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Kedah Sights & Visits ~ Historical Sights


Intro & Background Sights and Visits  Langkawi  Kedah Map 

• Lembah Bujang (Bujang Valley) • Kota Kuah Kedah •



Bujang Valley
Lembah Buiang, lying between Gunung Jerai in the north and Sungai Muda in the south, is regarded as Malaysia's richest archaeological area



Lembah Bujang has a deep history that goes back 1,500 years . The rich archaeological finds have at least sealed an important part of Malaysia's history - the evidence that Malaysia and South East Asia had already entered the international arena of economics and ergonomics a long, long time ago

Bujang Valley stretches all the way from Gunung Jerai in the North to Sungai Muda in the South. The area concentrated around the mouth of Sungai (River) Muda has been of economic importance to Kedah since as early as the 5th Century AD. By the 7th century, trade with the Indians, Arabs and Chinese merchants in the Straits of Melaka had increased tremendously and the Bujang Valley evolved into an entrepôt. The early mariners were totally reliant on the monsoon seasons, which also was dictated by the wind patterns. Therefore, it was impossible to make a voyage from China to India in one season. The traders had to wait out for the wind change in safe harbours such as at Bujang Valley.

With the influx of foreigners and locals alike, places of worship mushroomed - located up in the higher grounds. Kedah's cultural development during this era was strongly influenced by the people from various cultural origins namely a mixture of Indian, Sri Vijayan and Khmer. The valley became an archaeological paradise after the discovery of the candi in the area in the 1840's. Candi came from the word "Chandika' - the name of Lord Siva's wife. She was also known as Durga - the deity of death. The candi, in retrospect has two functions. One; it is a sacred place to pay respect to the deceased members of the royal families. Two; it is a place to conduct religious activities. The candi structure can be divided into 3 sections.


Evidence indicates that the candi (pronounced 'chandi') can be divided into the Buddhist phase from the 5th to the 10th century; and the Hindu phase from the 10th to the 13th or 14th century. Hindu images have been excavated at the various candi sites such as the Ganesha (the elephant faced deity) and the Durga (the consort of Siva) and a bronze
image of Lord Vishnu.



Lembah Bujang Archaeological Museum
Just 2km north of Merbok Village, beside the Bujang River, you will find the
Lembah Bujang Archaeological Museum which displays artefacts including pottery shards, ceramics and stoneware which dates back 1,500 years. Chinese porcelain, stone carvings, Indian tridents and gemstones from the Middle East are also among the objects displayed here.

The artefacts exhibited here are the results of years of archaeological diggings and surveys carried out since 1845. Some 1,000 of these artefacts are exhibited in the museum while another 2,500 artefacts are still being studied. The numerous artefacts uncovered in the Bujang Valley - celedon, porcelain, stoneware, clay, pottery, fragments of glass, beads and Persian ceramics are exhibited here

The most well-known 'exhibit' at the museum is the Candi Bukit Batu Pahat. It is believed to be built in the 17th Century on the summit of the small hill behind the main building. It contains two principal parts - the vimana or sanctuary, and the mandapa or hall. There are also statues of Indian Gods and Goddesses, similar to those uncovered of historical sites in India.

Officially opened in 1980, the museum is surrounded by cool tropical forests and the Batu Pahat Waterfall is an added attraction for those in search of recreation and knowledge.

The Lembah Bujang Museum is open daily from 8am through 4.15pm.
It closes from noon until 2.45pm on Fridays.
Entrance: Free
Location – Lembah Bujang, Merbok, Bedong
Visit Rating -

 



Kota Kuala Kedah
Kota Kuala Kedah also known as Kota Kuala Bahang is a fishing port, situated by the estuary of a river about 12km to the west of Alor Setar. Here lies the remains of an early Malay fort guarding Kedah from early naval attacks, notably the Portuguese, the Acehnese from Sumatra and the Bugis. It was rebuilt in 1771 but later a Siamese fleet, on the pretext of a peaceful trading expedition attacked the fort. Caught off guard, the people of Kedah were quickly overpowered by the aggressors.



The fort’s plans was drawn by Sheikh Abd Jalil Mufti and includes a moat surrounding the fort and a double brick wall standing 1.8m apart, with the middle space fortified with packed earth. Within the fort, there is a number of buildings including a royal audience hall. The entire fort area was built on an area of about five acres. It was reported that the stonemasons were specially brought in from India to rebuild the fort and durable British cannons were installed, notably named the Badak Berendam (the Wallowing Rhinocerous) and the Katak Puru (the Toad) cannons. But in 1821, the fort was attacked and conquered by the Thais nevertheless. The fort is surprisingly well preserved and along the crumbling walls facing the river mouth, the remnants of six cannons are still to be found.

Today, Kota Kuala Kedah is popular for the variety of seafood served by the numerous restaurants in the fishing village. famous for its ‘Laksa Kuala Kedah’, a local delicacy of thick rice vermicelli and spicy fish gravy. Two floating seafood restaurants converted from fishing vessels add to the town’s attraction. While enjoying the food, one will be able to see six cannons still resting on the crumbling walls, facing the river estuary.

Location – 12 km from Alor Setar
Visit Rating -
 


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