Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A day trip to Batu Gajah, Perak

The recently family trip to Batu Gajah (June 4,2005) for my cousin's wedding was quite interesting beside the embarrassing part of being the eldest female cousin's that is still single. I was just sitting relaxing at the back of the car with my mom. The North South Highway near Rawang leading to Tanjung Malim stretch was quite jammed when we reached there around 9.30am. This is because it was a public holiday (Agung's Birthday) and School holiday. We reached Gopeng exit at 11.00am. Around 11.15am, we passed by Kellie's Castle. It looks beautiful from the main road. Wish I could stop and visit the place but unfortunately our main reason is to reach my auntie's Munah house for the kenduri. One fine day, we will visit Batu Gajah and Kellie's Castle together ..bolehkan ??

Here is some info about Kellie's Castle.

This amazing leftover from colonial times is set by a small river about 30 KM South West of Ipoh. The castle referred to is in fact an old unfinished mansion. It was to be one in the mould of great colonial houses, complete with Moorish-style windows & even a lift. A wealthy British Plantation Owner, William Kellie Smith, who lived in a splendid mansion in this area in the early 19th century, commissioned the building of the "Castle", which was to be the home of his (as yet unborn) son. The house was never occupied, as he died before the castle could be completed.

Being far away from home, Kellie desired his new residence to be reminiscent of his home back in Scotland. The castle is perched on top of a hill of what used to be a rubber estate.

Construction of this fine architecturally one-of-its-kind castle begun in 1915. However, it came to an abrupt halt with Kellie's sudden death in 1926. The estate on which it was situated was sold and the unfinished mansion soon surrendered itself once to the jungle. As we wander around the castle, there is eerie feeling of being watched. Sunlight streanm through a series of arches on the two main floors, casting ghostly shadows on the verandah running the length of the building. Perhaps, there is some truth to the local legend that the spirit of Old Man Kellie still wanders along the corridors ... It's the only castle built in Malaysia, the first, and the last. The castle is believed to have hidden rooms and secret underground tunnels.

The road that leads to Kellie's Castle follows the contours of the land in a dizzying, maze-like fashion, adding to the mystery and romance of the place.

Located between Gopeng and Simpang Pulai.The castle is situated on the way to Batu Gajah town at the Kinta Kellas Rubber Estate, about 30-minute drive and 14 km south of Ipoh City.

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