Kelantan History

Emblem Kelantan is the cultural centre of Malaysia. It is here that the visitor will discover the true spirit of the country.

Archaeological FindsIts history dates back to prehistoric times and there are many archaeological finds in the area particularly around Gua Musang and Gua Cha.

In later times, Kelantan was influenced by the Funan kingdom on the Mekong River and even today, farming practices from this era are still being used. The Wayang Kulit shadow play and weaving methods too are thought to have come from Funan.

Kelantan was home to the first Sumatran Sriwijaya Empire and then the Siamese. By the 1500's it came under the Melaka sultanate and on its demise in the 17th century, was ruled by Johor and then in the 18th century, by Terengganu.

By the 1820's Kelantan was the most populous state and also one of the most prosperous in the peninsular. Like Terengganu, it was little touched by the violence of other Malaysian states and continued to prosper throughout the 19th century.

BeachIt was handed over to the control of the British in 1909 when the Anglo-Siamese treaty was signed, though due to natural disasters, such as famine, plagues and hurricanes the 1900's saw many people flee to nearby Kedah state.

During WWII Kelantan was the first landfall for the Japanese and was soon occupied by them. During this period the state was run by Siam (Thailand), but in 1948 Kelantan once again came under Malaysian control when it became a member of the Federation of Malaya, along with many other states that now form part of Malaysia proper.

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