The layout of a Malay Raja’s palace

In The History of Perak, R.O. Winstedt described the ground plan of a Perak palace of Malay type, circa 19101 . The letters on the plan seen above indicate the various parts of the palace:
  • A serambi, verandah
    B istana, palace proper
    C balai rong, inner hall, sometimes reserved for ladies
    D balai besar, central hall of audience
    E balai penghadapan, outer hall of audience
    F penanggah, kitchen
    G selang, passage
    H pintu tangga, doors and steps
    J peterana, dais for princes of the blood
    K singahsana, throne
    L bilik kundang, rooms for pages2
  • 1-4 tiang sudut, corner pillars
    5-8 tiang rembat guntong, verandah pillars
    9,10 tiang tinggi, tall central pillars

Reference: Winstedt R.O., Wilkinson R.J. A History of Perak (3rd reprint). Kuala Lumpur: MBRAS; 1974.


  1. Originally written by Winstedt and described as ‘The Malay Raja’s palace over twenty years ago’ in his publication. This particular article was previously published in Vol. XII Part 1 in the Journal of the Malaysian Branch Royal Asiatic Society (JMBRAS), June 1934.
  2. Personal attendant of a person of rank.


One thought on “The layout of a Malay Raja’s palace

  1. Pelan di atas merujuk kepada Istana Kenangan juga dikenali sebagai Istana Lembah yang didirikan sementara pembinaan semula Istana Negara[1] (kemudian ditukar nama ke Istana Iskandariah). Konsep binaan Istana ini adalah berdasarkan pada bentuk sebilah pedang dan dibina oleh Haji Sufian dari Seberang Perai bersama anak2nya.

    Nota:
    [1] https://sembangkuala.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/the-completion-of-the-new-astana-negara-at-kuala-kangsar-1932/

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