- Kota Baru redirects here. It was also briefly the name of Jayapura.
Jalan Temenggong, Kota Bharu
|• Total||394 km2 (152 sq mi)|
|• Total||491,237 |
|• Density||1,247/km2 (3,230/sq mi)|
|Time zone||MST (UTC+8)|
|• Summer (DST)||Not observed (UTC)|
Kota Bharu (Jawi: كوت بهارو; occasionally referred to as Kota Baharu) is a city in Malaysia that serves as the state capital and royal seat of Kelantan. It is also the name of the territory (jajahan) in which Kota Bharu City is situated. The name means 'new city' or 'new castle/fort' in Malay. Kota Bharu is situated in the northeastern part of Peninsular Malaysia, and lies near the mouth of the Kelantan River at . The northeastern Malaysian city is close to the Thai border.
Kota Bharu is home to many mosques, various museums, the unique architecture of the old royal palaces (still occupied by the sultan and sultanah and off-limits to visitors but viewable from outside) and former royal buildings (which can be visited) in the center of town.
The City is served by Keretapi Tanah Melayu's East Coast Line at the nearby Wakaf Bharu Terminal Station, in the town of Wakaf Bharu across the Kelantan River to Stesen Railway Station and Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, located in Pengkalan Chepa.
Kota Bharu features a tropical rainforest climate. Kota Bharu does not have a true dry season as all 12 months sees on average more than 60 mm of precipitation. However, Kota Bharu experiences noticeably heavier rainfall from August through January. Also, in comparison to the rest of the year, Kota Bharu experiences slightly cooler temperatures between December and February, than it does during the rest of the year. The city sees on average about 2600 mm of precipitation annually.
|Climate data for Kota Bharu|
|Average high °C (°F)||29.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||26.1
|Average low °C (°F)||22.8
|Precipitation mm (inches)||79.9
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)||8||5||6||6||8||9||11||13||14||15||20||17||132|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||213.9||228.8||260.4||267.0||241.8||210.0||223.2||213.9||201.0||186.0||141.0||148.8||2,535.8|
|Source #1: World Meteorological Organization.|
|Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory.|
Kota Bharu was established by Sultan Muhammad II of Kelantan in 1844 as Kelantan's capital. Prior to this date, Kota Bharu was known as Kuala Kelantan. Before Kota Bharu assumed the role, the Kelantanese capital was Kota Kubang Labu.
Pantai Sabak, about 10 km from Kota Bharu, was the initial landing point of the Japanese invasion forces on 8 December 1941 in their Malayan campaign when they successfully engaged the British in jungle warfare and ultimately captured Singapore.
Federal Parliament and State Assembly Seats
List of Kota Bharu district representatives in the Federal Parliament (Dewan Rakyat)
|Parliament||Constituency||Member of Parliament||Party|
|P20||Pengkalan Chepa||Dr Izani bin Husin||Pakatan Rakyat (PR)|
|P21||Kota Bharu||Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan||Pakatan Rakyat (PR)|
|P24||Kubang Kerian||Ahmad Baihaki bin Atiqullah||Pakatan Rakyat (PR)|
|P26||Ketereh||Tan Sri Annuar Musa||Barisan Nasional (BN)|
List of Kota Bharu district representatives in the State Legislative Assembly (Dewan Undangan Negeri)
|P20||N5||Kijang||Wan Ubaidah Omar||Pakatan Rakyat (PR)|
|P20||N6||Chempaka||Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat||Pakatan Rakyat (PR)|
|P20||N7||Panchor||Datuk Mohd Amar Abdullah||Pakatan Rakyat (PR)|
|P21||N8||Tanjong Mas||Rohaini Ibrahim||Pakatan Rakyat (PR)|
|P21||N9||Kota Lama||Tan Teng Loon @ Anuar Tan Abdullah, Datuk||Pakatan Rakyat (PR)|
|P21||N10||Bunut Payong||Dr Ramli bin Mamat||Pakatan Rakyat (PR)|
|P24||N17||Salor||Datuk Haji Husam Musa||Pakatan Rakyat (PR)|
|P24||N18||Pasir Tumboh||Abd Rahman bin Yunus||Pakatan Rakyat (PR)|
|P24||N19||Demit||Mumtaz binti Md Nawi||Pakatan Rakyat (PR)|
|P26||N23||Melor||Dr Md. Yusnan bin Yusof||Pakatan Rakyat (PR)|
|P26||N24||Kadok||Azami bin Haji Mohd Nor||Pakatan Rakyat (PR)|
|P26||N25||Kok Lanas||Datuk Md. Alwi bin Che Ahmad||Barisan Nasional (BN)|
The vast majority of Kota Bharu's population is ethnically Malay. Chinese minority groups are concentrated in urban Kota Bharu and are comparatively less prevalent in the rest of the state of Kelantan. Total population as at 2010 is 491,237.
