Telok Blangah

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Telok Blangah
Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese 直落布兰雅
 • Pinyin zhíluò bùlányǎ
 • Malay Telok Blangah
 • Tamil தேலோக் பிளாங்கா
Country Singapore

Telok Blangah is a district in Singapore to the south-west of the Central Business District in the southern part of the island. It is part of the Bukit Merah Planning Area, an urban planning zone under the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Etymology[edit]

Telok Blangah in (Jawi: تلوق بلڠه) Malay means "cooking pot bay", and covers the area behind Keppel Harbour. Blanga is a cooking pot made of clay used by the southern Indians. The district name is derived from this cooking pot shape of the bay. Teluk Blanga is the district between Pasir Panjang and Tanjong Pagar.

Teluk Blanga is known as sit lat mng in Hokkien, meaning "Singapore gate" or "north west gate".

History[edit]

John Turnbull Thomson did an 1849 painting from Pulau Brani entitled "Telloh Blangah", which shows the area of the Temenggong's village (now the Johor Sultan's mosque and burial area) at the foot of Mount Faber (formerly Telok Blangah Hill).

Telok Blangah Hill was renamed Mount Faber in 1845. Historically, this area is as old as the thirteenth century city of Temasek. According to a Malay legend, the Prince of Palembang, Sri Tri Buana's boat ran into a storm and he threw everything overboard, including his crown before landing just off Telok Blangah beach.

The area gained prominence again during the British period when Sir Stamford Raffles in 1823 assigned Temenggong Abdul Rahman (died 1825) and his followers 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land for their residence and a cemetery. The area flourished under Temenggong Abdul Rahman because of his monopoly over the gutta percha trade.

Rahman's son, Daing Ibrahim, took over after his father's death. Abu Baker took over in 1862 and moved his Istana to Tyersall Road.

In 1885, when Maharaja Abu Bakar (Temenggong until 1868) became the Sultan of Johor, Abu Bakar moved to Johor Bahru. However, the former Maharaja's audience hall (now the Sultan of Johor's mosque, Masjid Jamek) still remains in the area. The last to be buried was Ungku Modh. Khalif (or Khalid), younger brother of Abu Bakar of Johor in 1900.

Telok Blangah Road was officially named in 1907. The shrine of Puteri Radin Mas Ayu, a sixteenth-century Javanese princess, is located at Mount Faber Road, near the junction with Telok Blangah Road.

Panoramic view of Telok Blangah from Mount Faber.

References[edit]

  • Victor R Savage, Brenda S A Yeoh (2003), Toponymics - A Study of Singapore Street Names, Eastern Universities Press, ISBN 981-210-205-1