Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Our Footprints - Kellie's Castle

Kellie's Castle is one of the tourist spot in Perak. It is located in Kinta district, along the road that leads to Batu Gajah, about 30 minutes drive from Ipoh. 

Initially my hubby and I did not plan for a trip to the castle. We were in Ipoh with no special purpose and the idea just pop up from hubby's mind. Indeed it was a good idea and we go ahead with it. Actually we don't really know where the castle was located. Depending on sign board by the road side, we find our way. We don't know whether we were on the right track until I saw a special building perched up amongst the sea of rubber plantation. Indeed it was Kellie's Castle and finally we reached the place.

It was a bright and sunny Sunday. No wonder there were quite a number of cars and also a few buses carrying visitors for a short trip at the castle.

Initially I thought this place will be some sort of haunted and eerie looking building but I was wrong. Built on a small hill surrounded by a river, the castle was a very nice place to reside if only the construction was completed. 

Just a brief description of the castle, it got its name from William Kellie Smith, a wealthy Scottish planter who build the castle for his wife and also his kids. The construction started in 1915 and was delayed due to some tragedies that struck the workers. Somehow in the end the castle was never meant to be completed since Sir William himself passed away in 1926.
As you can see from the photo, visitors need to go across the river by a bridge to get access to the castle.

For some people, Kellie's Castle is just an abandoned old building and what is so special about that? Somehow I believe those who knows how to appreciate architecture will find that this castle is amazing. Use only bricks and tiles imported from India, the castle has plenty rooms, living halls, worship place, kitchen, wine cellar and a six storey tower with a rooftop courtyard. Even there is an elevator believe it was first in Malaya and also a few of secret underground tunnels.

Below are some of the ruins which is still visible until today.

Visitors can get a nice view of the surrounding from the castle's rooftop.

Besides the castle, there is another thing which draws visitor's attraction. Take a look at this special tree.

Interesting to see a tree that can grows until it resemble 'a bear hugging a tree'.

There is one thing which bothers me. As you can see above where I put an arrow, I find it is rather dangerous for the rooftop don't have any gates. If anyone not careful enough, they might be slipped away and ended as a tragedy.

I am very much aware that many people associates Kellie's castle with some haunted ghostly story and unexplained mysteries. As long as you go in a broad day light with big group of peoples and don't do monkey business inside the castle, try to make a short trip to the castle and experience it yourself!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our Footprints - Temples in Kelantan part 2

Tumpat is a small district in Kelantan and yet it has many wats and temples scattered all over the places. The one which is famous are reclining and sitting Buddha which I shared previously. Besides these two major temples there are two more with their own standing Buddha statues.

First temple is Wat Mai Suwankhiri. It has a standing Buddha built on top of the main building which still looked very new. Somehow this standing Buddha cannot be compare with the one in Wat Phothivihan.
Wat Mai Suwankhiri is located in Kampung Bukit Tanah, Tumpat. This is the entrance of the temple. New visitors really must aware of the small road with sharp turn before enter the temple.

 Actually this temple is also known as Dragon Boat Temple which is the main attraction of the temple. Take a look at the photo below and you can see what it mean by 'Dragon Boat'.
 This is the back view of the Dragon Boat.

The main head of the 'Dragon Boat' accompany by another twin dragon surrounded the boat until the back. Not forgetting replica of two crocodiles at the side of the boat.

Actually the Dragon Boat is a bit dull because the colors already lost its shine. It will be such a waste if nothing has been done to bring back the boat back to its colorful structure.

From Wat Mai Suwankhiri we head to another temple which is located in Kampung Terbak. Actually this two temple is not far from each other.

This temple has a big compound which mean very good for parking. Somehow there is nothing much to see here except the 3 standing Buddha with difference sizes.
The biggest and the smallest standing Buddha amongst the three statues.

As you can see from the photo below, Wat Pikulthong basically is about the three Buddha statues with similar standing position. If you notices the hand gestures of this standing Buddha is different with the one in Wat Phothikyan, Kampung Balai. This hand gesture with the hand raised and palm facing outward represent fearlessness in facing any troubles.

After visited Wat Pikulthong I can understand why it is not as famous as the others which I had posted. This temple looked old, dull, not well maintained and nothing much to see or do except for praying, of course. 

Last but not least, Kelantan is not a state where people used to comment as 'nothing to see'. Of course you can't expect a casino or theme park like in Genting Highlands. One must understand Kelantan is still an Islamic state. But for those who like a religious visit then it is definitely won't let you down.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Our Footprints - Temples in Kelantan

From my previous post about the list of Buddha statues, I was thinking how nice if I can left my footprints at those places. But face the reality, the big issue here of course is financial. If got extra money then can choose the place, plan and start the 'footprint' mission. Otherwise, take a shorter trip and travel locally. At least it is cheaper. 

