Sunday, January 4, 2009

Origins and History

Batu Gajah (4° 28' 0" North, 101° 3' 0" East) with population of about 34,000, is a small town located in the state of Perak. It is about 24 km south of Ipoh, the state capital of Perak. It is also the birthplace of the current Sultan of Perak, His Royal Highness Sultan Azlan Muhibuddin Shah.

The name Batu Gajah, which literally means "elephant stone" in the Malay language, is presumably derived from two large boulders that resembled elephants found along the Kinta River. Folklore claims that huge elephant figures were made of stones to scare away the elephants that destroyed the villager's sugar cane crops.

Famous for its tin mining long before the Independence Day of Malaya, Batu Gajah had been an ideal place for Chinese immigrants to stay and work during those years. This contributes to a significant percentage of Chinese in the population of Batu Gajah today. The Indian Settlement village at Changkat has a large population of Indians and Punjabis who built one of the oldest Sikh temples in Perak.

Batu Gajah had an established pre-war [British] English [school], which was renamed Sultan Yussuf School (SYS) (officially known as SMK Sultan Yussuf) after the war. The current Sultan of Perak is a former student of this school. Formerly known as the Government English School (GES), it was founded by Mr. Malai Perumal Pillay in 1907. The school was built from the rubble of an old jail. Over the years, the school has produced many successful students.
Note: There are some errors on the above Google Map. For example, the Stesen KTM Batu Gajah has been relocated in Kampung Pisang. The Majlis Daerah Kinta Barat office has been relocated at Jalan Haji Abdul Wahab. That is not Jalan Garuda as labelled in the map.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Amir,

    This is some information about Batu Gajah.
    I was in Batu Gajah last November 2011.
    I had a doubt about the Batu Gajah Train Station as shown in Google Earth, and you confirmed it.

    Can you please give the actual location of the Batu Gajah Station. (Google Earth Coordinates)