The old royal town of Jugra

The old royal town of Jugra

MALAYSIA - Jugra in Banting might be a small town, but visitors to this former royal town often describe it in superlatives -- the cleanest air, greenest flora and fauna, best place for paragliding, and a peaceful and united neighbourhood.

The people of Jugra are not only fiercely protective of nature and the environment, but also their neighbours, friends, and families.

And who can blame them, when they have lived alongside each other for decades?

Stall owner Hawa Abdul Majid, 39, who was born and bred in Jugra, said home would always be the small and sleepy town, which was once the capital of Selangor.

"Here, we live peacefully amongst our Chinese and Indian neighbours, and I will never trade this for anything. If you want to see what multiracial and multi-religious Malaysia is all about, come to Jugra, because we are a living example of that."

She said Jugra was still a small town surrounded by kampung houses, a hill that was packed with visitors on the weekends because of paragliding activities, a river mouth and many historical places.

Paragliding at the hill has been growing steadily over the last decade, and many competitions, both local and international, have been held there.

Bukit Jugra, 140m above sea-level, served as a landmark for navigators along the Straits of Malacca for centuries.

It was also known as Parcelar Hill to foreign navigators. For years, the hill has also been one of the spots for the sighting of the new moon for Ramadan.

However, even Jugra residents are unsure how the town originally got its name.

Goh Ah Lek, 44, whose mother and siblings still reside in Jugra, said even his parents and grandparents did not know how the town got its name.

"When we were children, we used to ask our parents what Jugra meant, and they didn't have the answer. Many residents here also do not know how the town got its name.

"What is attractive about Jugra is that it is surrounded by greenery and the air is very fresh. And everyone knows each other."

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said Jugra is a town rich in history.

It was once the administrative and royal capital of Selangor, under the rule of Sultan Abdul Samad, the state's fourth sultan.

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