31st August 1957, which is also known as Independence Day or Merdeka Day, marks the day Malaysia achieve its independence. It’s when the British no longer ruled Malaysia and the Flag was raised up, while then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman gave a speech to the crowd.
There’s nothing better than celebrating Hari Merdeka by visiting some of the places which made some sort of impact throughout the years. So if you’re looking for the best historical places in Kuala Lumpur or Selangor to visit on Hari Merdeka, read on to find out more!
1. Merdeka Square
Merdeka Square, also known as Independence Square, is a must-visit historical place in Kuala Lumpur as it has so much history behind it. The annual Merdeka Parade is usually held at Merdeka Square as it was where the Union Flag was lowered and the Malayan Flag was raised up on the 31st August 1957. Hence, that’s why it’s a popular landmark during Hari Merdeka in Malaysia.
2. Bukit Malawati
One of the popular historical places in Selangor would be Bukit Malawati. It was the administrative center of the Selangor Sultan during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. During that period, it was used as a fort for the fight against the Dutch.
Why does it remain a significant event? The Dutch took over the fort in the year 1784 but Sultan Ibrahim managed to re-capture the fort once again in January 1785 which was a notable victory event.
3. Istana Negara
What makes Istana Negara so special? Well, it’s actually the official residence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia (also known as the King). The first king who first resided here was the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu.
However, the palace was used as the residence of the King from the year 1957 to 2011. After that, it was used as a museum that the general public are allowed to visit. Be sure not to miss the gorgeous golden domes all around.
4. Masjid Jamek
Masjid Jamek is one of the oldest mosques in Kuala Lumpur, making it a popular landmark since its creation in 1908. The interior and exterior are inspired by the Mughal Eclectic and Arabesque culture, with three domes that are known to be the main highlight.
One notable historical fact of Masjid Jamek is when it got damaged during the Japanese air-raid back in the year 1941 that killed around 3 worshippers. However, it was refurbished over the years after that.
5. Central Market
Central Market, also known as Pasar Seni, is notably one of the historical places in Kuala Lumpur as you can find various products here. Initially, when it was first built in the year 1888, it was mainly used as a wet market where fishmongers’ stalls are set up.
However, later on, during the years, stall owners such as pewter ware, batiks, and essential oils are set up more often. Other than that, there are various restaurants around as well.
6. Old Railway Station
Before KL Sentral was the main railway hub as we know it today, it was the Old Railway Station up to the year 2001. The Old Railway Station was built since the year 1917, hence why it’s a must-visit on Hari Merdeka in Malaysia.
Another fun fact: in an international architecture and design magazine, the Old Railway Station was No.4 in the list of the world’s most beautiful train stations among 25 other train stations.
7. Carcosa Seri Negara
The Carcosa Seri Negara is a must-visit on Hari Merdeka in Malaysia due to the fact that it’s where the Constitution of Malaysia was first drafted in the year 1957!
It marks a significant event as Malaysia made its way towards independence. Besides that, the Federation of Malaya agreement was signed within the same year as well.
8. Kuala Lumpur City Library
First built in 1989, you would be missing out if you didn’t visit the Kuala Lumpur City Library on Hari Merdeka. Other than being one of the oldest libraries in Kuala Lumpur, you can find plenty of books around. There are separate sections just for adults and kids as well.
9. Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Kuala Lumpur
This temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur and was built in the year 1873. You will be amazed by the gorgeous details of the building which was inspired by Dravidian architecture. The temple goes up to 75ft up high and features around 228 Hindu deities all around.
10. National Monument
The National Monument, also commonly known as Tugu Negara, is a unique sculpture that represents the sacrifices of Malaysian fighters. These fighters sacrificed their lives during World War II against the Japanese army.