This time, I managed to make the journey to Jugra in Kuala Langat, Selangor, the place where I intended to visit in April. There are a number of interesting historical spots here which are not so well-known and discovering them made our trip so worthwhile.
1. Istana Bandar
Within the district of Banting in a small village with the oxymoronic name of Kampung Bandar, there is an old palace built by a former sultan of Selangor. Known alternatively as Istana Bandar or Istana Sultan Ala'eddin, this royal dwelling was built in 1905 by the fifth Sultan of Selangor.
The building sits on a 12.6 acre flat plot of land and is a combination of Malay and Moorish architecture. It is a 2-storey design; the upper floor having the grander rooms and balconies while the lower floor has a relatively low ceiling height. When Sultan Ala'eddin (also known as Sultan Alauddin Sulaiman) passed away in 1938, his successor did not take residence there and the palace became empty. Over the years, the building went through a series of transformations in its use before reverting back to being an empty shell, left to be appreciated by only a few who care to have that inkling of interest in history. The palace is presently registered as a heritage building under Jabatan Warisan Negara.
On the day of our visit, we were the only ones there. The guard at the security post was probably surprised seeing a car with Johor license plates driving up to that quiet location on a weekday afternoon. After I signed the visitor book, he allowed us into the compound and said that we are free to walk around.
The palace is totally empty inside - no furniture or furnishings or exhibits. A number of broken windows and rotting floor planks (properly cordoned-off) show the age of the building. Nonetheless overall the place is clean and tidy. Even the external grounds are well-maintained, i.e. no overgrown bushes or creepers and the like.
Serene and peaceful. And if you are alone, can be creepy as well.
|View of Istana Bandar from the front. Visited 24 May 2017|
|A water reservoir or kolah in the internal courtyard|
|A view from inside to outside through broken windows|
|Wide staircase at the rear|
2. Bukit Jugra
On the eastern side of Sungai Langat near its mouth, there is a hill known as Bukit Jugra on which sits the Jugra Lighthouse. The hill slope next to the lighthouse is a popular place for para-gliding enthusiasts. On the day of our visit, not a single para-glider was in sight because it was a weekday. I was told that they pack the place mostly on weekends.
Anyway, we were there to enjoy the view from a lovely vantage point. The Langat river mouth where it meets the Melaka Straits can be clearly seen. This viewing spot is surprisingly quite accessible by car. The road up the hill to the lighthouse is paved and there is even space to park your car safely, although I can imagine some congestion on weekends.
|A barge being towed upstream of Sg Langat. The Melaka Straits on the horizon|
3. Makam Sultan Abdul Samad
I came upon this royal mausoleum by chance. As we were heading towards Jugra Lighthouse, I saw a signboard that indicated the grave of royalty. The cemetery itself was not visible from the small road and I decided to make a stop on the way back.
Sultan Abdul Samad ibni Al-marhum Raja Abdullah was the 4th Sultan of Selangor. He reigned from 1857 to 1898, a span of 41 years. At the time of his death he was 93 years-old. The heir apparent to the throne, his eldest son Raja Muda Musa had already departed ahead of him. This resulted in Raja Muda Musa's eldest son, Sulaiman Shah Musa (later also known as Alaudin Sulaiman) becoming the next-in-line. The 5th Sultan of Selangor was therefore the grandson of the 4th.
Perhaps the most famous building in Kuala Lumpur that bears his name is the Moorish-styled landmark known as Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad, located opposite of Dataran Merdeka and the Royal Selangor Club.
This mausoleum at Jugra is a hidden gem. The place is well-kept with a wide parking area for visitors. The security guard on duty was kind enough to give me an impromptu tour. Other than the king, members of his immediately family are also buried there.
|Resting place of the 4th Sultan of Selangor|