A VISIT TO THE ISTANA ALAM SHAH

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I have personally have always been fascinated with royalty, both local and foreign and naturally from ancient times, and I have always loved visiting castles and palaces.. after all there is something just so majestic, yet so romantic about it… though maybe not all histories of the castles or palaces are really that romantic as we like to think.. hahaha…

Anyway, I have not had the opportunity to visit any royal palace here in Malaysia yet, until recently, when I was at the Royal Museum (the former National Palace) the other day when His Majesty, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong launch the  ‘Our King’s Exhibition’, and even that, I only got to see the palace grounds and the exhibition hall….

… and on my recent Eat, Travel, Write excursion with Gaya Travel magazine, Klang City Council and Tourism Selangor, I was given the golden opportunity to visit the magnificent Istana Alam Shah, which is the official palace of the Sultan of Selangor, located in southern Klang, the royal town of the state of Selangor, Malaysia.

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The palace is located in the south of the royal town of Klang. This historic palace is intricately designed with the Majestic of Malay royal architecture

The noble palace and its beautifully manicured gardens took my breath away the first time I laid my eyes on them.. and it was just such an honour getting to see it in person…

Bear in mind that there is a smart dress code which is applicable for any possible visits.. and it would be better to be dressed in our national wear or at least decent long shirts/blouses and long pants…

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We were escorted by both Y.A.D Dato’ Setia Diraja, Dato’ Abdul Ghani bin Pate, and the Head Supervisor of the Palace, Abdul Kadir Safuan around the majestic palace…

The palace was built in 1905 during the rule of Sultan Sir Alaeddin Sulaiman Shah, who was the fifth Sultan of Selangor. The Sultan lived in the palace for 35 years until his death in 1938. It was also here that the 7th Sultan, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, was born.

Despite the Sultan having two other official residences in Shah Alam and Putrajaya, most royal ceremonies (such as the coronation of a new Sultan/bestowing of the Chief Minister of Selangor or any titles) involving the Selangor royal family are held here at Istana Alam Shah.

The palace has 15 rooms and was built using wood and marble. Extensive renovations were carried out by the then Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah in the early 2000s

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We were treated to breakfast at the Balai Tengah – a simplistically elegant banquet hall and served yummy mee jawa, some kuih, and jackfruit pudding on beautiful Noritake china with the royal emblem on it. It was also a real treat getting to try the palace’s special coffee ‘kopi perap’ enjoyed by the Selangor royal family and their guests…

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Once we had finished our breakfast, we headed to the Balai Santapan DiRaja where Royal Banquet Functions were held with the Sultan or royal family in attendance…

From there, we went to the Balai Tetamu- a beautifully appointed guest room and holding room and where we saw the beautiful grand staircase that led to the royal private rooms…

We then headed to the Balairung Seri – the stately and heavily ornate room that all the most august ceremonies were and are still being held. I have no photos of this place as we were strictly forbidden to take any photos here…but it is simply magnificent….En Kadir shared with us some stories and how people have to behave in the presence of H.R.H when accepting their new titles after being installed… as well as where people sat…

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Our next stop was at the Balai Menghadap where H.R.H normally receives his guests of honour from foreign leaders, state dignitaries and ambassadors in this court…

There is a photo stop just right outside the Balai Menghadap which En Kadir told us H.R.H like to get his guests to take photos at…

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From there we entered the Bilik Sultan, which is basically his office, and a place where H.R.H does his paperwork and conducts his daily affairs in regards to state administration…

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Next to the Bilik Sultan is the Balai Pengampunan, where H.R.H and the Assembly of Appeals officials gather to decide if the appeal can be approved or denied. This is only for crimes which has happened in the state of Selangor…

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Next to the Balai Pengampunan would be the Balai Dewan Di-Raja, the court where state affairs meetings are held, chaired by H.R.H

Our visit to the main palace building ended with a little visit to the beautiful Masjid DiRaja Alam Shah, a mosque for prayers, matrimonial ceremonies and funeral rites, of those living and working in the palace…

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The palace grounds of Istana Alam Shah had their little surprises as well since there is actually a replica of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, including an E & O train car and another normal train car there…and there was also two old fashion letter boxes there…

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There was also a Football gallery which highlight the historical collection and proudest moments of the Selangor football team as well as autograph footballs and jerseys by some popular football players

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Last but not least, our visit ended with a trip to the Royal Automobile Gallery, a treasure trove of beautiful cars and motorcycles collected by H.R.H and also the late Sultan’s vehicles and collections…

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I was sorry it had to end, but we all know that all good things have to come to an end.. huhuhu… but it was a beautiful experience getting to see the beautiful Istana Alam Shah, and one that I will remember for a long time…thanks to Gaya Travel, Tourism Selangor, Klang City Council and well, the office of H.R.H Sultan of Selangor for this amazing opportunity

Contact Sultan Selangor Office for visits: 03-33713411

Email: psultanselangor@yahoo.com

Address: Jalan Istana, Kawasan 1, 41000 Klang

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