Kelantan - The Cultural Capital

Cultural Centre
Located on Jalan Mahmud close to the Perdana Hotel, the cultural centre is veritable showcase of the living heritage of Kelantan. Demonstrations of popular folk arts and pastimes are held daily. Wayang Kulit (shadow puppetry) shows, Silat (the Malay art of self defence) perfomances, Gasing (Top spinning) displays, Wau (Kite flying) and Rebana (Giant Drum) playing can all be seen at the centre. Evenings see cultural performances featuring traditional Malay music and Wayang Kulit. The cultural centre is open three times a week from March to October each year.

Historical Zone
The main cultural and historical zone of Kota Bharu is situated along Jalan Hilir Kota and Jalan Sultan where many museums and heritage buildings are located. Some museums charge a nominal fee for admission.

Royal Museum/ Istana Batu
The Istana Batu (Brick/ Stone Palace) was constructed in 1939 during the reign of Sultan Ismail. It houses the Royal Museum and was previously used as the venue for royal weddings and as a guest house for visiting royalty. The Royal Museum now serves as a repository for the history of the Kelantan royal family and displays regalia, pictures, silverware, furniture and palace items of former Sultans.

World War Two Memorial/ Bank Kerapu
Originally constructed in 1911, Bank Kerapu is now a repository for documents, pictures and military paraphernalia of the Japanese Occupation from 1941 to 1945. During the war, the building served as the headquaters of the Japanese Kempetai, the feared secret police.

Handicraft Village And Craft Museum
While the Craft Museum houses many fine examples of Kelantanese craftsmanship, the adjacent Handicraft Village provides visitors the chance to see just how these crafts are made. Demostrations of traditional embroidery, songket weaving, batik printing, silver work and wood carving are carried out by skilled artisans. Their products are also on sale at the centre.

State Museum
The State Museum located along Jalan Hospital incorporates the State Art Gallery. The building itself was utilised as the land office from colonial times until 1990 when major renovations were carried out to convert it into a museum. The museum documents the arts, crafts and musical traditions of Kelantan. Ceramic displays testify to the early trade with China and artefacts from local archaeological sites provide evidence of the existence of the pre-historic age in Kelantan.

Merdeka Square
Other interesting sites in Kota Bharu include Merdeka (Independence) Square, State Government offices and raft houses along the river banks.

Kuala Krai Museum and Mini Zoo
Located in Kuala Krai about 64 km from Kota Bharu, the mini zoo is home to a variety of animals such as bears, deer, monkeys and birds. The mini museum houses a collection of preserved animals as well as photographs and documents relating to the founding of Kuala Krai.



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