Kota Bharu

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Kota Bharu
Other transcription(s)
 • Jawiكوت بهارو
 • Chinese哥打峇鲁 (Simplified)
哥打峇魯 (Traditional)
 • Tamilகோத்தா பாரு
From top, left to right: Sultan Ismail Petra arch, the Kelantan Museum, Kampung Laut Mosque, the Istana Jahar, the Kelantan Islamic Museum, Tuan Padang roundabout clock tower, and Siti Khadijah Market
Flag of Kota Bharu
Official seal of Kota Bharu
Nickname(s): 
The Islamic City
Bandar Raya Islam
Kota Bharu is located in Malaysia
Kota Bharu
Kota Bharu
Coordinates: 6°8′N 102°15′E / 6.133°N 102.250°E / 6.133; 102.250Coordinates: 6°8′N 102°15′E / 6.133°N 102.250°E / 6.133; 102.250
Country Malaysia
State Kelantan
District Kota Bharu District
First settled1844
Municipality status1 January 1978
Government
 • PresidentTuan Zainal Abidin Bin Tuan Yusuf (Since Sept 2018)
Area
 • Total115.64 km2 (44.65 sq mi)
Population
 (2010)[2]
 • Total314,964
 • Density2,700/km2 (7,100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)Not observed
Postcode
15xxx
Area code(s)+60-09-7
Websitempkbbri.gov.my

Kota Bharu, colloquially referred to as KB, is a town in Malaysia that serves as the state capital and royal seat of Kelantan. It is situated in the northeastern part of Peninsular Malaysia and lies near the mouth of the Kelantan River.

The town 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). It 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 and Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, located in Pengkalan Chepa.

Etymology[edit]

Kota Bharu means "new city" or "new castle/fort" in Malay. Occasionally, the name of the city is written as Kota Baharu.

History[edit]

Kota Bharu was founded during the late 19th century. Before the establishment, Kota Bharu was home to Kelantan's Royal Palace, then established by Sultan Muhammad II of Kelantan in 1844 as Kelantan's state capital who wanted the new state capital built in his honour.[3] Prior to this, Kota Bharu was known as Kuala Kelantan. Before Kota Bharu assumed the role, the Kelantanese capital was divided into two which were Kota Kubang Labu and Kota Pengkalan Datu.[4] During the 19th century, Kelantan was a prosperous and populous state with a population of around 30,000 to 50,000 people including a thousand Chinese. Production from within the state include gold, tin ore, black pepper, areca nut, rice, rattan, bamboo, agarwood and songket. Kota Bharu acts as entrepot for goods due to its strategic location beside the Kelantan River.[5]

During World War II, Pantai Sabak, about 10 km (6.2 mi) from Kota Bharu, was the initial landing point of the Japanese invasion forces on 8 December 1941, beginning the Battle of Kota Bharu, the first battle of the Malayan campaign. Japanese forces captured the city and would go on to successfully engage the British in jungle warfare and ultimately capture Singapore.[6]

Government[edit]

Islamic City of Kota Bharu Municipal Council

Majlis Perbandaran Kota Bharu Bandar Raya Islam
Type
Type
History
Founded1 January 1978
Leadership
President
Tuan Zainal Abidin Bin Tuan Yusuf
Municipal Secretary
Mohd Shaifudeen Bin Md Salleh
Meeting place
Kota Bharu, Kelantan
Website
mpkbbri.kelantan.gov.my

Kota Bharu Municipal Council, officially known as the Islamic City of Kota Bharu Municipal Council (Malay: Majlis Perbandaran Kota Bharu Bandar Raya Islam) and formerly known as the Kota Bharu Town Council from 1936 until 1971 and the Kota Bharu Town Board from 1971 until 1978, is the local authority of Kota Bharu.[7][8]

Demographics[edit]

The vast majority of Kota Bharu's population is ethnically Kelantanese Malay. The language spoken in Kota Bharu is Kelantan Malay dialect. There is also a fairly large Chinese population.

Religion[edit]

Kota Bharu town's population is 93% Muslim, with the remainder consisting of Buddhists, Hindus and Christians. The predominantly urban local Chinese community mainly practices Buddhism.

Kota Bharu was granted the title of "Islamic city" (Malay: Bandar Raya Islam) by the Kelantan State Government on 1 October 2005 through its "Developing With Islam" (Malay: Membangun Bersama Islam) policy.

Culture[edit]

Burung Petala Indra, as seen in Padang Bank, Kota Bharu.

The Kelantanese culture is highly distinctive as compared to other states of Malaysia but also with some influences from Thailand due to its geographical proximity.

Food[edit]

Nasi berlauk, nasi dagang, nasi lemak 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, akok, lompat tikam & netbak.

Climate[edit]

Kota Bharu features a tropical monsoon climate bordering on a tropical rainforest climate. Kota Bharu does not have a true dry season although the city experiences noticeably heavier rainfall from August through January. Also, Kota Bharu experiences slightly cooler temperatures between December and February than during the rest of the year, making it one of the most "seasonal" cities in Malaysia. The city sees on average about 2,600 millimetres (100 in) of precipitation annually.

