Tourism Terengganu

Thursday, October 18, 2018

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History

Terengganu’s location along the main ancient sea routes attracted traders from the four corners of the world. With archipelago of islands as a shelter from vicious monsoon winds, it was little wonder that Terengganu became a trading post. Terengganu’s history predates the establishment of the Melaka Sultanate. Straddling the ancient trade routes, it was, according to records from the Chinese merchants and other seafarers from as early as sixth century, under the influence of Srivijaya and traded extensively with the Majapahit Empire, the Khmer Empire, the Arab, the Indian and of course, the Chinese. The name Terengganu was mentioned as Teng-Ya-Nu by a Chinese scholar, Coo-Cu-Fei in his book Ling-Wai-Fai-Ta in 1178AD. He mentioned a place named Foloan which was identified as Kuala Berang, the capital district of Hulu Terengganu. Another Chinese historian, Cao-Ju-Kua did not miss Teng-ya-nung when he authored Cu-Fan-Cih in 1226AD.

In the year 150 AD, Greek scholars/travellers in the era of Ptolemy mentioned in their journals of two important trading post in  the east coast region of the Golden Chersonese (Peninsular Malaya) which was identified as Kole and Perimula. Both believed to be ports of call for coastal traders. Kole was believed to be in Kemaman while Perimula was believed to be Kuala Terengganu.

Terengganu was the first Malay state to accept Islam, as attested to by a stone dated 1303 AD engraved with Arabic inscriptions found in Kuala Berang. The Terengganu Stone Inscription (Batu Bersurat) discovered in 1902 by Sayed Hussein Ghulam Al-Bukhari in Kuala Berang bore the word Terenkanu inscribed in Jawi, an Arabic Romanized version.

The Terengganu stone inscription tablet or famously known as the Batu Bersurat of Terengganu constitutes the earliest evidence of Jawi writings based on Arabic alphabets in the Malay Peninsula. The stone inscription is also the testimony of the acceptance of Islam as the official religion in Terengganu, as well as one of the earliest in the Malay Peninsular.

Archaeological artifacts found in Bewah and Taat Caves in Kenyir Lake indicate the existence of Neolithic settlements within 10,000-14,000 years ago. Artifacts such as kitchen utensils, stone adzes and pottery sherds found indicates the site was frequently used as a shelter in the prehistoric past. Even a Neolithic burial was found, with broken pottery laid at the foot of the deceased. But the recent findings at Bewah Cave of a skeleton and artifacts carbon-dated back to the Mesolithic age 16,000 years ago proves one of the oldest skeleton in the Malay Peninsular.


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