Johor Bahru, also known as JB, is a city in the southern region of Malaysia. This city is abundant in culture and history. There are several historical places in Johor Bahru that attract visitors from all over the world. These places are not only significant from a historical perspective but also reflect the unique identity of the city.
1. Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple
The Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple is a famous landmark in Johor Bahru and is well-known among the local Chinese community. Located in the city center along Jalan Trus, this temple is one of the oldest religious institutes in Johor Bahru. More than 140 years ago, a group of Chinese religious leaders, led by Mr. Tan Hiok Nee, who founded Ngee Heng Co, constructed this building.
The temple’s most significant event is the Chingay celebration, which takes place annually in the first lunar month of the Chinese calendar. During this festival, statues of deities representing the five dialect groups (Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Hakka, and Hainan) are paraded around the town.
The temple’s design follows classic Chinese styles, with large potted plants placed along the white walls. Visitors can also see colorful bells around the walls, which have been contributed by those who have prayed at the temple.
2. Johor Bahru Prison
Johor Bahru Prison, despite its appearance, is a significant place to visit. This 135-year-old prison is now open to the public to increase awareness of life within the prison. Visitors can see the prison facilities, watch a caning demonstration through a video, and hear from officers.
The prison was designed by Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum and Sultan Abu Bakar ibni Almarhum Daeng Ibrahim, who visited prisons in Shanghai and Osaka to learn about their design and physical condition. Every space within the prison is fully utilized, including accommodation blocks for inmates, training workshops, kitchens, toilet blocks, clinics, and administrative offices. In addition to the standard prison facilities, such as cells and administrative offices, the prison also features a family visiting area, welfare officer’s room, counseling clinic, and surau.
The cost of visiting this amazing place is RM 5.00 for adults and RM 2.00 for children.
3. Holy Light Johor Bahru
Holy Light Johor Bahru is one of the oldest historical places in Johor Bahru and one of the oldest churches in the city. It was founded by Rev John Angus Bethune Cook, a missionary of the Presbyterian Church of England, with the help of outstanding people who helped build the church. This ancient building proves that Christianity has been present in Malaysia for a long time.
The church used to be responsible for running English and Mandarin services on Sundays and used for Chinese worship sessions. Today, the old church is used as the Youth Hall. When visitors step into this old church, they will feel a sense of peace and relaxation. The church is located next to the grand Double Tree by Hilton Johor Bahru.
4. Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque
Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque is an iconic landmark in Johor Bahru. It was built in 1900 and was named after Sultan Abu Bakar, the first Sultan of Johor. The mosque is known for its stunning architecture and beautiful gardens.
Visitors can admire the intricate carvings and colourful stained glass windows of the mosque, and learn about the history of Islam in Johor.
5. Gurdwara Sahib Sikh Temple Johor Bahru
The Gurdwara Sahib Sikh Temple in Johor Bahru offers a unique opportunity to learn about Sikh culture. Situated in the heart of the city and adorned in yellow and white, this temple is located next to the Arulmigu Rajamariamman Devasthanam Temple. Visitors to the Gurdwara Sahib can enjoy access to a kitchen, dining room, hall, and office, as well as prayer rooms for Sikh visitors.
In 1916, a group of Sikhs requested a plot of land from the Johor Police Commissioner to construct a Gurdwara Sahib. The ground floor of this temple serves as a langgar hall, while the upstairs is used for Darbar Sahib. A committee was formed to oversee the temple’s operations, including a president, secretary, treasurer, and other committee members.
For the Malaysian Sikh community, this building holds significant meaning. Approximately 250 Sikh families participate in the religious activities held at this Gurdwara Sahib, including weekly prayers, naujawan programs, and isteri satsang programs. The Gurdwara Sahib Sikh Temple is an important symbol of Sikhism in Malaysia and a must-see destination for anyone interested in learning about the religion and its cultural significance.
Johor Bahru boasts a wealth of historical and cultural sites, providing a fascinating insight into its past. Whether your interests lie in architecture, religion, or culture, there is an abundance of places to explore in this vibrant city. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to discover the beauty and history of Johor Bahru – start planning your visit today!
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