Muzium DiRaja is the Royal Museum of Alor Setar. It is located next to the Balai Besar and houses a collection of exhibits belonging to the Kedah royalty.
Muzium DiRaja served as a royal palace for the Sultan of Kedah and the royal family. It was erected by Sultan Muhammad Jiwa (1710-1778), the founder of Alor Setar, in 1735. As with many historical buildings in the centre of Alor Setar, Muzium DiRaja suffered some damage during the Bugis attack of 1770 and the Siamese invasion of 1821. During those times, the reigning sultan was forced into exile.
Originally built of wood, it was rebuilt by Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Mukarram Shah (1854-1879) in bricks around 1856. The sultan lived here with his consort Wan Hajar Wan Ismail. As a result, the palace was also known as Istana Mak Wan Besar. The architecture bears strong elements of Thai influence.
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