Thursday, June 8, 2017

Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah | Intricacy of Kelarai




Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah; a mosque similar to Istana Kenangan that I never knew existed until now.



The intricacy of kelarai or woven strip bamboo; a heritage art form of Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah wall has made this mosque famous nation wide. Also known as Masjid Kampung Kuala Dal, it shares similiarity with Istana Kenangan in Bukit Chandan of which it was influenced by.

Located just 4.8km from the Royal Town of Kuala Kangsar, this unique 1936 mosque with arabes motif was financed by Al-Marhum Paduka Seri Sultan Iskandar Shah, the Sultan of Perak and was built by a Chinese craftsmen, helped by the locals. Leafy windows (approximately 20 of them) decorated with "straight punch, no silat" carved with peanuts, Crescent moon and stars are located around the masjid (mosque). It is said that what makes Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah unique is because of the architectural design, aside from its kelarai with arabes motif, it is aslo said to resembled a bird cage.



The story behind it is pretty interesting, according to Jabatan Warisan Negara, the mosque was built after the Sultan had fulfilled the vow to build a mosque when one of his children recovered from an illness and will donate RM 8,000.00 to build a new mosque on a piece of land granted by Juragan Abdul Shukur bin Mohamad Ali. This decision was made upon Sultan Iskandar Shah returning from a picnic at Lata Bubu, seeing his subjects praying in a dilapidated madrasah. Being a pious leader, he believes that a mosque is not just a house of God but an important place for the community. Therefore, he had commissioned the construction of Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah of which named after him.

The architecture of the mosque was inspired by the Sultan himself, where else the construction of the mosque was built by Chinese artisans and assisted by local residents. The ornamentation and wall of the mosque are also carved and woven by locals making it even more special. However, the mosque was not used in 1976 after a new mosque known as Al-Wahidiah Mosque was built just next to it.




In 2008, Jabatan Warisan Negara (Department of National Heritage) has initiated the conservation work on the mosque. Upon the the completion of restoration work on 17 Dec 2009, DYMM Sultan Azlan Shah officially re-opened the mosque on 6 May 2011 and it was accorded heritage status by the Jabatan Warisan Negara.



Above the importance of unique historical buildings and architecture, the National Heritage Department has carried out conservation work in December 2008. Among the problems faced by the project is the preparation of the backdrop due to the absence of skilled craftsmen and the lack of manufacturing materials ie bamboo oils Locally to create a cliff wall. Therefore, the National Heritage Department has obtained a wickerwork and bamboo source from Perlis State according to the original type. This conservation work has been carried out using systematic work arrangements to preserve the originality of original architecture.

- Jabatan Warisan Negara –







Both ‘Jelajah Kesultanan dan Warisan Melayu Perak 2017’ and ‘Perak World of Wonders -- Ramadhan Edition 2017’ Media Fam Trip are organised by Tourism Malaysia with KTMB as main transportation partner and Tourism Malaysia with #GayaTravel as media coordinator respectively.










Monday, June 5, 2017

Tengkolok Folding (Menyolek Tengkolok/Destar)





Popularly known as tengkolok, this traditional Malay male headgear (a.k.a destar, tanjak, and setangan kepala) is nowadays being worn in official events, weddings or investiture ceremony when one is being coffered with knighthood. Historically, it is folded or binded ('solek' in Malay tengkolok term) to neaten the hair when commoners visit their Sultan. As it quickly become a great favourite, it later made into the official attire for the palace as well as for the public.


For Perak royalties, ones rank is closely related to each tengkolok binding style and colour. Each states has its own binding style and it is also said that Perak has the most beautiful tengkolok binding. However, the most famous style is called Dendam Tak Sudah from the state of Negeri Sembilan. It was learnt that the art of creating tengkolok is by folding and shaping it using hand and knee. No machine can create this piece of art.

There is a folklore pertaining how tengkolok came about in the malay sultanate custom. It was told that the first Sultan of Perak; Sultan Muzaffar Shah I ibni Almarhum Sultan Mahmud Shah (1528 – 1549) set sail to Perak to form the Perak Sultanate. Sultan Muzaffar was the second prince born to the last Sultan of Melaka, Sultan Mahmud Shah, who was then exiled to Johor following the fall of Melaka to the Portuguese (this is also the reason why Keris Taming Sari resides in Perak, under the care of the royal palace). The Melaka Sultanate royal regalia, including the Royal Crown of Melaka were brought together in his journey to Perak.



