Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Heritage Buildings of Kuala Lumpur - Day 5 in Malaysia

After our tiring tour of Malacca, we ended up spending the night at Central Station. After a couple of hours and without any sleep, we decided to complete our KL checklist by seeing some of the tourist attractions around the city. This series would appear as something like a Heritage walk that will feature some of KL's oldest buildings. This was our last stop before we head for Penang.

Old Kuala Lumpur Station
overlooking the magnificent building of Old Kuala Lumpur Station

We opted to pass by Brickfields as we were already in KL Sentral. Brickfields is also commonly known as KL's Little India due to the high percentage of Indian residents of the town. Our main goal is to see the colorful decorations in the area and also to grab some good Indian food as we have been chowing mostly Chinese and Malaysian food for some days already. Too bad we were there way too early as the shops were still closed that time, though I have noticed the area to be bustling with Indian clothing shops and accessories that would have been perfect for souvenirs. I can just imagine how colorful this area can be during Indian festivals such as Deepavali.

brickfields kuala lumpur
brickfields malaysia
the very detailed decorations of Little India of Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur
colorful roundabout
brickfields architecture
on the way to Brickfields, we spotted this old mansion that looks neglected but still charming

A train away from KL Sentral is Kuala Lumpur Railway station. It actually seemed like a normal train station for me as we passed by this on our way to Batu Caves and Blue Mosque. Little did I know that this station is inside one of Kuala Lumpur's architectural gems. We got off to see the exterior of the building that we only just usually see from afar.

Old Kuala Lumpur Station
the not-so crowded station of KL

The Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, located at Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, is housed inside a very beautiful building completed in 1910 and was designed by architect Arthur Benison, the same person who designed Masjid Jamek. It is one of the city's famous landmarks together with Petronas Twin Towers and Sultan Abdul Samad building. This station used to link Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and even to Bangkok, however with the more recently-built KL Sentral which is now utilized as the main rail hub starting 2001, the KL station now only serves for the Commuter line.

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station
Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur architecture
Kuala Lumpur architecture

The building was designed with a mixture of western and Mughal features such as elegant dome-capped pavilions and arches. I can just imagine how the area would have looked during the time where it was still the main station in the city.

Kuala Lumpur architecture
The underground passage

On just the opposite side is the Railway Administration Building or The KTM headquarters which is also one of KL's Heritage Buldings. It was designed by the same architect, AB Hubback and was completed in 1917. It is said to be the last infrastructure erected using the Mughal-style in Kuala Lumpur. This building has suffered damage twice, during Second World War II where its North Wing was bombed, and another tragedy was when its second floor was gutted by fire in 1968.

Railway Administration Building kuala lumpur
kuala lumpur ktm headquarters
malaysia ktm headquarters

Its architect Hubback used to serve the British Administration before in India and was transferred to KL. His designs has been mostly influenced wth Mughal architecture thus this structure also features those onion-shaped domes, arches and slender minarets. The building blends in nicely with its counterpart, the Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station just across the road.

KTM Headquarters
Railway Administration Building malaysia
kuala lumpur architecture
Railway Administration Building, Kuala Lumpur

I was truly amazed to see both of these majestic buildings and I can say that I have checked all the architecture that I wanted to see in Kuala Lumpur. It felt nostalgic and familiar at the same time even though I was a mere tourist in this city.

malaysia train
people watching while waiting for the train

I really hope the Malaysian government preserves both of these architectural masterpieces so that the future generation would still be able to appreciate its beauty. Kuala Lumpur is indeed a wonderland for all architecture geeks out there and I might have been just turned into one!

Day 1: Kuala Lumpur

Petronas Towers

Day 2: Kuala Lumpur
Batu Caves

Merdeka Square

Day 3: Putrajaya / Shah Alam
Pink and Blue Mosque

City Tour

Day 4: Malacca/Melaka
City Tour

Food Tour

Day 5: Kuala Lumpur

Day 6: Penang
Kek Lok Si Temple

Day 7: Penang
George Town

Street Art

Day 8: Penang

Malaysia Travel Report
Itinerary and Tips

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