On top of Bukit Puteri is a small hut that housed a big bell called "genta". The genta that is still exists today was built during the reign of Sultan Zainal Abidin III in the year 1908 and was made from yellow copper. The circumference and height of the genta were 228 centimeters and the weight was 175 kilograms.
In the old days, the genta will normally be rang during emergency - rampage, fire or enemies attacking the state. It was also used during royal ceremonies as well as for call of prayers. It is believed that the genta was guarded by a boy from the royal family whose job was to ring the bell if any emergency or natural disasters occurred.
Today, the genta is still performing its function but no more to alert the existence of enemies instead as a breaking fast reminder during the month of Ramadhan when Muslim fast during the day.
As Bukit Puteri was used as the official residence of the Sultan as well as a defensive fotress in its early days, a "singgahsana" (raised platform or dais) was built within the fotress itself. Unlike other singgahsana comonly found in the royal palaces, the singgahsana is very simple in its design. However, this singgahsana plays an important role then as it was here where the Sultan discussed about war strategies with his generals during the civil war.
At the back of the singgahsana is where the other components of the fotress are located - a flag pole, a light house and a small cave (Gua Puteri). Just like in the old days, the 18 meters high flag pole is still being used until today to raise the royal flag when ever there are any royal ceremonies held. The light house still functioned primarily as a guide for fishermen and sailors that sail into the river mouth of Sungai Terengganu. As for Gua Puteri (it is actually just a hole on the ground, not really a cave), it was used then as a place to keep the gun powder, stone and iron bullets to defend the fort in case of enemies attack.
Masjid Abidin (Abidin Mosque) Kuala Terengganu is located on Jalan Sultan Zainal Abidin in Kampung Masjid, Kuala Terengganu. It is nicknamed "Masjid Putih' (the white mosque) or "Masjid Besar" (the big mosque) by local folks.
The mosque was originaly a wooden structure build during the reign of Sultan Zainal Abidin II. However, during the reign of Sultan Umar it was later replaced by a new one made of stone. It was subsequently renovated and painted with white color, hence giving it the nick name of "Masjid Putih' (the white mosque) or "Masjid Besar" (the big mosque).
The mosque's was further enlarged in 1972 during the reign of Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah, with addition of its Masjid Negara Masjid Negara like minaret. (I personally feels that the minaret made the mosque lose it unique character and look pretty odd). Currently (August 2005) renovation work is being carried out to further up grade the mosque.
TTI - Taman Tamadun Islam (Islamic Civilization Park) at Pulau Wan Man, Kuala Terengganu is definitely a must visit when in Kuala Terengganu. The park consists 21 miniatures of Great Mosques/great Islamic structures all over the world such as the Majidil Haram in Mecca, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque in Brunei, Taj Mahal in India, Kul Syarif Mosque in Russia, Al-Hambra in Spain n etc.
The latest attraction of Kuala Terengganu 'The Crystal Mosque' is also situated here...just by the river bank.
There is an entrance fee before you can visit this park. Considering that meal voucher is included in the fee, it’s very worthwhile! The miniatures are all real looking especially Dome Of The Rock Or Qubah Al-Sakhrah Mosque...except that they’re smaller. There are the miniatures of the Masjid Nabawi & Masjidil Haram too!
At Kampung Pengkalan Gelap u'll find the villagers really valued the gift of nature by utilizing leaves of nipah tree. They weaved them into traditional utensil basket, fruit basket, lamp shades, traditional bird cage n other woven products. These handicrafts .are really nice n pretty with reasonable prices.
The latest attractions in Terengganu now seem to be the Taman Tamadun Islam & the Crystal Mosque. The mosque is said to be the first and only mosque built from steel and glass to produce the crystal like image with so many facilities for the visitors. Drop by if you are in Terengganu to see this stunning architecture!
The palace was believed to have been built in 1897 as replacement to the previous palace which has been burnt down. It's located next to Bukit Puteri...about 220 metres from the beach...not so far away from Pasar Payang. It's the venue for royal birthdays, weddings, conferment of titles and also for reception for local and foreign dignitaries. The palace has a combination of modern n traditional architecture...really nice.
The Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah was built in such a way that it gives an illusion that it is floating on water. The mosque is painted in pristine white, plain and simple. It is located almost 6km from state capital, next to Kuala Ibai.
I am not too sure whether it is lighted at night. I was once curious and wanting to visit by night, but my laziness overcomes me.
The China Town of Kuala Terengganu is very well preserved as compare to many Chinese communities in Malaysia. The atmosphere of being Chinese still very much to be felt despite they are the minority group who are living in Islamic states. The window panels from certain homes still remain as original and some wooden blinds found in these Chinese homes are some of the rare collectable for foreigners.
Do click on extra pictures attached to see some of the great architectural details that still remain on these Chinese homes.
Something About KT's Kids:
In my early college day, I am always surprise with the adaptation of my Chinese classmates from Kuala Terengganu. They are quite meek and simple in the beginning and they will transform into someone really sophisticated in very short time.
After visited the China Town in Terengganu, I am slowly picking up some of their reasons for behaving so. Their eyes are slowly open to the material goods that big city can offer and they are having good times which are hard to come by at Terengganu.
On our way to Kuala Terengganu we stopped by to visit a few places and one of them was Telaga Simpul, It is near the Marina Beach. There is quite an interesting story about this Telaga Simpul. According to an old folk story, this place used to be a place for the ‘Orang Halus’ (Genies) to bathe and not just a place for the locals or the merchants. Therefore, anyone who used this well must tie a knot from the Pandan trees nearby to avoid any mishaps or bad luck. How true the story is we don’t really know because we didn’t even get in the water. Anyone dare to try it without tying a not? Let us know what happen if you do so!
If you happen to drive along the coastal line to Kuala Terengganu do stop by at Kemasik Beach. There are amenities nearby such as prayer room for the Muslims and few shops to grab a bite. On the day of our visit, seems like they were upgrading the place. This beach is picturesque so don’t forget your camera! It’s ideal to bring your families on weekend too.
Technically, I have visited the Terengganu State Museum, but I have not explored the museum due to my limited time at Kuala Terengganu. I will surely revisit this place when I have more time. May be next time with my kids, where iPod, Notebook PC & CD players could be some of the exhibits in there by then.
The Terengganu State Museum Complex is styled in the traditional Terengganu architecture. The museum consists of four blocks housing 10 galleries. It incorporates a fisheries museum, also maritime museum which showcases the people’s seafaring past. (facts from brochures)
The Kampung/Bukit Losong where the museum located is "the place (origin)" for delicious keropok losong & keropok lekor.
The Central Market (Pasar Besar Kedai Payang) is a treasure for traditional handicrafts, Songket, Batek & brassware. It also houses a wet market and open fresh market on the left side of the complex.
To me, Central Market is also a treasure for all the beautiful market scenes and local activities to be imprint on 33mm films or digital storage. I was happily snapping away and some aunties are very willing to pose for the pictures. I also have lots of photos on fresh products in clustered manner which are masterpieces at their own rights.
The Istana Maziah is lies at foot hill of Bukit Puteri and was built in 1897. It was constructed by20 craftsmen using limestone mixed with clay, coarse salt, egg yolk & honey. Wonder it taste anything like "mud cake"?
Now, the place is serves as venue for royal birthdays & wedding. It also serves as venue for conferment of titles and welcoming VIPs.
I didn't explore the front portion of the building, the effect from my travel pal is superb. Anyway, if you're there please remember to explore the front section. Mine picture is taken from main gate & it happens to be the side of the building.