A sanatorium (also spelled sanitorium and sanitarium) has different meanings depending on the region of residence (a kind of health resort). Hill stations are areas built in elevated ground by European colonizers as an escape from the tropical heat of the lowlands. In Malaysia, they are reserved for top colonial officials and their families; other residents must submit a formal letter to allow them access to these exclusive spots.”
Maxwell Hill or Bukit Larut situated in Taiping. Perak is one of the oldest Hill Resort in Malaysia. It is situated along the Bintang Range and ‘Gunung Hijau’ (1,448 meters above sea level) is the highest peak here. It is located in the wettest part and highest rainfall in the country. J.W.W Birch was the first European to reach the top of Bukit Larut (Birch Hill) in 1875. Maxwell Hill was officially opened by William Edward Maxwell, the then Deputy Resident of Perak in 1884. It is 1,250 meters above sea level and has a temperature of between 15 to 25 degrees celsius. 
Its cold weather and fresh air makes it a first choice resort during the colonial days. As such the Residents and British Officials called it the Swiss Alps when the flowers bloom.
There are a number of bungalows and rest houses there. They are :  
(i).Tea Garden  (ii). Gunung Hijau Rest House (Speedy’s Chalet)  
(iii). Banglo Beringin (Watson Rest House) (iv)Banglo  Angkasa (The Federal Bungalow)    
(v). Banglo Cendana (‘The Hut’) (vi).Banglo Tempinis   (Cottage / Treacher)      
(vii).Sri Kayangan (‘The Box’)   (viii).State Government  Hostel.

A number of economic activities were carried out during the colonial times Ninety percent (90%) of the activities were carried out by Indian labourers who came from India. They were involved in tea, vegetable and flower cultivation, cattle rearing and also in the transportation and construction sectors. They also worked as security guards and general workers in the bungalows and rest houses. As such Bukit Larut was called as The First Indian Style ‘Hill Station’ at one Time. It was estimated that about 120 Indian Families stayed in Bukit Larut during the 1900’s. The British provided quarters for them.
Leonard Wray a geologist cum botanist who was the Superintendent Officer Government Hill Garden, Bukit Larut / Maxwell Hill (1882) at that time was the first person to set up a Botanic Garden there. Before metallic road was laid in 1948, the British used ‘Pony Back ‘ and ‘Sedan Chair’ as a source of transport for those who wanted to go up the hill.  
W.J.G. Warbeck British officer served as overseer botanical gardens, streets and public buildings at bukit larut ( Maxwell Hill) in 1883. Bukit Larut was gazetted as a Permanent Forest Reserve in 1910. The name of Maxwell Hill was changed to Bukit Larut in 1979.
The journey up 13 kilometer from the base to the top of Bukit Larut using ‘Government Land Rover ’ takes about 30 minutes. Maxwell Hill still retains its colonial origins with its old bungalows and gardens. Maxwell Hill is ideal for birdwatchers and nature lovers, as the area provides a welcoming environment for the local wildlife.
Birch Hill – Larut Hill – Maxwell Hill – Bukit Larut (now)


The construction of this temple was laid by brothers Mr. Rama Pillay and Mr. Kochdai Pillay who came from South India to work as mandors (supervisors) here. The temple was believed to be built around the 1890’s and is about more than 120 years old.
Ninety percent (90%) of the workers during the colonial days in Bukit Larut were Indians who came from South India. It was estimated that about 120 Indian Families lived in Bukit Larut during the 1900’s .The British provided quarters for them. During that period these workers were involved  in tea ,vegetable and flower cultivation, cattle rearing and also in the transportation and construction sectors. They also worked as security guards and general workers in the rest houses and bungalows.
Later on during the 1900’s more Indian workers worked and stayed in Bukit Larut. As the Indian community there were mostly Hindus, they needed a Hindu Temple to pray and carry out religious activities at that time. As such the British gave them a plot of land to build a Hindu Temple. They were given their basic amenities.
At first the Indians there built a small temple with the permission and help of the British. Gradually the British assisted them to build a bigger temple. Most of the materials used were the remaining ones from the construction of the bungalows and rest houses .The British also provided a small building as a nursery for the workers children beside the temple.
This temple was the first to be built on the oldest Hill Resort in Malaysia. The main granite deity Kaliamman (inner sanctum) of temple is about 70 years old. The temple stands on a 2 acres land. The temple was officially registered under the societies Act 1966 in accordance with the organization rules and regulation 1984 at the Registry of Societies of Malaysia on 25th April 1997.

Registration No: 4282/97 – The Registry of Societies of Malaysia
Land Status: Annual Permit Document by the Forestry Department, Perak.

Copyright by                  :        SELVARAJU A/L M. PICHAIMUTHU

Contact Number                   :       +6 016 – 4384358   

Copyright by Selvaraj@2012