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The sky was bright blue and it was a lovely day to explore Ipoh – historic capital city of Perak in the Northern state of Malaysia. My friends and I decided on doing a 2hrs Heritage Walk around Ipoh town arming ourselves with a map in our hands. The easy to read map was a big help guiding us around the historic buildings of the city!
Ipoh is easily accesible from Kuala Lumpur via North South Expressway on a 2hours smooth journey and breathtaking limestone hills cathces your view along the way. We did a quick stop at Kellie’s Castle in Batu Gajah town (exit: Gopeng from NSE) before Ipoh. There are clear singage indicating direction to the castle along the state road.
The castle was a dream project of Mr. Kellie – a prominent plantation and mining entrepreneur in the year 1900. Mr. Kellie a Scotsman came to Malaya to explore and make money in this promising land and indeed he did…lots of them! The rich Mr. Kellie stayed in Kella’s house – located behind the Castle – and dreamt of building himself a huge residence. The castle left incomplete after Mr. Kellie passed away in Portugal while purchasing a lift system for his house (first lift shaft in Malaysia can be found here).
Frankly this place is quiet eerie…as it’s an abandoned house but furnished with lots of information for visitors by the tourism board. Long coridors with arches, spiral straiways and walk to the open rooftop was exiting. Series of secret passages throught the house is a mystery. For a small sum, you are allowed to visit the majestically planned and built castle with dozens of windows – Malaysian weather is hot and humid.
There are many stories of Mr. Kellie’s spirit is still lingering the house!
Mr. Kellie was a kind man. He was very fond of his plantation workers – mostly Indians and built a temple for them just a stone thrown away from the castle. The temple itself already 110 years old – built around early 20th century. According to temple priest, Mr. Kellie wanted a son after his first child and he prayed at the temple for good luck. After a year he had a beatiful baby boy as he wished!
Now, the there are only 5 Hindu families living in the area as most families left for bigger towns. Temple is surviving only on donations from worshipers and visitors.
We left for Ipoh and the stories will follow…..