KELANTAN - EAST COAST REGION OF PENINSULAR MALAYSIA
HISTORICAL & HERITAGE SITES
 
 

HISTORICAL & HERITAGE SITES

Kota Bharu?s main historical zone is situated along Jalan Hilir Kota and Jalan Sultan. Many museums are within walking distance to one another.

 

Kelantan has a long history that will fascinate and intrigue visitors. Its early links with China and Thailand, its role as the centre of Islamic learning in the region and its successive eras under the British rule and Japanese occupation have all shaped and coloured its historical landscape. There are a number of sites here that relate to World War II. The War Museum in Kota Bharu offers an absorbing collection of materials.

 
 

STATE  MUSEUM

Jalan Hospital, Kota Bharu

 

This treasure trove showcases a splendid collection of exhibits and documents on Kelantan?s arts, crafts and musical traditions. Highlights include artefacts from local archaeological sites that provide evidence of the pre-historic age in Kelantan. Other displays include ceramics that testify to the early trade with China. This museum incorporates the State Art Gallery. The main office of the Kelantan State Museum Corporation is also situated here. Historically, the building served as the Land Office from colonial times until 1990 when major renovations were carried Out to convert it into a museum.

 

Opening hours: 8.30am-4.45pm daily (except Fridays)

Admission fee: RM1.00 (Malaysians) & RM2.00 (Non-Malaysians)

Tel: 09-748 2266

 
 
 

CRAFT MUSEUM

Kampung Kraftangan, Kota Bharu

 

Come and view a marvelous collection of local crafts, such as traditional embroidery, songket, batik, silver and many more. The display of tools and equipment help visitors to understand the history and the process of making these splendid crafts.

 

Opening hours: 8.30am-4.45pm daily (except Fridays)

Admission fee: RM1.00 (Malaysians) & RM2.00 (Non-Malaysians)

Tel: 09-748 2266 / 744 3949

 
 
 

ISLAMIC MUSEUM

Jalan Hilir Kota, Kota Bharu

 

In its heyday, Kelantan was hailed as the ?Annexe to Mecca? for its role in developing Islam in the region. The state was acclaimed as a centre for Islamic learning, with renowned scholars and teachers who came from various parts of the Malay archipelago. Learn more about the glorious era in this museum. Captivating exhibits here include the replica of a traditional maisonette, photographs of scholars, pictures of the world?s great mosques, a photographic collection of Prophet Muhammad?s personal belongings as well as Islamic arts and crafts from China, Iran, Mecca, the Philippines and Turkey. The museum is housed in a large two-storey traditional wooden building, which used to be the state?s first school for religious studies. It is also known as Balai Syura.

 

Opening hours: 8.30am - 4.45pm daily (except Fridays)

Admission is free.

Tel: 09-748 2266

 
 
 

ROYAL MUSEUM / ISTANA BATU

Jalan Hilir Kota, Kota Bharu

 

 

Step into a splendid repository of the Kelantan royal family regalia. This museum features the social activities and personal lives of the state?s royal family, and showcases treasured collections such as photographs, costumes, beautiful crystals, silverware, antique furniture as well as palace items of former Sultans. Completed in 1939, this palace was a wedding gift to His Royal Highness Sultan Yahya Petra, from his uncle Sultan Ismail. It served as the residence of the Kelantan royal family until 1961 and was turned into a royal museum in 1991.

 

Opening hours: 8.30am - 4.45pm daily (except Fridays)

Admission fee: RM1.00 (Malaysians) & RM2.00 (Non-Malaysians)

Tel: 09-748 7737

 
 
 

MUSEUM OF ROYAL TRADITIONS & CUSTOMS / ISTANA JAHAR

Jalan Hilir Kota, Kota Bharu

 

 

Be enthralled by the grandeur of royal Malay customs and traditions in this museum. The dioramas and ceremonial chambers here showcase the elaborate traditions and ancient rituals for occasions such as engagements, weddings, births, umbilical cord trimmings and bathing. Built in 1887, the building is a fine example of the state?s supreme craftsmanship, with intricately carved wooden panels, iron grills, elaborate roofs and a beautifully designed arched stairway.

