Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ancient Hindu Kingdoms of Malaysia

Various historical tomes have mentioned the evidence of ancient connections between Malaysia and the Indian subcontinent. The discovery of ancient forts, cities, temples in Malaysia’s Bujang Valley in Kedah (near Merbok town) have further given credence to these historical listings. These archeological discoveries were first unearthed in the 1840’s, though the excavations are ongoing until now.

The ancient ruins of the Bujang Valley (Lembah Bujang) in Kedah are located near Mount Jerai and indicate that the area was once a bustling center of trade in Southeast Asia. The ruins further reveal that a prosperous Malay Kingdom existed here and the subjects of this kingdom included Malays, Chinese, Indians, Buddhists and others.
References to this kingdom have been found in various ancient texts which mention that at this kingdom was an important stop on the ancient Spice Route and it prospered until the rise of the Sultanate of Malacca in the 15th Century.

The ancient temples of the Bujang Valley

Explorations in the mid-19th century revealed the existence of various temple ruins in the Bujang Valley near Mount Jerai. These temple ruins display strong Hindu and Buddhist influences for excavations have unearthed intact granite structures of Hindu and Buddist icons like Buddha, Ganesha, Mahisasuramardini figurines and various Shiv Lingams. All evidence, which points to the former existence of vibrant Hindu kingdoms in the Bujang Valley.

If you have a keen interest in history or then are curious about the ancient relations that existed between Malaysia and India, then why not plan a trip of discovery to the Bujang Valley in Kedah?
Once there you can expect to see various important temple sites like Candi Bukit Batu Pahat(from the 11th century and dedicated to Lord Shiva), Candi Pediat, Candi Bendang Dalam, Candi Pengkalan Bujang and many more. Also worth a visit is the Bujuang Valley Archeological Museum whose permanent collection features numerous artifacts like bronze and terracotta statues, pottery shards, ornaments and much more. All of which has been uncovered at site of he ancient ruins of Hindu kingdoms in Malaysia.

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