Monday, July 28, 2014

PUTRAJAYA CITY (MALAYSIA)

Location: Putrajaya, Malaysia
Total Land Area: 49 sq. km. (19 sq. mi.)
Coordinates: 2.9430952°N 101.699373°
Date Established: October 19, 1995
Made into Federal Territory: February 1, 2001
Time Zone: MST (UTC+8)
Mean Solar Time: UTC+06:46:40
Descriptive Summary: Putrajaya dubbed as a garden and intelligent city is a planned city situated 25 kilometers south of Kuala Lumpa which serves as the federal administrative center of Malaysia wherein it became the seat of government since 1999 where originally it was in Kuala Lumpur but was relocated due to the overcrowding and congestion in the capital city. It is the third Federal Territory after Kuala Lumpur and Labuan. Putrajaya was named after the first Malaysian Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra where in Sanskrit, the words “putra” or “putera” means “prince” or “male child,” and “jaya” means “success” or “victory.” In addition, Putrajaya is home to the world's largest roundabout, the Persiaran Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah with a diameter of 3.5 km. (2.7 miles)


For purposes of sharing, I had this trip in Putrajaya dated October 12-13, 2006 where I was based in Singapore for a total of six days travelling also to the Island of Batam in the country of Indonesia. This three-country stop was made by me after a one-year work contract from the country of Qatar. By that time, the currency exchange of one Malaysian Ringgit (RM) to Philippine Peso is 13.

Palace of Justice which is also fondly known as Istana Kehakiman


I was alone then when I had this 3-country stop and part of this was in Putrajaya. It was not difficult for me to hire a tourist guide for a fee of 120 Malaysian Ringgit (P1,560) inclusive of car and photographer’s services when I arrived in this place after an hour of bus (Rapid Bus E-1 for RM4) travel from Kuala Lumpur. Mohamed Zen, my guide in his age of 50’s then was still energetic to accompany me and take my pictures. It was funny then that I always wanted myself to appear in all the pictures Mr. Zen took. In my first stop, I was extremely stunned when Mr. Zen took me to the Palace of Justice.

The architectural design of Istana Kehakiman is one of a kind – a five-story majestic looking building that is the judiciary and a two-storey building that houses the courts and offices. Other than being the center for all legal cases and law, the Palace of Justice is used as a place for photography due to its remarkable domed minarets. In addition, its huge courtyard is frequently used as a location for national level events such as Colours of Malaysia and lots more.

The Perdana Putra – is synonymous with the executive branch of the Malaysian federal government which houses the office complex of the Prime Minister of Malaysia


It can be observed, that the modern buildings of Putrajaya have a touch of Neoclassicism, Islamic architecture and Moorish architectural designs. But what is impressive of this city was that it is so green as its master plan revealed that 38% of its area is reserved for green spaces emphasizing the enhancement of natural landscape. It has a network of open spaces and wide boulevards. Thus, records showed that its entire development is considered as one of the Southeast Asia's largest with estimated final cost of US$ 8.1 billion.

The Putra Mosque or Masjid Putra – the principal mosque of Putrajaya


The construction of Putra Mosque began in 1997 and was completed two years later. It is located next to Perdana Putra and man-made Putrajaya Lake. In front of the mosque is a large square with flagpoles flying Malaysian states' flags.

The pink-domed Putra Mosque is constructed with rose-tinted granite consists of three main functional areas - the prayer hall, the Sahn, or courtyard, and various learning facilities and function rooms. The mosque can accommodate 15,000 worshippers at any one time.

The man-made Putrajaya Lake


With such a vast area, tourists will find one day barely enough to roam around Putrajaya and enjoy its equally picturesque buildings and landscape. Boulevards are not just wide and spacious but they are grown with a variety vibrant ornamental plants and flowers. Other places of interests to visit are: Putrajaya Independence Square, Putrajaya Wetlands Park, Taman Selatan and Putrajaya Botanical Gardens - the biggest botanical garden in Malaysia, covering an area over 92 hectares

The spacious open spaces and boulevard leading to Perdana Putra


One will wonder if Putrajaya is just a center for government buildings but according to my research, its residents are comprised mainly of government servants who have been encouraged to relocate to the city through a variety of government subsidy and loan programs. The research also revealed that in 2007, the population of Putrajaya was estimated to be over 30,000.

The Seri Gemilang Bridge


Seri Gemilang Bridge has a main span of 120 metres (394 ft) long, with a 60-metre (197 ft) span at each end, for a total length of 240 metres (787 ft). There are six traffic lanes, each 3.5 metres (11.5 ft) wide. The deck level above the water is 36.75 metres (121 ft) at the centre of the bridge.

The ceremonial bridge of Seri Gemilang Bridge which connects Heritage Square with Putrajaya Convention Centre.(photo courtesy by flickr )


The photo above was not captured by me during my visit since the three skyscrapers at the background were not yet erected when I had my visit in 2006, though, Putrajaya Convention Center was already there.

Putrajaya International Convention Center Marker


Without a car, the road heading to the Putrajaya International Convention Center is quite far from the Boulevard which is considered to be the center of the city. Spacious gardens and parks awaits you in this site and you will feast with its highly splendid scenery.

The government’s administrative buildings along the Persiaran Perdana (also called boulevard)


Would you believe that Putrajaya was originally Prang Besar which was opened in 1918 as Air Hitam by the British? Its original land space was 800 acres (3.2 km2), which was later expanded to 8,000 acres (32 km2). Prang Besar later expanded and merged with its surrounding estates such as Estet Raja Alang, Estet Galloway and Estet Bukit Prang.

The Seri Wawasan Bridge (Photo courtesy by Wikipedia)


What is so impressive of Putrajaya is the fact that it has a number of bridges which span through man-made lakes and rivers that project a dramatic and breathtaking landscape not to mention that these man-made bodies of water has a cooling effect to the entire city. These bridges include: Seri Perdana Bridge, Putra Bridge, Seri Wawasan Bridge, Seri Bakti Bridge, Seri Saujana Bridge, Seri Bestari Bridge, Seri Setia Bridge, Seri Gemilang Bridge and Monorail Suspension Bridge.

HOW TO GET THERE

While I stayed in Hotel China Town 2 at Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, the following are the transport I find convenient: LRT from Pasar Seri Station to KL Central Station for RM1; Rapid Bus E-1 from KL Central to Putrajaya Central Terminal (PCT) for RM4, Bus from PCT to Masjid Putrajaya for RM1 and in going back to my hotel, I opted to have a 20-minute express train from Putrajaya to KL Center for RM9.50.

Tourists can also travel from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya by chartered cars and taxis which can be arranged by hotel attendants where they stay and rates can be negotiable. For more information and booking reservations, contact this number at +60 3-2615 8188

NOTE: Rates and expenses are no longer updated.

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