Old Bukit Chandan mansions: Baitul Anor

Baitul Anor was built by the master craftsman and builder Tuan Haji Sofian (sometimes referred to as Tukang Sofian), under the instructions of Raja Kechil Sulong Harun Al Rashid for his third wife, Raja Mentera binti Raja Sir Chulan.

Views of Baitul Anor today. (Photos: Raja Mariam Raja Mohamed)

Raja Nur Jannah recalled how Allahyarhamah Raja Nor Shiha binti Raja Harun Al Rashid, the mother of Raja Fauziah (Ku Diah), mentioned how Tukang Sofian built all the baituls (lit. ‘house’ in Arabic) for her father. To the people of Bukit Chandan, they would still marvel at the different designs made for each of these mansions by Tukang Sofian.

The late Raja Haji Amir Abdullah bin Raja Harun Al Rashid (second right) and family, in front of Baitul Anor. His wife, Raja Nor Ajam, is seen seated third from right. (Source: Raja Nur Jannah Raja Hirdan)

Baitul Anor was named after Raja Anor Shah, the eldest son of Raja Harun Al Rashid and Raja Mentera. One of Raja Kechil Sulong Harun Al Rashid’s younger sons, Raja Haji Amir Abdullah, was married to Raja Nor Ajam Raja Bendahara Abdul Rashid, later lived at Baitul Anor. Raja Nor Ajam was the daughter of Che (Hajjah) Maheran Kulop Tholip, the third wife to Raja Bendahara Abdul Rashid. Che Maheran herself lived nearby, in a house (now demolished) almost identical to Baitul Anor.

The pelamin at Baitul Anor in the 1960s, which still exists today. (Source: Raja Nur Jannah Raja Hirdan)

Baitul Anor, like all the other baituls built for Raja Harun Al Rashid, include a pelamin (dais). The one at Baitul Anor seen in the above photograph has survived the ravages of time and was used at a recent family wedding in 2009.

Raja Mariam Raja Mohamed remembered the circular tembok in front of the house which seemed like “a fortress” to her as a child. She recalled the kitchen of Baitul Anor located far at the back, and it was very airy, courtesy of the house design which allowed natural ventilation.

The façade of Baitul Anor today. Note the fortress-like 'tembok' in the forecourt. (Photo: Raja Nur Jannah Raja Hirdan)

Sadly, Baitul Anor is currently uninhabited and is located on Jalan Istana at Bukit Chandan in Kuala Kangsar.

Reference:
1. Raja Nur Jannah Raja Hirdan
2. Raja Mariam Raja Mohamed

20 thoughts on “Old Bukit Chandan mansions: Baitul Anor

  1. Salams dear editor(s)

    Nice write-up. Brings back memories of the mansion particularly, and of the Bukit Chandan that I was more familiar with, generally.

    We can see the far-sigtedness of our fore-fathers or in this case, Allahyarham Raja Kecil Sulong Raja Harun Al-Rashid .. who would build dais/pelamins as permanent installations to these Baituls, for weddings (obviously), for ‘khatam quran’ & bertindik ceremonies (which always seemed to be held hand in hand) and also for the much-dreaded ‘bersunat’ ceremonies, where boys became men (or more often, reverted to cry-babies! A very frightening and excruciating experience as compared to now … so I suppose, there was no shame to shed a tear or two).

    I remember the pelamins to be of a grand size, with several steps, and tall thick beams flanking the sides. The dais would be intricately carved. These couldn’t pass through the doors, so I reckon they were built inside the house and became a permanent fixture.

    Thank you for this good read.

  2. Salam

    The pelamin was repainted and used for Raja Azmin’s wedding in 2009. Somehow I couldnt find the picture from my photo library…too many pictures…pening kepala:)

    Mungkin kuyam ada…(?)

    //

  3. Salam Jannah,

    Yes I ada the gambor in question. You want them ke, now that yours are buried somewhere in your photo library?🙂

    By the way, when you say ‘the pelamin’, did you mean the 2-seater couch/kerusi alone or the complete set-up? I’m picturing the whole set-up (as I described) like the one in the house of Allahyarham Raja Shahrudin ibni Sultan Idris I (rumah lama Ende Zaleha) and also in Baitul Aman (before these buildings were demolished and gutted by fire respectively).

  4. Salam, Just wanted to clarify, was Raja Harun’s wife Raja Mahtra Bt Sultan Abdullah or Raja Mentera Bt Raja Chulan?

    • Waalaikumussalam. It’s Raja Mentera @ Mahtra binti Raja Sir Chulan. Almarhum Sultan Abdullah never had a daughter named Mahtra although his mother who was sent to exile with him in the Seychelles was named Wan Ngah Mahtra.

      -M.

  5. Salams,

    i’m looking for my buddy from ITM, KuYam. is this Raja Mariam one and the same?

    I can be contacted at 017 6848 520.

    Thanks.

  6. Salams Muni,

    MasyaAllah! Yup … its me! I’m so terribly elated that you’ve found me! Alhamdulillah.

    Thanks dear SK editor(s)/Chiman for pubishing this & helping to unite 2 old (literally & otherwise) friends.

    • Salam Ana,

      Tentu ingat! Masih kat Australia lagi ke? Macam mana boleh jumpa kuyam dalam blog ni?

      Boleh bagi email address tak?

  7. Dilla dah 25 tahun dan bekerja sebagai Engineer Surveyor, Iman second year Uni – Medical Science, Aiman still in Yr 10. Putra Ku Doty ada di Sydney. Ku Iskandar selalu contact Iman dan was here on Hari Raya .

    We are already in 10 years in Sydney and nampaknya bermastautin disini la.

  8. It’s really sad that the federal/state government do not do anything to preserve this historical mansion. Please do something before this house is burnt down like the other one. I managed to shot a picture of this house last time during Raya 2011. This house is a masterpiece of Malay craftsmanship. Please do something to preserve it.

    My photos of Baitul Anor: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150295922788592.355827.716388591&type=3

  9. Hi. I am originally from Perak, and currently living in Johor. I just saw the campaign on Bukit Chandan on MHI by YM Raja Nur Jannah and I was so elated to know that the abandoned house near the Kuala mosque that I’ve always amazed by is actually called Baitul Anor. I had snapped a couple of pics of Baitul Anor and always have been sad to see such a lovely crafted Malay house is abandoned and nothing is done by the state or anyone to preserve it. Malay craftmanship is the most prized to us Malays and hopefully something is being done in the near future to actually rebuild and reconstruct such a beautiful house to live in.

    Salam perantau🙂

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