Kedah - Balai Besar

Located towards the back of the Kota Setar Palace complex is the Balai Besar. Its initial purpose was as a Balai Rong Seri or Balai Penghadapan (audience hall). Built in 1735 by the 19th Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin Muazzam Shah, this was a lovely building with wood pillars, roofs and flooring.
Unfortunately, the building was badly damaged in 1770 when the Bugis armada attacked the place, and ruined even further by the Siamese in 1821.

It was, however, refurbished in 1896 to prepare for the weddings of the reigning Sultan? children. Besides weddings, the Balai Besar was also used for official ceremonies and other royal events.

"Located near the town square of Alor Setar, the Balai Besar was built in 1898 and is still used for royal ceremonies and some state functions."

Located near the town square of Alor Setar, the Balai Besar (Audience Hall) which was completed in 1898 was first used for the Sultan's installation and as an audience hall for receiving visitors. At a glance, the Balai besar appears to have Thai influence in its architecture, but upon closer inspection, you can see distinctly colonial touch, with tall supporting pillars and Victorian wrought-iron designs, resulting in an interesting blend of architectural design. Today, Balai Besar is still used for royal ceremonies and state functions.

For more information, please contact the Tourism Malaysia office at 604-7312322 / 04-7301322 or the State Economic Planning office at 604-7007113.

# Kedah Hotels

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