Thinking of sunny, colourful places while the weather is cold and grey … thought I’d share a bit more of Malaysia. These pictures, all taken in Kuala Lumpur, are just over 10 years old – yikes! Where does the time go?
This mosque, with its Neo-Moorish architecture, is called ‘ Masjid Jamek’, and is the oldest mosque in the city, built in 1907. ‘ Masjid’ is Arabic for mosque, and ‘ Jamek’ means a place where people congregate to worship. It’s situated where the two main rivers, Sungei (river) Klang and Sungei Gombak, meet. Early settlers of KL built their shacks here, and in the 1850s, miners would unload their equipment and trek into the jungle to dig for tin.
I like the contrast with the modern buildings in the background.
Buildings with the Neo-Moorish design are instantly recognisable by their signature onion shaped domes, spires, multiple minarets and horse-shoe shaped arches. The principal architect who designed these buildings was Arthur Hubback, who was the resident Architect General; a soldier in the British Army, he was also the first architect to be promoted to Brigadier General. He worked on many of the distinctive buildings in KL, including the Malayan Railway offices, where my dad used to work.
As it’s a pain to just pull over in a car and take a few pictures, I took this from the car as we drove past. It doesn’t give much of an idea of what the building looks like, so I’ve included one that shows the building proper.
The Sultan’s palace, or ‘istana’, to give it its Malay term, is guarded by armed soldiers, some in semi-traditional Malay outfit.
The oldest Hindu temple in KL, built in 1873, is the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, on the edge of Chinatown. It’s built in the South Indian style. The 5-tier pyramid-shaped gate tower, called ‘gopuram’ in Tamil, which means ‘tower’, is decorated with depictions of Hindu gods, which were carved by artisans from India. Interestingly, shops flank the temple's entrance.
The Sin Sze Si Ya Temple is the oldest Taoist (Chinese) temple in KL. It was founded in 1864 by Yap Ah Loy, who is regarded as the founding father of Kuala Lumpur. During the mid-19th century, he developed the town as a commercial and mining centre. Today, there is a street named after him in the heart of Chinatown, known as Jalan (road) Yap Ah Loy. Again, it’s difficult to just pull over briefly, so I took this as we whizzed by.