Kelantan, which translates as the "Land of Lightning" is a veritable treasure throve of delights - rustic fishing villages, verdant padi fields and languid, palm-fringed beaches.
Tucked away in the north-eastern corner of Peninsular Malaysia, the people of Kelantan have managed to keep alive age-old customs and traditions, thus earning the state a reputation as the Cradle of Malay Culture.There are numerous things to do and see here. Here you may witness the traditional sports of giant kite-flying, top-spinning, silat, wayang kulit, bird-singing competitions and the making of exquisite handicrafts such as songket, batik, silverware and mengkuang products. Kelantan is still covered by vast stretches of' tropical forests. Its southeastern corner of the state forms part of the Taman Negara National Park.
Kelantan has a population of about 1.5 million . Kelantan is primarily a Malay state although around 7% of the population are of Thai, Indian and Chinese ancestry. Kelantanese are renowned for their warmth and friendliness. Kelantan Darul Naim is a world of gracious beauty, retaining an old-world charm that few can resist. Come, let her natural attributes work their magic on you !
Kelantan's history dates to between 8000-3000 B.C. Kelantan boasts of a historical kelantan flagpast that date as far back as prehistoric times. During the early Chinese era, Kelantan was influenced by the Indianized Funan Kingdom of the Mekong River. In fact, farming methods used in Kelantan are based on Funan practices. Even the wayang kulit (shadow puppet show), a popular form of entertainment, and weaving methods are thought to have come from Funan. Kelantan has gone on to become vassals for the Sumatran Sriwijaya Empire and the Siamese. In the 15th Century, it came under the Melaka Sultanate. It was further ruled by the sultanates of Johor and Terengganu. By the 1820s, Kelantan was one of the most prosperous states in the Peninsula as there were unlimited development. Kelantan also retained strong ties with Siam throughout the 19th Century before control was passed on to the British after the signing of the Anglo-Siamese Treaty in 1909. By 1948, Kelantan had become part of the Federation of Malaya which gained independence on 31st August 1957..
Located on Jalan Mahmud close to the Perdana Hotel, the cultural centre is a veritable showcase of the living heritage of Kelantan. Demonstrations of popular folk arts and pastimes are held daily.
Wayang Kulit (shadow puppetry) shows, Silat (the Malay art of self-defence) performances, Gasing (top spinning) displays, Wau (kite flying) and Rebana (Giant Drum) playing can all be seen at the centre.
In the evenings, visitors can see cultural performances featuring traditional Malay music and Wayang Kulit. The cultural centre is open three times a week from March to October.