Nearing Perak, Sultan Muzaffar Shah ship entered shallow waters and was stuck hence the crew decided to lighten the load of the ship to get the ship sailing again. Many of the items carried on the ship were thrown into the sea yet the ship still refused to budge, everything was removed from the ship inclusive of the Royal Crown. Immediately the ship was able to move, pleased with the offering of the Royal Crown, and soon after Sultan Muzaffar Shah able to continue his journey.

This act of throwing the royal crown into the sea was identified as a miracle sign, he swore that he and his descendants would never wear a crown as Sultans, nor be crowned during their installation. Subsequently, this has became a practice by other states’s Sultans, thus till today, Tengkolok came as a replacement for the royal crown.


To know how tengkolok became known or existed amongst the malay culture, one has to understand the history behind it. In 7th century during the height of Sriwijaya empire, Langkasuka was conquered, and during this invasion, tengkolok was introduced and worn by the Srivijayan that eventually localized and assimilated with the locals.

There are 8 styles of Perak tengkolok folding or binding that has been recorded, namely Anak Gajah Menyusu, Dendam Tak Sudah, Ayam Patah Kepak, Alang Iskandar, Helang Menyusur Angin, Pucuk Pisang Patah, Balong Ayam and Getam Pekasam. Many might have not known that the tengkolok folding for the Sultan has a higher ‘pucuk rebung’ as compared to commoners. Hence, the art of tengkolok folding in Perak is cared for its heritage and culture are highly valued.

Below are the Perak styles and colours that are associated with ranks :
DYMM Sultan –Balong ayam. White and gold
DYTM Raja Muda –Ayam patah kepak. Yellow and gold
DYAM Raja Di-Hilir –Lang Menyusun Angin. Black and silver

Tengkolok Helang Menyusur Angin worn by Sultan Perak, Sultan Nazrin upon his coronation.






Both ‘Jelajah Kesultanan dan Warisan Melayu Perak 2017’ and ‘Perak World of Wonders -- Ramadhan Edition 2017’ Media Fam Trip are organised by Tourism Malaysia with KTMB as main transportation partner and Tourism Malaysia with #GayaTravel as media coordinator respectively.












Thursday, May 18, 2017

Kuala Kangsar Delicacy | Teratak Warisan Kampung




When it comes to traditional Kuala Kangsar delicacy, no one knows it better than the husband and wife team Saidi Othman and Zaliah Ibrahim, the lovely owner of Teratak Warisan Kampung; operating for the last 15 years. With their 30 types of dishes serves daily, it is no wonder that repeated guest and those whom came from afar seek for Saidi and Zaliah ‘air tangan’- authentic-‘Kuale’-dishes.


Fascinated with how his grandmother cooks ikan loma (without choking its small niddle like bones), Saidi begins to learn the art of cooking ikan loma or Thynnichthys thynnoides/white carp (upon googling); a fresh water fish that is found aplenty in Perak. The famous ikan loma dish is ‘ikan masak pindang’ or fish in brine style; a clear soupy type of dish using ginger, chili, galangal and etc wrap in seniar leaf and boil for 2 nights.

Because of their passion for food and his love for his heritage, in 1999 marks the birth of Teratak Warisan Kampung . Said manning the restaurant while Zaliah manages the kitchen, a perfect combination and match made in heaven.

Few Kuale dishes that is popular amongst the near and far are Gulai Kemahang, Nasi Lemuni/Legundi, Kebebe, Betik Muda masak air, Ikan Bakar dalam tanah liat and Siput Sedut campur pucuk paku, these are usually paired with ulam (local salad) such as paku rawan, daun asam jawa, pegaga and etc eaten with sambal belacan and kerabu kelapa. Not to forget Ikan pekasam, the legendary Lenggong delicacy.


Located just behind the Kuala Kangsar bus station, this corner lot restaurant is able to fit in minimal 50 patrons in one go, ideal for group (only upon reservation) and family get-together meal.

Saidi’s aim is to introduce and educated the younger generation to authentic local delicacy as much as possible, preserving Kuala Kangsar heritage and signature dish. Hoping that one day, Kuala Kangsar dishes will famous at international level.


Teratak Warisan Kampung
Add: 43, Bandar Baru, 33000 Kuala Kangsar, Perak.
Tel: 016-5584955 (Saidi) / 016-4434955 (Zaliah)

Business hours
Mon – Sat : 7.30am – 4.30pm
Sunday : closed





An event organised by Tourism Malaysia with KTMB as main transportation partner.










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