Ranking Population Kota Bharu District (Jajahan)
|Rank||Sub-districts (Daerah)||Population 2000|
|7||Kota (Kota Bharu)||21,824|
The Kelantanese culture is highly influenced by Thai culture because of its geographical proximity to Thailand. The Chinese are much more assimilated with local culture when compared with other parts of Malaysia. Much of the food is spicy, with rice as the primary staple of the local diet. Traditional dances like Mak Yong and Wayang Kulit were once widely practised, but are actively suppressed by local authorities because of perceived Hindu Influences thought to contradict Islam.
Kota Bharu's population is 70% Muslim with the remainder consisting mainly of Buddhists and Christians. The indigenous peoples that reside in the city's outskirts are generally practising Christians. The predominantly urban local Chinese community mainly practises Buddhism. The local state government is helmed by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party and thus has pursued a stricter form of Islam in the city and state; Kota Bharu was declared an Islamic City vis-à-vis Kota Bharu Bandaraya Islam. Morality police are common and apprehend people who engaged in acts perceived immoral. The Jawi script is applied in street names and restaurants.
Social activities that do not contradict Islamic norms are allowed. Government offices and many stores are closed on Fridays and Saturdays, but the vibrant markets remain open except for Islamic prayer times. The conservative Kelantanese state government under PAS has implemented some Islamic laws. These include switching on lights in cinemas during screening time until cinemas were closed down and separate check-out counters in supermarkets for males and females and khalwat, the Islamic rule on proximity between males and females. However, these regulations apply for Muslims only.
The Kota Bharu Municipal Council, the local government authority, discourages the use of indecent attire by female employees in retail outlets and restaurants. Those who are caught for dressing indecently may be fined up to RM 500. The definition of indecent dressing include "body hugging outfits which show off the body, blouses which show the navel, see through blouses, mini-skirts and tight pants."
Nasi berlauk, nasi dagang and nasi kerabu are popular elements of the local cuisine. Sweet cakes, or kuih, are also popular amongst the Kelantanese. Other popular foods include nasi tumpang, etok, apom, akok, lompat tikam, netbak, pisang goreng, and curry puffs.
Kota Bharu is serviced by Sultan Ismail Petra Airport (IATA: KBR).
The most famous shopping destination in Kota Bharu is Pasar Siti Khadijah (Kota Bharu Central Market). Most of its sellers are women. Next to Central Market is the nearly completed construction of Kota Bharu Trade Center (KBTC), which is considered to be one of the largest malls in Kota Bharu. The KBTC opened in August 2009, with Parkson as the anchor tenant for the mall. The Pasar Siti Khadijah and KBTC are connected by an overpass on the second floor.
Other shopping centers in Kota Bharu are the KB Mall, Pelangi Mall, Kota Seri Mutiara, Pantai Timur, The Store and the new Nirwana Maju (at Bandar Baru Kubang Kerian). A new Tesco hypermarket opened in 2008. At present, most of Kota Bharu's downtown shopping area is undergoing a major reconstruction in whichseveral multi-story shopping centers are in their early construction phases. In March 2010, the Mydin Mall at Bandar Baru Kubang Kerian opened.
Strong surf threatens all major beaches in the vicinity of Kota Bharu with substantial erosion. The community has been implementing wave breakers by means of piling up massive amounts of boulders in an effort to protect the coastline. Regular beach activity has become impossible as visitors frequent beaches further south. In terms of tourism, the most famous beach in Kota Bharu is Pantai Cahaya Bulan.
Diving in Kota Bharu is a relatively new activity. At present, only one dive shop operates in the area. Trips out to the wreck of the IJN Awazisan Maru (known locally as the "Japanese Invasion Wreck") are among the sites offered. This Japanese transport ship was the very first vessel to sink in The Pacific War. The wreck is a 30 minute boat journey from a jetty which is 10 minutes outside of Kota Bharu.
Kota Bharu is twinned with:
- Climate Data for Kota Bharu, World Weather Information Service accessed 24 April 2012.
- Climatological Information for Kota Bharu, Malaysia, Hong Kong Observatory accessed 24 April 2012.
- "Kota Bharu Municipal Council official website". Retrieved 2007-05-05
- Malaysian Armed Forces Official Website
- "MPKB:Cover up of else". The Star (Malaysia). 2006-12-05.
- "友好握手都市＜コタバル市（マレーシア）／モービィロンガコミューン（スウェーデン）". Kasaoka City Official Website. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
- Kota Bharu travel guide from Wikivoyage
- MPKB-BRI website
- [Typical daily life in Kota Bahru, streetscene >Short Video attachment>]
- KB Backpackers > Local Tourism Website
- Dive The Japanese Invasion Wreck in Kota Bharu
- Vacation house in Kelantan