 

Opening hours: 8.30am - 4.45pm daily (except Fridays)

Admission fee: RM1.00 (Malaysians) & RM2.00 (Non-Malaysians)

Tel: 09-748 2266

 
 
 

WAR MUSEUM / BANK KERAPU

Jalan Sultan, Kota Bharu

 

This is an excellent place to begin your discovery of World War II in Kelantan. The museum boasts a fascinating repository of documents, pictures and military paraphernalia relating to the war and the Japanese occupation in the country from 1941 to 1945. Artifacts include Japanese swords, mortar shells and submarine mines. Not- to-be-missed highlights are documents that outline the chronology of war in Kelantan, as well as personal accounts of survivors. Outdoor displays include a tank and the replica of a pill box. This historic building was constructed in 1912 as a bank of the Mercantile Bank Group. It has the distinction of being the first stone building in the state and one of the first banks in Kelantan. The rough and uneven surface of the walls led to its moniker, ?Bank Kerapu?. During the war, the building served as the headquarters of the Japanese Kempetai, the feared secret police. It was turned into a war memorial by the Kelantan State Museum Corporation in 1992.

 

Opening hours: 8.30am - 4.45pm daily (except Fridays)

Admission fee: RM1.00 (Malaysians) & RM2.00 (Non-Malaysians)

Tel: 09-748 2266

 
 
 

BRITISH PILL BOXES

 

Pill boxes are a unique attraction and a tangible legacy of the World War II in Kelantan. These pill boxes are hardened concrete bunkers built by the British to defend themselves in the battle. There used to be a large number of pill boxes along the state?s coastline, but many have succumbed to the forces of nature and erosion. Today, pill boxes still stand at Pengkalan Chepa, Pantai Melawi and Rhu Dalam Village. A replica of the pill box can be seen at the War Museum in Kota Bharu.

 
 
 

PANTAI KUALA PA' AMAT

Sering

 

This beach is a site of great historical significance, where the Japanese troops first landed to invade British Malaya. It is said that the assault on Kuala Pa?Amat Beach at 12.25am on 8 December 1941 was 11/2 hours before the attack on Pearl Harbour due to the difference in the International Date Line. A fierce battle ensued and many soldiers fought valiantly till death. Today, the former battlefield is a quiet, secluded beach and a nostalgic destination for war veterans and their families. The Peace Monument here describes the ?landing assault?. This beach is situated about 12km from Kota Bharu.

 
 
 

KUSIAL BRIDGE

Kuala Krai

 

Formerly known as Guillemard Bridge, this structure was named after Sir Lawrence Guillemard, the British Governor and High Commissioner of the Straits Settlements at the time. It was completed in 1924 and officially opened by the Sultan a year later. Initially the bridge was used for both trains and road vehicles. However in 1941, it was deliberately destroyed to prevent the advancement of the Japanese army. Guillemard Bridge was reopened in 1948 and has since been used for trains. Visitors who board the local train from Tanah Merah to Kuala Krai will get a chance to pass through the bridge.

 
 
 

PADANG MERDEKA / MERDEKA SQUARE

Kota Bharu

 

This is a historical landmark in the city. Originally named Padang Bank, it was renamed Padang Merdeka (Independence Square) after the country?s Independence in 1957. Visitors will find a World War I memorial that pays tribute to the unknown heroes who perished in the war. Padang Merdeka is also the site where the body of Tok Janggut, a Malay warrior, was hung. Today, Padang Merdeka is the site of official parades and functions. Nearby, the Sultan Ismail Petra Arch stands imposingly.

 
 
 

TOK JANGGUT'S THOMB

Kampung Pasir Pekan, Tumpat

 

 Haji Mat Hassan Bin Panglima Munah or better known as Tok Janggut, was a Malay warrior who fought against the British rule in Kelantan. He organised an uprising in Pasir Puteh, to protest against the hefty land taxes imposed on the locals. Tok Janggut was killed in a fierce battle with the British in 1915. His body was hung to be displayed at Padang Bank (now known as Padang Merdeka) before being laid to rest at a place now called Kampung Pasir Pekan.

 
 
 

OTHERS

 

Other historical sites in the state include a peace monument in Pengkalan Chepa, Bradley Stairs in Kuala Krai as well as the remnants of an old bridge in Tumpat that was used by the Japanese to transport iron-ore.

 
 
 
 
GUA MUSANG
KELANTAN - EAST COAST REGION OF PENINSULAR MALAYSIA