When I made my first visit to Malaysia, I had thought Kuala Lumpur was the capital of Malaysia. Only on reaching I realized that the capital had moved to a planned city called Putrajaya. Conceptually much like Canberra in Australia or even Washington DC.
The whole city has been built from scratch and is often called an intelligent city and sometimes the Garden City. PutraJaya, the Sanskrit words meaning the Son or Prince in Malay, has world class infrastructure with capacity to house, school and care for everyone who works or lives here.
Of course, the area was not a barren land converted into a digital metropolis. There was a village called Prang Besar in the Selangor state, from which the current federal territory has been carved out.
Prime minister’s office
So what to expect of a place that has just 13 year old history! Here are 5 things to do in Malaysia…. err Putra jaya. 😛
The Great Lake is the most important of all places in Putrajaya. It is the venue for all official and unofficial festivities and events like the Le Tour De Langkawi , the international hot air balloons festivals, flower carnivals, the international water-ski championships and so on.
When there are no events you may opt for a cruise and enjoy the architecture around the lake. This is indeed a great place for Photography. There are also several bridges; the most notable is the Seri Saujana Bridge that is illuminated with colored lights in the night.
Putra Jaya at night
The Great Gardens and Parks. The Agricultural Heritage Park encompasses much of the original Prang Besar rubber plantation. The beautifully landscaped Botanical Garden with its 1000 species of flora is a must visit. The wetlands park is probably the first man made wetland park. It serves as a barrier against flood and also as a habitat for various migratory birds. The Wawasam park is where you will find families having a picnic or people jogging or cycling on tracks meant for the same. There are several other gardens and parks that give Putrajaya its moniker, Garden City.
The Putra Mosque. The Spanking new and an imposing pink structure on the lake side can accommodate 10000 worshippers in its prayer hall. Non Muslims are allowed inside during non prayer times. The building has stone balusters. The air passes through the stone balustrades after kissing the surface of the lake and keeps the interiors cool. I was told that they do not have any aircon or fan in the building. 🙂
The Putra mosque at night
Architecture. A mix of new and old style of architecture dots the landscape. The more notable ones are the Melawati Palace, Primi Ministers Office atop the hill, his residence, Darul Ehsan Palace and other government buildings. As you ride around the streets, you wonder that only 15 years back these were Oil Palm or Rubber plantations.
The Worlds Largest Roundabaout. This planned city boasts of the largest roundabout measuring 3.7 KM in circumference! In fact when you drive on this you never realize you are driving around the roundabout. It is so big. Personally I am not sure this can be called a traffic roundabout, in its normal sense of the word.
If you want to explore Kuala Lumpur then this itinerary might help you.
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