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Balai Nobat

By Dato' Hj. Wan Shamsudin Mohd Yusof
(Translated by Syed Zulfilda S.M. Noor)


 


The Entrance of Balai Nobat.

Upon the official opening of the Alor Star town in 1735 by HRH Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin Muazzam Shah, the 19th Sultan of Kedah (1710-1778), a number of early buildings had been completed including the Kota Setar Palace, the Balai Besar, the Balai Nobat and the State Mosque. The original design of the Balai Nobat could not be ascertained but certainly it was built using wood.

During the reign of HRH Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Mukarram Shah, the 25th Sultan of Kedah (1854-1879), the new Balai Nobat consisting of five-story building was built. The building was totally built of wood with zinc roofing. During the reign of the HRH Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah, the 26th Sultan of Kedah (1882-1943), a new building was built using concrete and metal. The architecture is the same as the previous wooden building. The height was three-story and the dome at its apex represents the Islamic element such as those found on mosques. This new building was built in 1906.

The Balai Nobat keeps all the nobat musical instruments including the serunai (wooden flute), nafiri, gendang (drum) and gong that are played for specific ceremonies such as royal installations, deaths and other official ceremonies.

 









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