Monday, May 18, 2009

The Valley of The Kings

In the midst of recovering my old files, I stumbled upon my sanity which was dissipating after the "crash". It was a beautiful Saturday and I didn't feel like staying in and be miserable over the lost data in my computer neither did I want to sprawl over the thought of what could have been undone. Like the impromptu traveller in me, I packed our single knapsack and headed straight to the horizon, where the sea meets the sky...just an hour's drive away from my tornado stricken home. Any place away from home would be an ideal place at that time. I just had to get away for a quick retreat. It was an idea spurred after reading this wonderful lady's entry on a place called Jugra, located in the vicinity of Morib.

The kids had no inkling whatsoever to where we were going. They were extremely surprised as to why mama was taking them away from their weekend with books. Both were getting ready for the Mid term exams and holidaying created much commotion in them, a welcoming chaos. As they still had to do their studying, I made sure the journey was occupied with just that. So no escaping from reading and working those sums.

My acquaintance with Morib was only from school textbooks, listed as tempat2 peranginan di Malaysia next to Port Dickson. Jugra on the other hand came across as just a flash of the history pages of out buku Sejarah. That was pretty much it. Lack of information never put interest in giving this place a chance, well not until recently after I saw the light house picture posted by MHB in her blog. The mystical name Jugra perhaps embedded a deeper desire to pay the place a visit.

Upon arrival, my curiosity over spilled onto the kampung roads, seeking the sight most anticipated. And not long after, Jugra's lighthouse fell prey to my hungry eyes. There it was standing majestically atop on Jugra Hill, the white light house. History wet the lips of my mouth as I unfolded the stories to my kids just as I had squeezed it dry from the internet.

It was said...

"...Many ships had tried, but all of them failed to reach the beaches that support the elevation which the locals called Cockle Hill. These late19th century navigators had been travelling for weeks along the Straits of Malacca, and each time they closed in, the shores sneakily moved backwards further inland, breaking these mighty armadas to yield frustration. The English wanted no more of this nonsense. So, they constructed a lighthouse on top of Cockle Hill. And from then on, deep in the night, when everything was still and the locals were all snuggled and asleep on their woven mats, a beacon of light would part the darkness looking for ships welcoming them to the shore.
And that is how the legend goes; and it goes on to tell the story of how the hill continued to bleed for 30 long days after the erection of the Sri Jugra Lighthouse. The waters surrounding it assumed the rusty-red colour of the cockles that resided there. Ironically, not long after the incident, the cockle population started to dwindle, and then they all disappeared
." taken from

Jugra Hill is accessible by foot and many throng the light house for an evening of uphill butt cardio exercise. Our light house experience however, was constrained to just waving it from afar he he he, we were in no shape to scale the road up to the apex where the light house resides.

Next stop : The Istana Bandar.

The moment you step foot in Jugra, you'd be fascinated with all things yellow. From the kampung houses to the modern day buildings, to the mosque and the palaces, mostly are set in the royal shade. So royal, even the air you breath smells aristocratic! It's easy to be lost in the rustic pages of history here. History you once thought you had read, peristiwa which rings a bell in your head and picturesque settings that pull you to the state of awe. As we made our way around the kampung, sipping the tranquility of the afternoon, we were again spell bounded at the sight of an old structure, erected beside a big shady tree which perhaps serves as the guardian of the desolate. The grandiose of the building met our assumption that this was the place where kings and queens entertained dignitaries, where the princes and princesses ran about in their best attires attended by the many dayangs singing around them. The guardian tree must have played witness to the many joyous and important events venued here at the Istana Bandar.

The 15 room palace was the brainchild of the fifth Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Alaeddin Sulaiman . A place he remained in residence for 35 years. The unique architecture is significantly of the Islamic influence which encompasses a blend between the Indian, Middle Eastern and Chinese . As we would like to romanticise the building of palaces to epics like The Taj Mahal and Kellie's Castle, Istana Bandar doesn't fall short of the romance elements.

"...He would design for his Queen a spacious and beautiful courtyard where she could repose and enjoy her moment of quietude. He would also need a grand balcony from where he would stand behold, while addressing his subjects." taken from

I was too excited of thoughts that I might be sitting where the Sultan used to rest or the place where the queen used to sing lagu2 rakyat to their children. My imaginations were at its highest based on the images fed by the film makers mostly from P Ramlee movies. Suddenly I pictured Hang Tuah with his keris clad in full songket datang mengadap the Sultan, di ikuti with 5 bersaudara presenting the woes of the rakyat. Ooo itu belum lagi my imaginations about the merriment of a pesta thrown at the Istana!

Istana Bandar under restoration works. be continued.

7 treats:

Lisajoehari said...

wow... i love this post. it makes me wanna go there too! there's so much to discover in malaysia!

Niza Umar said...


A literature major, you must be :) Besides baking, probably you should consider writing or a regular editor for Malaysia Tourism.

Anyways .. can't wait for my class with you. Lamaaaanya nak tunggu Julai

khalil said... best klu boleh tgok dgn mata sdiri n see whether it is true.. especially the dark side of history..woooo~

huraz said...

sekali pandang, mcm not in Malaysia... with the flowers etc. Cantik...

mº¿ºsh, brecht and nora said...

dear wiz, u r very lucky to live in such a big and beautiful country where u hv both natural & man made places to explore! And i am proud that u are exploring the treasures that u hv near you too! I am proud to say by the time i was 25 i knew all tourist attractions and all natural and made man locations on the tiny island i come from. Thus B and Nora got to see already almost 100% of my homeland. I am however sad to say that many of my local friends whom has moved abroad do not have any clue how to show their own homeland to their partners! such a shame! Anyways, i shall be back for more photos of your adventure = ) hv a gd weekend! hugs xxx

ADIEJIN said...

Wizzzzyyyyyyyyyy.... !!!!!!!!

MHB said...

Wiz -- dah, kalau 'tersangat' sebab gambar cake hilang, gambar Morib ada, kan? janganlah terlebih tersangat... can't wait to read your account!! suka ker??