Climate data for Kota Bharu (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 32.6
(90.7)
33.0
(91.4)
34.4
(93.9)
35.6
(96.1)
35.8
(96.4)
34.4
(93.9)
34.4
(93.9)
34.4
(93.9)
34.4
(93.9)
33.3
(91.9)
33.3
(91.9)
32.2
(90.0)
35.8
(96.4)
Average high °C (°F) 29.4
(84.9)
30.3
(86.5)
31.4
(88.5)
32.6
(90.7)
32.8
(91.0)
32.7
(90.9)
32.2
(90.0)
32.1
(89.8)
31.8
(89.2)
31.1
(88.0)
29.8
(85.6)
29.1
(84.4)
31.3
(88.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.1
(79.0)
26.5
(79.7)
27.3
(81.1)
28.2
(82.8)
28.2
(82.8)
27.9
(82.2)
27.5
(81.5)
27.3
(81.1)
27.0
(80.6)
26.9
(80.4)
26.3
(79.3)
26.1
(79.0)
27.1
(80.8)
Average low °C (°F) 23.3
(73.9)
23.2
(73.8)
23.8
(74.8)
24.4
(75.9)
24.6
(76.3)
24.3
(75.7)
23.9
(75.0)
23.8
(74.8)
23.7
(74.7)
23.7
(74.7)
23.7
(74.7)
23.6
(74.5)
23.8
(74.9)
Record low °C (°F) 16.7
(62.1)
17.8
(64.0)
17.8
(64.0)
18.3
(64.9)
21.7
(71.1)
21.1
(70.0)
20.6
(69.1)
21.1
(70.0)
20.6
(69.1)
20.6
(69.1)
18.9
(66.0)
18.9
(66.0)
16.7
(62.1)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 89
(3.5)
58
(2.3)
136
(5.4)
94
(3.7)
112
(4.4)
110
(4.3)
155
(6.1)
154
(6.1)
177
(7.0)
260
(10.2)
644
(25.4)
566
(22.3)
2,555
(100.6)
Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 13 6 9 8 11 11 13 15 17 18 22 20 163
Average relative humidity (%) 84 84 83 82 83 83 83 84 84 86 88 87 84
Mean monthly sunshine hours 161 190 207 214 194 186 184 187 187 174 139 130 2,153
Source 1: Ogimet[9]
Source 2: NOAA,[10] Deutscher Wetterdienst (extremes and humidity)[11]

Transportation[edit]

Public transportation[edit]

Grab Car services, available for 24 hours a day, are provided in Kota Bharu since April 2017.[12]

Kota Bharu is serviced by Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, the busiest airport in east coast of Peninsular Malaysia (IATA: KBR).

The closest railway station is the Wakaf Bharu station on the other side of the river, 6 km from the city centre.

Drive[edit]

Highway 8 is the main highway leading Kota Bharu to the federal capital Kuala Lumpur. Highway 3 connects Kota Bharu to Pasir Mas and the Thailand border in the west, or Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan or even Johor Bahru due south. Connection to Penang is possible via highway 4. The Lebuhraya Rakyat, or People's Expressway, is a planned expressway that is to connect Kota Bharu to Kuala Krai in southern Kelantan. The project has been integrated into the Central Spine Road project (assigned as highway 34), scheduled to be complete by 2020.

Education[edit]

Notable educational establishments include Open University Malaysia, Universiti Tun Abdul Razak, MSU College and Wadi Sofia International School. However, the most plentiful type of school are national schools,[13] which include

Shopping[edit]

The most famous shopping destination in Kota Bharu is Siti Khadijah Market. Most of its sellers are women. Next to Central Market is the Kota Bharu Trade Centre (KBTC) which was opened in August 2009, with Parkson as the anchor tenants for the mall.

Other shopping centres in Kota Bharu are the KB Mall, Kota Seri Mutiara, G-Orange Mall, Pantai Timur and Platinum Mall. A new Tesco hypermarket opened in 2008. In March 2010, the Mydin Mall in Bandar Baru Kubang Kerian opened. AEON Mall in Lembah Sireh opened in April 2016. A new Giant Hypermarket located in Bandar Baru Tunjong was opened in 2016,[14] as well as a Mydin store at Bandar Baru Tunjong by 2021.

Tourism[edit]

Beaches[edit]

Strong surf threatens all major beaches in the vicinity of Kota Bharu with substantial erosion. The community has been implementing wave breakers by 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.

Wreck diving[edit]

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.

Notable people[edit]

Academician & Corporate Figures
Athletes
Entertainers
Politics

Gallery[edit]

International relations[edit]

Sister city[edit]

As of 2018, Kota Bharu has one sister city:

References[edit]

  1. ^ primuscoreadmin (13 November 2015). "Latar Belakang".
  2. ^ "TABURAN PENDUDUK MENGIKUT PBT & MUKIM 2010". Department of Statistics, Malaysia. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Kota Bharu Municipal Council official website". Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Pusat Internet 1 Malaysia". Archived from the original on 24 June 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  5. ^ "The Historical Development of the Malay Peninsula Economic And Malay Society Economic Nature Pre-Colonial Era" (PDF). International Journal of the Malay World and Civilisation. 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Malaysian Armed Forces Official Website". Archived from the original on 20 January 2007. Retrieved 4 February 2007.
  7. ^ "Background". MPKB BRI Kelantan Gov My.
  8. ^ "Kota Bharu to become an Islamic City?". The Malaysian Bar. 18 August 2005. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  9. ^ "CLIMAT summary for 48615: Kota Bharu (Malaysia) – Section 2: Monthly Normals". CLIMAT monthly weather summaries. Ogimet. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Kota Bharu Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Klimatafel von Kota Bharu / Malaysia" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961–1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2019. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Grab Now Provides the Widest Rides Network in Malaysia with its Expansion into Four New Cities - Grab MY". 20 April 2017. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  13. ^ "Secondary Schools in Kelantan, Malaysia". 2007. Retrieved 10 December 2007.
  14. ^ "GCH Retail to upgrade Giant hypermarkets". www.thesundaily.my.
  15. ^ "A giant among men". 15 August 2015.
  16. ^ "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)>" (in Japanese). Kasaoka City. 1 March 2011. Archived from the original on 21 December 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2015.

External links[edit]