Mahsuri’s Tomb and Kota mahsuri

Mahsuri's tomb - kota mahsuri
Mahsuri's tomb - kota mahsuri

The Enigmatic Legend of Mahsuri

The legend of Mahsuri is probably the most famous legend of Langkawi, and the Mahsuri’s tomb and museum bring this lore to life. The fable narrates the story of Mahsuri, a beautiful young girl who lived in Langkawi about 200 years ago. She married a warrior named Wan Derus, who left to fight in a war shortly after their wedding.

A Tale of Beauty, Betrayal, and a Curse

While he was away, a travelling poet named Deramang arrived in Langkawi. Mesmerised by his poetry and singing, Mahsuri’s parents asked the poet to train her and allowed him to stay at their home. Wan Mahora, the wife of a high-ranking official, disapproved of this, and she accused Mahsuri of adultery with Deramang. It is said that Wan Mahora did this because of her jealousy towards Mahsuri’s beauty and youth. Wan Mahora’s husband believed the accusations of his wife and sentenced Mahsuri to death by stabbing. On her deathbed, she cursed Langkawi with seven generations of misfortune.

The Echo of Mahsuri’s Curse

This legend’s popularity is partly due to its likeness to the actual history of Langkawi. Soon after her death in the 18th century, Langkawi was occupied by the Siamese army. To discourage the Siamese, the residents of Langkawi burnt their rice fields and poisoned their wells to remove their main source of income therefor becoming less of an attractive bounty, unfortunately their efforts were in vain. Langkawi gained prosperity as a tourist attraction only in the late 20th century, after the passing of seven generations since the curse.

Makam Mahsuri: A Sanctuary of Remembrance

Today, Makam Mahsuri is a poignant reminder of this legend, drawing visitors from afar to delve into the island’s storied past. Situated a mere stone’s throw from Kuah town, this memorial complex offers more than just a glimpse into Mahsuri’s story; it’s a portal to Langkawi’s soul.

Melodies of the Past: The Music Room

Within the hallowed grounds of Makam Mahsuri lies a music room where the strains of traditional Malaysian music breathe life into the legend. This auditory journey transports visitors back in time, offering a sense of connection to Mahsuri’s era and the cultural tapestry of Langkawi.

Relics of a Bygone Era

The museum’s diorama exhibit adds a tangible dimension to Mahsuri’s story, showcasing the very weapons narrating her life’s final chapter. These relics are a stark reminder of the price of beauty and innocence in a world marred by jealousy and deceit.

Journey to Makam Mahsuri

Besides the tomb, the museum has a music room where Malaysian women play traditional music live. The complex also has a diorama exhibit that is said to contain the weapons used to execute the maiden. Also known as Makam Mahsuri, the tomb is located 10 kilometres from Kuah town on the Jalan Makam Mahsuri (Rd 120). It is accessible by a short 20-minute taxi ride.