FROM the wee hours of the morning right up to late at night, Jalan Pudu is abuzz with activity.
It starts with people flocking to the famous Pudu wet market and patronising the other stalls nearby.
The place was earlier known as Pudoh and Pun- Sam-Pah to the predominantly local Chinese community.
Pudoh in the Hokkien dialect is a practice describing the ancestral worship of the Chinese while Pudoh in the Cantonese dialect describes the fruit grape.
A more accurate description of the road is the name Pun-Sam-Pah which means half-jungle in the Cantonese dialect. Academics say this is probably a term the locals used to describe the conditions of the road during pre-war periods where only parts of the road were developed while the surrounding areas were still a jungle.
Pudu Road was built as a part of a linkage to all the different mines in Kuala Lumpur stretching from Jalan Ampang to Jalan Petaling. The construction of these roads were spearheaded by Kapitan Yap Ah Loy not only to link up the mines but also to plan out streets in the town.
The links to the mines are preserved until now and Jalan Pudu is one of the original paths.
Some 130 years ago, mine porters threaded the same route that is now abuzz with heavy traffic everyday.
Pudu Road now stretches from the Puduraya Bus Station that has become the main congestion problem to the Jalan Cheras junction.
Right at the Jalan Hang Tuah junction is the 112-year-old Pudu Jail that is no longer in operation.
Originally known as Pudu Gaol, the prison was built in an X-shape consisting of three-storeys and 240 cells with six-inch thick walls of cement, steel and bricks and was intended to accommodate only 950 prisoners. The jail then underwent expansion works to make room for more inmates.
Along Jalan Pudu are old shop houses that now house an array of small businesses like clinics, dentists, glassmakers, goldsmiths, copiers, bridal shops and old confectionary houses.
Some of these businesses have been around for a really long time, especially the biscuit houses. The Sek Yuen Restaurant is one of the famous restaurants that has been here for more than 50 years.
Most of the rich people held their wedding dinners there during its days of glory , said a 64-year-old biscuit maker who is popularly known among her peers as Ah Cheng.
Most of the eateries along the road are open throughout the night to cater to late night customers and Pudu is still the hot spot for delicious local Chinese delights.
The mamak stall right next to the post office is also famous for its curry rice. People call it the stall under the tree.
Right in the middle of the road is an ever-busy bus stop that is known among the locals as the Majestic bus stop.
It was named after the cinema that used to be here. It was called Tai-Wa before this, said Ah Cheng.
Students can be seen thronging the bus stop after school to get home or to get to the many tuition centres along the road.
An iconic structure along the road is the Selangor and Federal Territory Eurasian Association club house. The building was completed in August 1953 and has remained since.