When Sultan Idris Murshidul’adzam Shah I became the 28th Sultan of Perak on 5 April 1889, he decided to move his administration from Sayong to Bukit Chandan. There, he built a new palace called Istana Idris at the Changkat Negara, Bukit Chandan. In 1897, the palace has been renamed to Istana Negara. The palace is also known in Malaysian history as the site where the first Conference of Rulers, the Durbar, was held in 1897.
Istana Hulu was also known as the Istana Kota, and this former palace is situated on Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar, not far away from the famed Ubudiah Mosque. The palace was inspired by Victorian architecture and was built in 1903 during the reign of Sultan Idris Murshidul Azam Shah.
In 1916, the palace was occupied by his son and successor, Sultan Abdul Jalil.
In 1954, the palace was taken over by the Education Ministry and was subsequently turned into the Istana Kota National School. In 1970, it was converted into the Raja Perempuan Muzwin School, named after the wife of Sultan Idris Shah. Now, it is the Sultan Azlan Shah Gallery, which was officially opened in 2003.
Source: Arkib Negara Malaysia