The Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway in Gelugor (12 March, 2013)
Gelugor (GPS: 5.38003, 100.30785; Tamil: குளுகோர்) is a district of Penang located immediately outside George Town. Until the 1960's, the city limits of George Town ends at the Gelugor Roundabout. Gelugor itself is said to start from that roundabout. Gelugor includes the Malay settlements of Sungai Gelugor, and the hilly area called Bukit Gelugor. The Gelugor postcode zone encompasses an even wider area that includes Batu Uban, Pantai Jerejak, Sungai Nibong and Sungai Dua.
Gelugor was first cleared and developed for agriculture - coconut groves and cow herding - by David Brown, whose estate covers much of the land in the central east coast of the island. The people living there comprised Indians who were estate workers for Brown, and the Malays in the traditional estuarine settlement of Sungai Gelugor.
Flat Koperasi Sungai Gelugor aka Kampungku, the old face of Gelugor (27 October, 2012)
In the 20th century, the land in Gelugor was gradually converted from agriculture for other uses. Nevertheless as late as the mid 1950's, Gelugor was still a rural part of Penang. An army camp was set up at the southern part of Sungai Gelugor. In the late 1960's, Malaysia's second university, USM, was established in Gelugor, in an area to be known as Minden, which was also part of the army camp.
When Bukit Gelugor was developed for housing, many who bought there considered the place "out of town". An enclave was created for government housing, and was named Brown Garden, to commemorate the original land owner. Other parts of Bukit Gelugor became government land, and government quarters were built at Hilir Pemancar, along with a transmission station.
The grazing land and animal husbandry dwindled in size into a few pockets within Gelugor, the last significant remainder of David Brown's legacy being Kampung Buah Pala, a traditional Indian village that endured to as recent as 2009.
View of Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah in Gelugor (27 October, 2012)
The affluent neighborhood of Minden Heights and the whole area of Universiti Sains Malaysia are all within Gelugor. Gelugor proper ends at Batu Uban, and from there Sungai Nibong begins. However, the Gelugor postal code includes all of Sungai Nibong Besar, Pantai Jerejak, Pesta Site, as well as the residential neighborhoods of Lip Sin Garden, Taman Pekaka and parts of Bukit Jambul.
Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah is the main thoroughfare in Gelugor. The Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway and Jalan Bukit Gambir are the auxiliary arteries allowing traffic to bypass Gelugor. The town of Gelugor is nothing more than a few shophouses along Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, and is centred near the Brown Garden junction, close to Masjid Jamek Sungai Gelugor.
Sri Veerama Kaliamman Devasthanam, the biggest Hindu temple in Gelugor (27 October, 2012)
Until development reached Gelugor in the late 1960's, the area was inhabited mostly by Malays and Tamils. The Indians, whose primary occupation was cattle breeding, called this area Perai Tholam, meaning Large Estate. One can still see traces of the early Tamil settlements in Gelugor through the Hindu shrines along the road. The biggest has been made a proper temple called Sri Veerama Kaliamman Devasthanam.
The Penang Aquarium, operated by the Fisheries Department, used to be located in Gelugor in the 1970s. It was closed down following the discovery of cracks. A new Penang Aquarium had since been opened by the department in Batu Maung.
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