Kelantan’s Castle: The Royal Palace.
Istana Negeri, Kubang Kerian
Kubang Kerian is a city, district and constituency in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia. This area also where Royal Palace, Istana Negeri Kubang Kerian or State Castle was located and became the official residence of the Sultan of Kelantan and the royal family. In addition, a number of official appointments or enthronement ceremony was performed at the Palace.
Furthermore, besides State Palace of Kubang Kerian, there was another castle located in Kubang Kerian, near the Blue Mosque of Kubang Kerian, i.e Istana Mahkota or Crown Castle which is the official residence of Sultan Ismail Petra (former Sultan of Kelantan) and Tengku Anis.
Istana Balai Besar.
“Built in 1840 on the orders of Sultan Mohamed II, the Istana Balai Besar replaces the old palace, Istana Kota Lama on the Sungai Kelantan (Kelantan River).”
Built in 1840 on the orders of Sultan Mohamed II, the Istana Balai Besar replaces the old palace, Istana Kota Lama along the Sungai Kelantan (Kelantan River) as the Sultan of Kelantan’s new administrative centre (then). Since the palace was erected, the town where the Istana Balai Besar is located has been named Kota Bharu (New Town) and later became the state capital of Kelantan.
The palace stands proudly, surrounded by a fort within an area that covers over 1627square metres. This beautiful wooden structure is made of timber provided with courtesy from the people of Ulu Kelantan and Pasir Puteh. The palace houses an impressive audience hall, throne room and a fine collection of royal regalia. Once the residence of Sultans in the past, Istana Balai Besar today serves mainly as a venue for official state functions and investiture ceremonies, and is mostly restricted to visitors.
The palace was built in 1844 along Malay architecture lines that were hugely popular in the 19th century. Skilled carpenters from all over Kelantan constructed the palace from choice of cengal timber or scientifically (Neobalanocarpus heimii).
Istana Telipot is located in Kota Bharu, Kelantan. It was the official residence of Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra, Crown Prince & Regent of Kelantan (then) after his ailing father, Sultan Ismail Petra having stroke.
Istana Kota Lama.
It was the old palace of the state of Kelantan. Located at the bank of the Kelantan River, it was the official residence of the rulers of Kelantan in the early 19th century. However, its proximity to the river made it prone to flooding. The palace was used until 1840, when a new palace now known as Istana Balai Besar, was built to replace it farther inland from the Kelantan River. After the relocation, initiated during the reign of Sultan Muhammad II, the old palace was known as Istana Kota Lama (Old Fortress Palace), while the new site, with its palisade fortifications, was known as Kota Bharu (New Fortress). Today Istana Kota Lama has been fully restored and rebuilt. What you see today are the new palace complex that continues to be used as one of the official residences of the Kelantan royalty.
Istana Jahar houses the Museum of Royal Traditions and Ceremonies. This unique palace was built in 1887 by the( then) Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Ahmad (1886 – 1889) for his son, Long Kudin who succeeded him as sultan. The name Jahar was taken from the tree that stands at the entrance, also known as ‘Flame of the Forest’. There are several interesting items stored under this timber palace. Ornately carved river vessels were used by the Sultan for his royal trips downriver. Old dugouts and sampans give insight into the mode of transport common in the early 1900’s when roads were scarce and the waterways were the main roads into the interior. Models of traditional Kelantan timber houses are also displayed here.
Across the road from the Craft Museum is the Royal Museum. Swathed in a subtle hue of sky blue, this Museum also known as Istana Batu or Stone Palace was one of the first concrete buildings built in the state. Not terribly old – in fact it was only completed in 1939, Istana Batu was built by Sultan Ismail (1920 – 1944) as a wedding gift for his nephew, Sultan Yahya Petra. In 1969, Istana Batu became the official residence of the then Crown Prince Ismail Petra.
Currently, this Museum’s exhibit goes through the who’s who of Kelantan’s Royal Family with photo exhibits of the royal family in the main hall. Rooms leading off the main hall allow the public a peek into the lifestyle of the royal family in the 1900s. Black & white photos line the walls. Young children celebrating their birthdays with friends, the Crown Prince on an overseas trip, a black tie event, the royal family in royal attire for a family portrait. Items collected over the years are displayed on tables, in cabinets everywhere. Beautiful china, silverware and official gifts from other leaders.
Filler Entry: Istana Balai Besar in 1907.