Putrajaya is the new administrative center of Malaysia, which is situated some 20 kilometers to the south of Kuala Lumpur. It is an ultramodern city that has had the status of a federal territory, ever since the country’s key public institutions were moved there from the capital. Built as a completely new concept, it is an attempt to create the ideas of an ideal city: perfectly developed infrastructure, a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity, original architecture - created by the best architects of the world - against a stunningly beautiful landscape, and absolute environmental friendliness.
The idea to build a city outside the capital was first mooted in the 80s and was the brainchild of the country’s former prime-minister. The city was intended to take on the functions of an administrative center and relieve the rapidly growing Kuala Lumpur of these duties, and in the foreseeable future it was meant to become the main financial and trading center of Malaysia. The implementation of this courageous idea started in 1995, and less than twenty years later a new city was raised near the capital. It has a number of unbelievably beautiful buildings, man-made ponds and many parks. Nicknamed as the city of the future, Putrajaya embodies two concepts at the same time – ‘smart city’ and ‘garden city.’
The city is divided into several districts, which are intended as government districts, business and commercial centers, residential sectors and recreation areas. Each district has its own inimitable color, mainly thanks to the magnificent architecture that embodies traits of modern and traditional styles with a distinct predominance of Islamic motifs. One of Putrajaya’s most beautiful and important buildings is the government house (Perdana Putra). This resembles a palace from an Oriental fairy-tale, and houses the offices of the prime-minister and members of the cabinet.
Another architectural gem of the city is the gorgeous Putra Mosque, which was built using pink granite in the Persian style. It is one of the largest and modern mosques in Malaysia, with a manmade lake situated nearby. It is a pleasure to take a boat tour over this water using a rented traditional Malay boat, similar to a Venetian gondola. Other mind-boggling buildings of this wonder city include the Royal Palace (Istana Melawati) and the Palace of Justice (Istana Kehakiman).
One of Putrajaya’s most beautiful places is the central square Dataran Putra, where a large number of events devoted to national holidays are organized. It is a 300-meter-radius circle with an 11-pointed star in the center, each side symbolizing number of states that Malaysia had at the moment when it acquired independence. A smaller 13-edged star is inscribed inside it, with this number of edges corresponding to the current number of states in Malaysia.
Putrajaya has the status of a ‘garden city,’ thanks to the numerous green areas that occupy more than one third of its territory. The city is home to a series of themed parks with fresh lakes hidden deep inside, and with an abundance of varied tropical flora and fauna. The largest of these is the Botanical Garden, which stretches over 92 hectares and is home to more than 700 species of exotic plants.
In addition to its natural beauty, Putrajaya attracts visitors with its measured pace of life, contrasting starkly with the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur. The local streets are not crowded and are conspicuous for the absence of an endless stream of cars.
Getting there. Take a high-speed train KLIA Transit from the Central Railway Station (KL Sentral), or a bus E1 from the Central Market (Pasar Seni).