History & Getting there
Putrajaya, formerly known as Perang Besar, is located 25 km south of capital Kuala Lumpur and also 20 km from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). The federal seat of the government was shifted from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya in 1999 due to the overcrowding and congestion in the nation’s capital. The quality of the city's road links and infrastructure make travelling from the capital by car a breeze. Putrajaya now serves as the federal backbone and center of government in Malaysia. A brainchild of former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad, Putrajaya is located on the multi-media corridor and takes its name after the first Malaysian Prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, combined with “Jaya” which means victory in Sanskrit.
Putrajaya sits on a magnificent spread of 4,931 hectares on an axial tangent from northeast to southeast taking full advantage of the natural surroundings. Its undulating terrain offers commanding views of the landscape to visitors. About 70% of Putrajaya's land is covered with lush greenery and botanical gardens completed with tasteful wetlands and waters.
The MalaysiaExplorer.net team pick out the Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside Hotel (pictured), our recommended accommodation top-pick, for its panoramic lakeside views; traditional architectural beauty; and extraordinary quality of service
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Things to see & do: Putrajaya Wetland
Central to Putrajaya's design is the Putrajaya Wetland housing a stunning lake. Remarkably, the Putrajaya Lake was created to naturally cool the city in hot temperatures and as a means of water transport. The 650-hectare lake is also used for recreational purposes like fishing and water sports while supporting water transport. Today the Lake and Wetland are amongst the most distinctive features of the city.
Spanning a sprawling area of more than 300 hectares, the wetland ecosystem consists of twenty-four individual 'cells' constructed on the banks of the Bisa and Chua rivers respectively. The unique marsh and swampland was then nurtured in the cells through the transplantation of over seventy distinct varieties of wetland plant from Putrajaya's nearby wetland nursery. The environment was further enhanced through the introduction of twenty-four individual species of fish indigenous to Malaysia. This scheme was intended to further the diversity of wildlife in the area.
Taman Wetland is at the forefront of the park area and houses its own Nature Center, a souvenir shop, a wetland diorama, handicraft displays, an AV room and Wetland Café, along with a soaring 80 foot high lookout tower offering a sensational view from above of Putrajaya and its wildlife sanctuary. Be sure to climb the tower for a beautiful perspective of the wetland project! Remember also that Taman Wetland houses an impressive wildlife sanctuary containing various species of beautiful migrating birds making their journey form the Northern Hemisphere.
Putrajaya Wetlands were carved out from rubber and oil palm plantations. They also hold the distinction of being the single biggest man-made fresh water wetlands in Southeast Asia. The project was also pioneering within Malaysia itself, a country in which such a wide-ranging ecosystem had never previously been planned and built. The environment and ecosystem is a real testament to the ever growing human consciousness and understanding of the planet around us and the dire need for considered conservation. Wonders of architecture, design and wildlife combine here as a shining light for the application of technology in preserving delicate ecosystems.
The Putra Bridge spans over the lake and joins the Government Precinct in the north with other federal and state buildings in the south. The bridge also links the beautiful main Boulevard with Dataran Putra. It is an innovative piece of design and architecture in itself and is well worth a visit. Spanning 435 meters, the bridge was designed with inspiration from a similarly constructed walkway in Iran. Described officially as a distinctive twin deck bridge with multi pillar supports – the Putra bridge is not only the main source of access for vehicles, rail and even pedestrians, but is also home to many restaurants offering traditional as well as eclectic cuisine.
Architecture & Design
The Dataran Putra is a 300-meter circular symbolic core decorated with beautiful lighting and water features and is surrounded by key buildings including Masjid Putra and Perdana Putra (the office of Malaysia's prime minister), as well as the Putra Bridge and Promenade. Together these pieces of modern design and architecture represent Putrajaya's unique and impressive background and stand out as a symbol of Malaysia's growth.
The core of the city houses all federal Government buildings on the north. The Perdana Putra is located on Putra Boulevard overlooking the Dataran Putra. The Putrajaya International Convention Center (PICC), a magnificent structure with a unique shaped roof resembling a cowboy hat, adorns the other end of the boulevard.
The Dataran Putra is made of concentric circles and shows the progression of Malaysia and its status through the years since independence in 1957. The outermost circle is comprised of 11 sections, marking the outline of a beautiful brightly lit star that represents the 11 states as they existed in 1957. Inside lies another star with a total of 13 points, representing the 13 foudner states that existed at the formation of Malaysia in 1963. These progressive arrangements culminate in the middle as a circle said to symbolize the nation's aim of unity.
Standing right by the lake, the Masjid Putra Mosque is a harmonious mix of Islamic influences from Eurasian and North African countries including Turkmenistan and Morocco. One of the most striking features of this mosque is its minaret standing over one hundred meters tall! The main entrance to the mosque is patterned after the gates of Persia.
In total the mosque has 5 tiers, each representing the 5 pillars of Islam, as well as a sizeable outer courtyard named the “Sahn” commemorating the Prophet of the same name.
The landmark of Putrajaya is Mercu Tanda, a structure shaped like a time capsule symbolizing the beginnings of Putrajaya. Though its concept is modern and hi-tech the structure uses many contemporary and traditional motifs. The compound is beautifully landscaped with trees and water fountains.
From its unique wetlands to its urban lung with malls, gazebos, pergolas, fountains and modern buildings - Putrajaya offers a one-of-a-kind experience. The infrastructure surrounding Putrajaya is cutting edge and this extends to its hotels too, amongst the best anywhere on the Malaysian Peninsular.
Search the widest range of accommodation options and resorts in Putrajaya with MalaysiaExplorer.net's booking partner - also find verified guest reviews™ and image galleries.
Complete your trip with our travel essentials checklist: Tours, Flights and Car Rental
- Tailor all aspects of your holiday or visit to Putrajaya with comprehensive tour and package choices.
- Read our top tips on car rental to ensure you choose a suitable vehicle at a good price.
- Our guide to Malaysia flights is packed with advice and pointers on finding the best routes and super deals.
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