Putrajaya is Malaysia’s federal administrative centre where the seat of government shifted from Kuala Lumpur in 1999. It is a planned city 25 kilometers south of Kuala Lumpur. In Sanskrit, “putra” means prince or male child, and “jaya” means success or victory. The development of Putrajaya started in the early 1990s, and today, major landmarks have been completed. The US$8.1 billion city is still undergoing construction, however, and it will take some time before the ambitious project will come into full fruition.
I am reminded of Washington D.C. as we drove around the federal administration capital. The buildings are impressive, the gardens and parks peaceful, and the atmosphere very calm and safe. For the young, however, this might be a boring place. Nevertheless, it is a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur.
There are a lot of bridges in the city, crossing man-made lakes. The first stop we made was actually to take a photo by Seri Wawasan bridge, a cable-stayed bridge which is a landmark in Putrajaya and categorized as “signature” bridge.
Around 97% of the city’s population is Muslim and one of the interesting structures I visited is the Putra Mosque. Masjid Putra, as it is called in Malay, is the principle mosque of Putrajaya. Construction began in 1997 and completed in 1999.
Putra Mosque is one of the most modern mosques in the world. This sandstone mosque,which incorporates Malaysian, Persian and Arab-Islamic architectural designs, overlooks Putrajaya Lake, a giant man-made lake.The entire complex can accommodate up to 15,000 worshippers and has also been designed for conferences, seminars and symposiums.
The pink-domed Putra Mosque is constructed with rose-tinted granite and consists of three main functional areas – the prayer hall, the Sahn, or courtyard, and various learning facilities and function rooms.
In front of the mosque is a large square with flagpoles flying Malaysian states’ flags. It is perfect to bring the family for a stroll. I visited on a Sunday morning, and the square was filled with bazars. There were children running about and having fun.
Before entering, women are asked to cover themselves. The mosque provides coats for free. We also needed to remove our shoes before entering the prayer hall. This was the first time I entered a mosque. I am impressed with the structures, the large space, the quiet atmosphere, and cleanliness.
OTHER INTERESTING BUILDINGS
Beside the mosque is Perdana Putra, which houses the Malaysian Prime Minister’s office. It is a very impressive structure and can be seen even from afar.
The official residence of the prime minister is Seri Perdana, a complex located in Precinct 10. Unfortunately, my driver/tour guide did not bring me to Seri Perdana. This should have been included in the private tour, as this is another major tourist attraction in the city. He appeared to be in a hurry to move on to the next part of our itinerary. He did talk about it, though, when I asked and he mentioned that while dubbed the official residence, the PM doesn’t really live there for security purposes. The complex was mainly used to welcome heads of state, heads of government, state dignitaries and the public. Here’s a picture from the official website:
It was nice driving around the city. When asked what I thought about the place, I answered my tour guide that I wouldn’t mind living here. Indeed, there are several residential areas within the city, mostly government employees as well as those working in nearby Cyberjaya.
For my travel itinerary, visit Anuar’s Kuala Lumpur City Tour for First Time Tourist.