Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Singapore - History

The history of Singapore dates back to the 14th century when it was a malay kingdom called Temasek or seatown. At that time it was a bustling trade place for many nationalities including Chinese, Arabs, Indians, Europeans and Malays. In 1299 a Sumatran prince named Sang Nila Utama(Sri Tri Buana) landed on the then Temasek to set up his kingdom and apparently saw a lion . This made him name the island Singa pura a sanskrit name for Lion city. Thou' the island enjoyed trading prominence and good relations with other countries , its popularity faded.

Singapore's history museum

Sir Stamford Raffles
Centuries later a great man arrived with the intention to "return the ancient glory" ,Sir Stamford Raffles landed by the Singapore riverto set up a trading post. The rest as they say is "Mordern History" ;) . Raffles didnpot only set up a trading post but built a business quarter as well . That area is know popularly known as Boat Quay.

Boat quay

* few excerpts are taken from the travel brouchers from singapore tourism.

*pics courtesy - Google images


Vasanthan said...

Sir Stamford Raffles is the Founder of Singapore because he was the one who put Singapore in the world map, although it was Sang Nila Utama who found the land and named it Singapore.

Just my 2 cents.

Shalini Gowrisankar said...


Ah! That was some great information again. Thank you! :)

galli said...

Even though i haven't visited Singapore,but after going through ur travelogue,i really feel acquainted with the place.And seriously I will not miss any chance to go there.

Keep up the good work.

Shalini Gowrisankar said...


Thank you so much :)Glad to see you at my blog space , will visit yours soon. stay in touch:)

Anonymous said...

lets not forget, when sang buana utama discovered singapura, all the other malays at that time were hindus like him and spoke heavy sanskrit like him as well.

malays did not receive Islam until the 15the century when parameswara (who was a javanese hindu speaking sanskrit) converted to islam and all malays (who were at that time hindus speaking sanskrit) in his kingdom (i.e.tanah melayu) converted as well. so what gives?

i'm implying sang buana utama (which is also by the way is a malay name) can be considered malay or at least "serumpun" with malay just as much as a balinese, a javanese, indonesian and malay are considered of the same group in general.

also, pre-islamic malay, that is at the time sang buana utama discovered singapura, all the malays shared his religion (hindu) and his language (sanskrit)which means they are the same people. temasek is a malay name (old malay, if you wish) and so is singapura. till now, singa is the malay word for lion and pura is a javanese and old malay word for port or city.

this goes to show that the original people of singapura were and have always been malays..