May 3, 2009

::Alor Star::


Masjid Zahir Mosque view and city from Alor Setar Tower

Alor Setar Tower

Balai Nobat

Alor Setar, known as Alor Star between 2004 and 2008, is the state capital of KedahMalaysia, and Kota Setar District's Administrative Centre. It is also a distribution center for manufacturing and agricultural products such as paddy, and the royal seat of the Kedah state since the establishment of this city. The city, which has an urban population of approximately more than 300,000, is one of the region’s oldest cities.

Alor Setar was founded in 1735 by Kedah’s 19th Ruler, Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin Mu’azzam Shah and is the state’s eighth administrative centre since the establishment of the Kedah Sultanate in 1136. The earlier administrative centres were located in Kota Bukit Meriam, Kota Sungai Emas, Kota Siputeh, Kota Naga, Kota Sena, Kota Indera Kayangan and Kota Bukit Pinang.

"Alor" or more correctly, "alur" is Malay for a groove, furrow or main stream of a channel. In Tamil "alur" means drain. "Setar" is a tree with small, sour fruit (Bouea macrophylla) also known as either "kundang" or "remia" in Malay. The uniqueness of these fruits is that when you split the seed, each part is purple in colour.

The city had been sacked twice when Kedah was attacked by the Bugis in 1770 and the Siamese in 1821.

Significant events held here included the handing back of Perlis and Setul (now Satun) to Kedah by the Siamese in May 1897 (both provinces were separated from Kedah since 1821) and a 90-day festival from June to September 1904 to celebrate the wedding of the five children of Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah.