The best known legend of Langkawi is of Mahsuri, a pretty maiden who lived some 200 years ago. She died under tragic circumstances for a crime she did not commit. She died a victim of a conspiracy plotted against her out of jealousy for her magnetic personality. She was accused of committing adultery and was sentenced to death by the Chief of Langkawi, Dato Karma Jaya, her own father-in-law.
As proof of her innocence, some people say, white blood was seen gushing out of her wound during execution. Others maintain there was the sudden appearance of white mist that enveloped the spot where she was executed, which it was believed was a sign of mourning of her innocence.
Mahsuri is best remembered for her curse on Langkawi which was uttered before she died. She had said, "For this act of injustice Langkawi shall not prosper for seven generations to come."
Decades after Mahsuri's death, Langkawi experienced a period of tribulation with her population dwindling in size. The island became a desolate place, beset by series of misfortunes. It was not able to regain its splendour for a long period of time.
Many believe the curse is now over with the numerous development projects undertaken on the island.
Maybe some of the authorities thought: "Mahsuri got Langkawi into trouble, she might also be helpful to make the way out of it".
And so, the tomb of Mahsuri is since many years the main tourist attraction on the island.
That none of the 2 million(?) tourists that arrive every year in Langkawi will miss out this highlight they are packed into buses. Almost everyone that is booking a round island trip will also see this grave. Even some of the locals come to pray here regularly.
Because a grave alone would not be so interesting, there where built a view houses around and over night it became "Kota" Mahsuri what means Mahsuri's Town. Because every city has some shopping opportunities Kota Mahsuri is no exception. There are some souvenir shops around and "downtown" is even a small fast food outlet.
After entering the place you can find on the right hand side the family tree. Not really, I mean there are some pictures nailed to the wall that show some members of the following generations of Mahsuri.
What I always wonder about is that it needs two to commit adultery. So, what happened to the guy who was involved? I actually never heard a word about him.
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Another attraction in Mahsuri Town is the traditional "Kampung House"(village house). It is built from wood and certainly Mahsuri was living in a house like this, while she was still alive.
It is one of the most fancy houses of this style I have ever seen on Langkawi or anywhere else in the state of Kedah.
Once you managed to open your shoestrings you can enter the house over a wooden ladder and get a picture how a traditional house looks like from the inside.
Like most houses in our world it has places to sleep.
The very special thing is the bathroom. It is just a grate in the floor. With the help of an empty coconut shell or some other container people where poring water over their. This water could easily run through the floor. In this Mahsuri house you can not do that anymore, otherwise you would get the cemerlang player who is sitting underneath the house wet.
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Underneath the House & The Surrounding
What you can find underneath the house, shows that some very smart people were involved. They solved two problems with on go.
The space below the building looked very empty and there where some leftovers from the artifacts in the rice museum. Because nobody is visiting the rice museum anyway these rice planting and harvesting tools are just set up like they would have been there all the time. No explanetions. On the other hand there will allways be somebody who will explain what this is all good for and that means, it also has a very aducating character.
If you are not interested in the tools just walk pass the old rubber press to "Mahsuri's Well". Ther you can at least watch the pady growing.
That's it about the tomb and we have again learnt a lot.
Inthe meantime there is also a musical about the legend of Mahsuri. It is performed in Kuala Lumpur since July 2002 in English language. Here, on Langkawi we don't here about it at all. Why? Just read the legend a second time carefully.
After you have seen the entire Kota and while you are waiting for the bus driver who is talking to his neighbor in the cofe shop, you can use the time to do some shopping.
What about a t-shirt with the word "Langkawi" printed onto it or some spices and roots. Here you can buy the the famous "Tongkat Ali"(Ali's stick) root, which is believed to help grandfather on the bicycle.
My last question about the tomb of Mahsuri is:
If there ar two million visitors on the island every year and 50 % are visiting the tomb - this makes RM 2,000,000.- turnover. In this case there should be a few bucks left for a bucket of white paint.