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Istana Kenangan, Muzium DiRaja Kuala Kangsar

Visited this place not too long ago. It was last year, 2022, if my memory serves me correctly. As usual, I took some pictures and uploaded them all on CoffeeloversMY‘s social media accounts. I figured I would write an article about the visit and re-upload all those pictures here at tangankraf.

Sadly, all the pictures were taken in vertical mode, and I brought the wrong lens. Vertical pictures are good for Instagram but not so much for this platform. Nonetheless, I still like how they turned out here and hope you do too.

This is Muzium DiRaja Kuala Kangsar, previously known as Istana Kenangan, Istana Lembah, or Istana Tepas. Located in Kuala Kangsar, Perak, this palace has a rich history and has played an important role in Perak’s royal ceremonies.

The palace was constructed in 1926 by a Malay carpenter named Haji Suffian, who was assisted by his two sons, Zainal Abidin and Ismail. They originated from Seberang Prai.

As the Iskandariah Palace was under construction, Istana Kenangan was used as a temporary residence for the late Sultan Iskandar Shah.

After the Sultan moved to Istana Iskandariah, the palace was used as Istana Tetamu, especially during royal ceremonies such as the Sultan’s Birthday, the installation of Perak’s nobles, and other Perak royal traditions.

The palace’s architecture was inspired by traditional Malay design, taking the shape of a sword in its scabbard. Another interesting fact is that the palace was constructed on 60 pillars that were approximately 41 meters long and 11 meters wide.

The entire structure was built using hardwood, with walls made of tepas and a roof made of kayu belian. What’s more, the palace’s construction did not involve the use of nails.

The carvings on the palace are made of woven tepas with traditional Malay patterns. It is truly a sight to behold.

The palace has two floors, with a royal singgahsana located in the middle section of the upper floor. The lower floor was used as the official office of the Sultan.

The palace was occupied by the Perak royal family until 1982, when the late Sultan Idris II handed it over to the Museum Department.

In 1986, the palace underwent a full transformation and became Muzium DiRaja Kuala Kangsar, which is now administered by the state of Perak Darul Ridzuan.

Despite its rich history and architectural beauty, the palace has suffered some damage over time. However, efforts are being made to preserve this historical landmark for future generations to witness.

Our visit to Istana Kenangan was a truly memorable experience. We highly recommend that anyone visiting Kuala Kangsar takes the time to visit this incredible historical landmark.

After the visit, my wife and I went to one of the shophouses in the town of Kuala Kangsar to show our son, Ashraf, all the snacks and candies we used to eat when we were kids.


References:

Jamal, D. H. D., Ramli, Z., & Surat, M. (2017). Istana kenangan: meneroka integrasi warisan budaya Melayu dan konservasi menerusi pendekatan suaiguna semula. Jurnal Arkeologi Malaysia30(2).

User, S. (n.d.). Muzium Diraja (Istana Kenangan, Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar, Perak. JWN 2020. https://www.heritage.gov.my/muzium-diraja-istana-kenangan-bukit-chandan-kuala-kangsar-perak.html

User, S. (n.d.-b). The Official Portal of Perak State Museum Board – Royal Museum Kuala Kangsar. http://muzium.perak.gov.my/index.php/en/museums/royal-museum-kuala-kangsar

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