In Malaysia, we have the statue of Kuan Yin, reclining Buddha, sitting Buddha, standing Buddha and Lord Murugan. Of course it is incomparable with other countries in the sense of size. It is not the greatest and also not the lousiest. Just like you owned a terrace house, someone else have a villa/bungalow and somebody got to live in flats. The point is that all of them owned a house. Be satisfied with what we have and it is good enough. 

Frankly speaking, we should be proud of the statues which we have in our own country. Many outstation tourists know about Penang's Kuan Yin. Whereas in Kelantan, an Islamic state but the people have freedom in practicing their religion. It is proven by the hundreds of temples/wats that were built in Kelantan. Even the three types of Buddha statues can be find in Kelantan itself. 

Here are some of the photos from my visits to the statues.
Wat Machimmaram in Tumpat are surely welcoming those who would like to visit and feel the tranquility of meditation pose by the sitting Buddha.

This statue sits as high as 30 m with 18 m wide, somewhat with brown reddish color still maintained since it was finally completed in year 2000. The temple stands on 2.4 hectares of land, so visitors have plenty spaces to park even right in front of the temple.
Somehow I think the temple's management need to do something with the address board. For those who can't see the wordings, here is the address :
Lot No 2367,
Kampung Jong Bakar,
Jalan Pengkalan Kubur, Tumpat, 16200, Kelantan

Our next spot is Wat Phothivihan which is famous for the reclining Buddha. Still in same district Tumpat, actually it is not far away from Wat Machimmaram. With the measurement of 40 m long, 11 m high and 9 m wide, it is definitely longer than the Penang's reclining Buddha. 
I read from somewhere that the reclining Buddha is representing the Buddha's death and is entering the passage to reach Nirvana. It also symbolized the peace and detachment from the world.
The wheel with the 8 spokes actually is called as Wheel of Dharma or Wheel of Law. It represented Buddha's teaching about path to enlightenment.

I understand that this temple existed in the year I was born 31 years ago. Actually I hope to see some repainting and maintenance job being done to some parts of the temple especially to the Buddha so that it can become more lively in colors.

 From Tumpat, we move to Bachok, another district in Kelantan to visit the newly built standing Buddha. This white standing Buddha stands at 33 m high, symbolize the giving of blessings to its believer.

Based on the photo below, I think this temple was opened to public on 6/6/2009. Therefore this temple is still new.
No doubt the buildings looked very colorful and nice.

Out of a sudden, there is a replica of dinasour! Kinda weird combination of temple and dinasour. But the purpose is to attracts the kids. So maybe this idea can be accepted.

I've seen wishing tree in Hong Kong but I am not aware we have one in Malaysia too. This is one of the uniqueness of this temple. So for those who want to make a wish, just planted their wishes on the colorful ribbons and throw it to the tree, hopefully their wish will be granted.

Here is another center of attention of the temple, the arch of two dragons or twin dragon about 600m long, completely surrounds the temple's wall and welcoming the visitors to this impressive temple.

So, that's all about the three main positions of Buddha in Kelantan. Beside these three temples, there are two more temples which visitors can drop by if they happened to be in Tumpat. I will share about it in my next post.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Standing Buddha - which one is the greatest?

I had mentioned about reclining and sitting buddha which situated in Tumpat, Kelantan. To complete the three stances, there is another type that is standing Buddha. Of course you can find standing Buddha in Tumpat but the best one is in Bachok, 25 km east to Kota Bahru. Wat Phothikyan in Kampung Balai houses this newly built white standing Buddha. It was completed somewhere in the middle of 2009.
Again, here come the list of world standing Buddha's statues for reference, comparison and admiration for the great work of construction.
  • Please noted that whatever I record below is not a complete list and the height might not be an accurate measurement. It's all based from the online sources.
  • Do click on the link for the photo as I don't feel right to download photo from people's site and put it here.

List of Standing Buddha                                           Height
Hussain Sagar Buddha, Hyderabad, India                    - 18 m
Golden Buddha, Ulan Bator, Mongolia                         - 23 m
Wat Phokthikyan, Bachok, Kelantan                             - 33 m
Boepjusa Temple, Songnisan, South Korea                  - 33 m
Ling Shan Grand Buddha, China                                 - 88 m
Laykyun Setkyar, Myanmar                                         - 116 m
Ushiku Daibutsu, Japan                                             - 120 m
Spring Temple, Henan, China                                     - 128 m

So the three stances of Buddhas - Reclining, Sitting and Standing was completed. The words which describe my feeling are Awesome! Amazing! Magnificent! The next statue which trigger my curiousness is Kuan Yin. But I need to pay a visit to the Penang Kek Lok Si temple first. Hopefully I can go there as soon as possible.