Saturday, July 5, 2008


21 December 2004

Bujang Valley Candi Model

Period: Mid 11th Century CE

Candi Bukit Batu Pahat (the candi on the hill of carved stone) and several other smaller shrines in South Kedah, Malaysia, were probably built in the mid-11th Century CE.

They show some characteristics of South Indian temples of this period. These temples were probably built after Kedaram (Kedah) was conquered by Rajendra Chola in 1025 CE.

Special acknowledgment: Muzium Sejarah Nasional (National History Museum), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The President of the International Islamic University of Malaysia

(IIUM), Tan Sri Sanusi Junid, welcomed delegates to the first workshop
of IIUM's Institute of Oceanography and Maritime Studies (INOCEM) on
21st December 2004, in which he talked of how Malaysia's history was
shaped by the Indian ocean, which brought Indian culture here more than
two thousand years ago. He is a former Malaysian minister of agriculture and as mentri besar (chief minister) of Kedah state.

One of the former Ambassadors of Iran did a degree on the Bay of Bengal. Before he left Malaysia he told me of his finding on the ocean current of the Indian Ocean. It contributes to Malaysian history. According to him, the Indians from the Coromandel Coast need not even use an oar to arrive in Malaysia. They need only drift on a raft and would land on the coast of Yan, Kedah, specifically Dulang and Sungai Limau.

Kedah, in those early days, was known to the Indians as Kedaram or "sceptre" or "tombak" which is used by Hindu priests and warriors.

You might not be aware that the Kedah Sultanate is one of the oldest, if not the oldest monarchy from the same family line in the world. The first Kedah ruler was a Hindu whose name was Maharaja Derba Raja of Kedah, better known as Merong Maha Wangsa.

Subsequently there were 8 more Hindu Maharajahs of Kedah, making a total of nine Maharajas altogether. The ninth Maharaja was Maharaja Derba Raja XI or Phra Ong Mahawangsa. He was converted to Islam by an Arab from Aceh. He changed the title of Maharaja to Sultan, and ruled as Sultan Muzaffar Shah from 1136 to 21st July 1179.

The present Sultan of Kedah, HRH Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah is the 27th Sultan of Kedah, from Sultan Muzaffar Shah. With the Hindu predecessors, Sultan Abdul Halim becomes the 35th ruler of Kedah.

The first arrival of the Indians was around 100 BC. The first Hindu temple was in the Bujang Valley at the foot of Gunung Jerai. The Tamil Sanskrit world for gunung or mountain is Malai. Thus the name of this country is Malaya. Himalaya means 'mountain of snow' as the Sanskrit word for snow is Hi. All of this history would not have happened without the Indian Ocean and the characteristics of the currents.

Durga Mahishasuramardhini

Period: Unknown
Found in: Bujang River Valley, South Kedah, Malaysia
Material: Stone
Present Location / Lender Bujang Valley Museum, Kedah, Malaysia

This badly-eroded statue was discovered in 1921, and depicts Durga, a female Hindu deity, who slew the bull-demon Mahisa. This deity was extremely popular in Indonesia.


Period: Unknown
Found in: Between the Muda and Merbok Rivers, South Kedah, Malaysia
Material: Stone
Present Location / Lender Bujang Valley Museum, Kedah, Malaysia

This statue depicts a door guardian. Such statues were often placed at the entrances to Hindu and Buddhist temples. It is unusual in several respects, including the posture, which appears to indicate that the guardian is dancing. It may represent another Southeast Asian creation based on an Indian model.

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