Batu Gajah Things to Do

  • Across the river, on top of the hill...
    Across the river, on top of the hill...
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  • Is he guarding his incomplete castle???
    Is he guarding his incomplete castle???
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  • Things to Do
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Most Recent Things to Do in Batu Gajah

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    He's dead but he's still there......

    by lukluk_wal_marjan Updated Feb 21, 2006

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    Is he guarding his incomplete castle???

    Going around the Kellie's Castle, you really need to explore every crooks and nooses of the place. Lucky me that there was a tour guide who is really really really good at his work!

    Thats how I found this unique figure which is believe to be Mr William Kellie Smith's face.

    Scarry huhhh...thinking that our every move is being 'watched' by the unseen...hehehehehe

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    Abandon tin mine dredge

    by lukluk_wal_marjan Written Feb 4, 2006

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    The closest you can get to a tin mine dredge at its original loation. It has been abandoned but considered as one of historical site.

    The mine has become shallow so the dredge is slightly tilted. There are other lakes surrounding the area where some of the local people spent their time fishing.

    If you are lucky you may be able to see some birds flying back & forth across the lake...'fishing'.

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    Fear of Heights?

    by lukluk_wal_marjan Written Feb 4, 2006

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    Conquer your fear at Kellie's Castle. Go up the spiral stair case up to the top floor.

    Eventhough its only 4 levels up, some people still decided against going up since it is an open space without walls.

    Sometimes, you wish that the lift was installed in the castle back in 1926.... but then you may not have the chance to also test your physical fitness... and the scenery from above, no regrets!

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    The incomplete castle...

    by lukluk_wal_marjan Written Feb 4, 2006

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    Across the river, on top of the hill...

    Kellie's Castle is one of the historical building that I personally thinks that each person should not miss if they are around this area. After all it is about 24 km away from Ipoh.

    The building of castle was never completed. If its ever completed, I believe the lift that was planned to be installed might possibily be the first lift installed in Malaysia.

    The Scottish multi millionaire , William Kellie Smith; started to build this castle in 1909/1910 within his rubber plantation. It displayed Islamic architectural design with 14 rooms which is complete with escape route from the building if anything ever happened.

    I cannot find them, but it was said that there are 3 tunnels leading out from the castle. One of the tunnel leads to the Hindu temple across the river nearby the castle.

    Dont miss to go up to the top of the castle. The view is superb!

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    Kellie's Castle 3

    by wufei Updated Apr 30, 2004

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    Kellie's Castle

    Continue from Kellie's Castle 2

    In the end, Kellas House was never completed. William Kellie Smith himself died of pneumonia during a short trip to Portugal in 1926. His heartbroken wife decided to pack up and return home to Scotland selling the estate and Kellie's Castle to a British company called Harrisons and Crosfield.

    For some reason or other, Kellas Home, later known as Kellie's Castle or even Kellie's Folly to some, was never completed.

    However, despite more than eighty years of vandalism and neglect until the government refurbished the house in 2000, the building remained a tourist attraction for many years prior to that.

    Kellie's Castle Restored
    Today, visitors can still "meet" William Kellie Smith and his two children at Kellie's Castle. Sculptures of them are still standing on the exterior wall, but the one of his beloved wife fell off some years ago.

    For safety reasons however, the tunnels have been sealed off. Apparently, one of Kellie's car is parked somewhere in one of the tunnels!

    Despite the ravages of time and neglect, the entire estate oozes with romanticism of the colonial era in Malaya.

    After visiting Kellie's Castle, do not forget to take a short walk to the Hindu temple constructed by Smith to appease the Gods after his workers died of the Spanish flu.

    The architecture of the temple is a curious mix of Moorish, Greco-Roman and Indian design. Encapsulated forever in a moment in time is the odd, misplaced figurine of Kellie in his planter's suit and topee among the sixty deities on the temple roof.

    Few temples around the country actually owe their existence to a colonial expatriate like this insignificant temple in the outskirts of Batu Gajah.

    And obviously the Hindu temple held enough fascination for William Smith to build a secret tunnel connecting the temple and his house.

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    Kellie's Castle 2

    by wufei Updated Apr 30, 2004

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    Kellie's Castle

    Continue from Kellie's Castle 1

    The "Kellas House"
    Because of his fascination with the Hindu religion and the Indian culture, Smith's plans was for this house to share similar architecture to those of Madras, with all its bricks and tiles imported from India.

    He even employed a big group of Indian laborers to build his dream house, to keep the Kellas House authentically Indian. The mansion is accessible from the main road through a bridge running across a stream.

    But it was not only the cost of importing material and laborers from abroad that made the house so fascinating to fascinate locals and travelers alike.

    Among the many amazing things about Kellie's Castle include an elevator (unheard of in Malaya in those days, the one built in Kellie's Castle is the first in Malaya) which connects right up to the top floor and the existence of two tunnels that run under the river nearby. One of these tunnels connects to the Hindu temple some distance away to the main house.

    On the second floor, Smith planned to build an indoor tennis court -- an ambitious project even by today's standards. On the highest floor, there is a rooftop courtyard for parties.

    This castle was to be the hub for entertaining wealthy colonial planters who have settled in Malaya. His house was so unique that it was even mentioned in the London Financier newspaper on 15 September 1911.

    Tragedy!
    Unfortunately for Smith, tragedies struck soon after the construction of the Kellas House begin. A virulent strain of the "Spanish flu" spread from Europe to Asia soon after World War I ended in Europe, killing many of the workers in Kellas Estate. Another seventy workers constructing Smith's dream castle also became victims of the flu. Smith, who has already spent a fortune on his house, lost a lot of money because of this.

    Continue ....... Kellie's Castle 3

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    Kellie's Castle 1

    by wufei Updated Apr 30, 2004

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    Kellie's Castle

    For many years, Kellie's Castle has been shrouded in mystery thicker than the undergrowth surrounding the building. Today, it is a restored and meticulously maintained tourist attraction.

    A Symbol of LOVE...
    Kellie's Castle which is located in Batu Gajah, Perak may not be as famous as the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, but both buildings have many other similarities.

    Just as the Taj Mahal represented the undying love of a Moghul King, Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, Kellie's Castle too has a tragic love story of its own. Kellie's Castle, built by a Scottish planter called William Kellie Smith as a castle of love for his wife. Smith himself was from a small town in Scotland known as Kellas.

    In 1890, at the age of 20, he arrived in the then undeveloped Malaya. Here, he met an estate owner called Alma Baker, who had won concessions from the state government to clear 360 hectares of forests in Perak.

    With the substantial profits made from his business venture with Alma Baker, Smith started planting rubber trees and dabbled in the tin mining industry. In time, he became the owner of Kinta Kellas Estate and the Kinta Kellas Tin Dredging Company.

    Now with his fortune made, he returned home to marry his Scottish sweetheart, Agnes, and brought her over to Malaysia in 1903. The following year, the couple was blessed with a daughter named Helen.

    For many years after that, Agnes tried to conceive, but to no avail. William Smith desperately wanted a son and heir to take over his empire in the Malay Isles. After many years, Agnes finally gave birth to a son called Anthony in 1915.

    The birth of his child was the start of even greater success for William Smith. To celebrate Anthony's birth, William Smith decided to expand on his mansion. Smith started planning for a huge castle which he planned to call Kellas House, after his hometown in Scotland.

    Continue....Kellie's Castle 2

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