Earlier this year, before the movement control order (MCO) began on March 18, my friends and I visited Jugra in Kuala Langat, Selangor. Among the nine of us, some had never heard of Jugra before.
“It was never mentioned in our history textbooks, ” said one friend, when told that Jugra used to be the royal capital of Selangor in the late 1800s.
Our first stop was the majestic Istana Bandar Jugra. Built in the early 1900s, the brick building with slim minarets was once the home of Sultan Sir Alaeddin Suleiman Shah, the fifth Sultan of Selangor.
This was also where his grandson, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah (the eighth Sultan of Selangor and father to the current state ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah) was born in 1926.
The Jugra palace architecture is an example of Malaysia’s ethnic diversity. The design carries influences from the Middle East and India. Craftsmen from China carved the wooden roof, while the marble floors and grand pillars showcase colonial influence. The old royal baths are Malay in culture.Since the palace is an official Malaysian Heritage Site, restoration and conservation works are constantly being done.
We also visited Masjid Diraja Sultan Alaeddin, one of the oldest mosques in Selangor. This mosque was being “upgraded” at the time, and it had been painted white.
We then went to the town, where time seemed to have stopped since the 1960s. Small wooden houses and sundry shops lined the road, while orchards and traditional kampung houses along the way spoke of a more slow-paced way of life.
Lau Chee Hong, our guide (and friend), took us to “one of the gems of Jugra” – the Jugra Insitu Museum. The museum used to be a police station back in the early colonial times. There are two armoured cars outside the museum, a “fake jail cell” and interesting displays inside which tell us a bit about the history of the place.
Just before sunset, we made our way to the Jugra Lighthouse which is 120m above sea level. You can get a spectacular view of the Straits of Malacca from here.
Apart from the lighthouse itself, the area is a popular hiking and walking spot thanks to its beautiful landscape.
We had a sumptuous seafood dinner at one of the two popular restaurants flanking the bridge to Carey Island.
Our final stop was the Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple in Jenjarom. Every Chinese New Year, this Buddhist temple puts on a light display and this year’s theme was based on the year of the Rat. The displays of rat characters and other auspicious Chinese symbols were imaginative and colourful.
We wandered into the orchid garden, crossing an arched bridge over a pond filled with fish and lotus flowers. The temple grounds itself was really worth a visit and nicely capped off our exciting Cuti-Cuti Malaysia adventure.
The views expressed are the reader’s own.
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