At the extreme point of land at the mouth of the River Selangor is a small village called Kampong Tanjung Keramat. Here can be found two of Kuala Selangor’s tourist attractions.
A keramat (or kramat) is a holy place or place of pilgrimage – often a grave but not necessarily so -and there are many of these all over Malaysia. The one in this village is called Makam Keramat Anak Dara (Virgin’s Grave) or Keramat Rubiah.
It sits on a small rocky hill, the sides of which have steepened by quarrying. The only way up to the keramat is via a flight of rickety wooden steps which have seen better days. I risked the steps but I was more concerned about a couple of monkeys sitting half way up.
The gate at the top was padlocked but there was not much to see anyway. The ‘grave’ is the white tiled rectangle inside the walled structure. The signboard outside relates the story of an 18 year old girl, Siti Aishah, who ran away from home to avoid a forced marriage. She was never found but her clothes were left hanging from a tree at this spot and her parents decided to build a shrine in her honour here.
Behind the keramat is a lake popular with fishermen. It was apparently formed as a result of excavations by the Japanese during the War. This could account for its name, Lake Shima (Japanese for ‘island’).
A stone’s throw from here is the other tourist attraction, Tanjung Keramat Fort or Bukit Belanda (literally ‘Dutch Hill’). This one is a larger hill and the site of a fort originally built by Sultan Ibrahim, the 2nd Sultan of Selangor, who reigned from 1782-1826. It was captured by the Dutch in 1784 who renamed it Fort Utrecht.
Unfortunately the authorities appeared to be behind in their maintenance schedule and the site was in need of a good grass cutting so I did not explore fully (scared of stepping on a snake!).
The ramparts of this fort would once have been bristling with cannons but some of these weapons seem to have found their way to the neighbouring village where they make fine garden ornaments.