Bukit Puteri, Kuala Terengganu

Bukit Puteri (Princess Hill) was said to get its name from local folktale, or history. According to the local tale, there was a princess who lived on the hill before. The princess was from ‘the other side of the world’ and could not be seen by human beings. The presence of the princess was only felt during wedding festivals. It was not her physical form that could be seen but rather, her plates and silverware! Apparently, villagers who could not afford to get enough plates and cutlery for weddings could ‘borrow’ it from the princess. The plates, spoons and forks would be left at the foot of the hill for ‘loan’ and must be returned the following day in good condition. Since then, the hill was called Bukit Puteri.

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Unfortunately, some villagers took the princess’ generosity for granted and failed to abide by the rule. The princess was not happy with people returning her collection broken or even, not returning them at all, so she moved to another hill in the Besut district. The princess’ new home was soon called Bukit Puteri too by the locals there.

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However, those who don’t have a penchant for folklore stick by the more ‘realistic’ belief of how Bukit Puteri obtained its name. History has it that a group of people from Johor led by a Johor chieftain came to open a new village at the foot of the hill. The nobleman, who went by the name Tuk Raja Menteri, named the hill as Bukit Puteri. History was as simple as that.

Bukit Puteri spans an area of 0.688 hectares and the hill, measuring 200 m in height, is the highest peak in Kuala Terengganu. When one is standing on the top of the hill, a scenic view of Kuala Terengganu with the Sungai Terengganu river mouth unfolds. There is also a magnificent view of the South China Sea and its fishermen hard at work in their boats. Visitors normally hike up the hill for photography opportunities or just to have a leisurely stroll.

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The view atop the hill isn’t the only attraction; there are far more to see at the top. There are historical remains as Bukit Puteri was once used by the sultan as a defense fort during the civil war. Some of the remains include a battery of four cannons, a royal flagpole, a 100-year-old yellow copper genta (a large bell) and remnants of the fort-cemetery and defense walls. There is also a lighthouse on the top of the hill.

The hill is located next to Istana Maziah and is easily accessible from Jalan Sultan Zainal Abidin, Kuala Terengganu. The hill is open every day to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The entrance fee is a very affordable RM1.

Map Bukit Puteri

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