian Ministry of Culture and Arts and Heritage, 2005, Long Xue Hua Tang building as a national cultural heritage, and the allocation of repair on the first floor of the auditorium. A good building, in principle, must contain three elements, namely, practical, strong and beautiful.

As a public space, nearly 80 years, bustling, the people in the building at the Long Xue Hua Tang busy meeting, listen to lectures, watching stage performances, attend the banquet celebrating the handling of various issues and participate in various activities. Everyone has always been the direction, straight hall, auditorium, conference rooms, offices, toilets; the focus of attention naturally falls on the podium, stage, speakers, performers, presenters. May not leisure, is also not used towards the City Hall’s moment in the long-range look at the building’s appearance, close observation of the door decoration, found in different columns, different characteristics of the stigma, touch the walls and staircase railings , and then look up on the first floor structure and the dome shape.

The Sultan Addul Samad Building is located in front of the Independence Square and designed by A.C. Norman. The building construction started in 1894 and was completed in 1897. The building architecture was built using Moorish architecture and named after Sultan of Selangor who reigned from 1857 to 1898. A.C. Norman spent time in Africa and saw Muslim mosques in India which led him to use Moorish architecture in the building’s design.

The building has a shiny cooper dome and 41.2 metres high clock tower (central tower). It was constructed of red bricks and has a 2 metre wide verandah around both floors. The red bricks are exposed and have white plaster lined arches and striped which have became known as blood and bandages style. Several forms of arches such as ogee arch, horse shoe arch, pointed arch and multifoil arch were used to build the structure. It has 3 towers namely the tallest Central Clock Tower and 2 shorter circulation towers. All the towers have onion shaped domes with copper coverings.

The building became the centre of British administration in Selangor. The ground floor initially housed the Public Works Department, District Offices, Mines Department, Lands, Audit, and Treasury, with each office having its own vault. The Post Office and the Sanitary Board were also located here. On the first floor were the offices of the Secretariat, a State Council Room, a Sanitary Board Hall, rooms for the Resident and other officials and Chinese Secretariat.

Many historical events had been held in front of this building. Among them was the declaration of independence of Malaysia (Malaya then) on 31 August, 1957 and the lowering of the Union Jack. On 1 January 1982, the clock tower became the venue for another historic event when the time between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore were standardized.

Royal Selangor Club

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The Royal Selangor Club founded in 1884 by the British as a social club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The club located next to Independence Square and can be accessible from Jalan Raja. The club started out as a tiny wooden building with an “attap” roof and act as a meeting point for educated and high-ranking members of British Colonial society.

The membership to the club is primarily determined by high educational and social standards. In 1890, the club was replaced with two-storey structure designed by AC Norman, a Government Architect. The building was later redesigned by architect Arthur Bension Hubback and rebuild in 1910.

Over the years, the club’s membership increased and has also began to include high-ranking Malaysian civil servants (judges, lawyers and important people in society).