Bukit Nanas

Bukit Nanas station

Bukit Nanas, meaning "Pineapple Hill",[1] is a small hill in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It contains the only virgin tropical rain forest left in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. The Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve is located here, and is open to the public. There are jungle trails, a visitors centre, and a forestry museum.

A number of notable buildings, such as the landmark Kuala Lumpur Tower, are located on Bukit Nanas. The area is served by the Bukit Nanas Monorail station.


A trail in the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve

Bukit Nanas is known to be one of the earliest Malay settlements in Kuala Lumpur and the center of Malay power there. In around 1857, Raja Abdullah of Klang raised funds to open tin mines in the Ampang area, and in doing so, initiating the development of Kuala Lumpur as a major settlement on banks of the Klang River that would serve the mines further inland. In order to strengthen his authority in the area, Raja Abdullah then sent his Bugis lieutenant Syahbandar Yaseh with some armed men to serve as the garrison for Kuala Lumpur. Yaseh selected Bukit Nanas as the location to build a stockade in the 1860s.[2] A map of Kuala Lumpur sketched by Sir Frank Swettenham in 1875 showed a place marked as "Malay Rajah's house on hill" which is likely to be the Bukit Nanas stockade.[2] According to one story, pineapples ("nanas" in Malay) were grown all around the stockade as a deterrence against attackers.[3][4] The place, said to be originally called Bukit Gombak by this account, then came to be known as Bukit Nanas meaning "Pineapple Hill".[5][6]

A member of the Yaseh's garrison at Bukit Nanas however killed someone from the Sumatran Batu Bahara community, an incident that would later help sparked off the Klang War during which Yaseh was killed. The Sumatrans had suggested to Raja Mahdi, who at that time was involved in a dispute with Raja Abdullah, that they would support him should he wish to attack Raja Abdullah, an offer that Raja Mahdi happily accepted, and initiated the Klang War in 1867. In 1872 Raja Asal and Sutan Puasa, leaders of Sumatran Mandailing settlers in Selangor, also switched side to Raja Mahdi. Raja Asal laid siege to Bukit Nanas, where Tengku Kudin's men and various mercenaries including Europeans were stationed. The siege forced Tengku Kudin's men to try to escape, but they were captured at Petaling and killed. Yap Ah Loy, the Kapitan of Kuala Lumpur, however, managed to escape to Klang.[7] Kuala Lumpur was then taken by Raja Mahdi's forces and destroyed. Traces of a tunnel dating to the Klang War period have been found in Bukit Nanas.[8]

In 1906, 17.5 hectare of land on Bukit Nanas was gazetted as a forest reserve. Large parts however have since been used for the development of the Kuala Lumpur Tower and other purposes, and now only 9.3 hectares of the forest reserve remains.[5] It was initially known as Bucket Weld Forest Reserve, later renamed Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve.[9]

Two of Malaysia's many British colonial era schools were built on this hill in the early twentieth century. They are the St John's Institution first established in 1904 and Convent Bukit Nanas. St. John's Institution has been gazetted as a National Heritage Site by the federal government.[10][11] Another landmark on Bukit Nanas is the Roman Catholic St John's Cathedral.[12]

A cable car service was built in Bukit Nanas in the 1970s but it has been discontinued since the 1980s. In August 2012 the forest was closed to the public whilst the cable car was rebuilt. The forest trail has since reopened, however, the cable car service has not yet been restored as of January 2015.[13]

In 1996, the Kuala Lumpur Tower, which is the fifth tallest telecommunications tower in the world was built on the hill. It has an observation deck, a banquet floor and a revolving restaurant. The Bukit Nanas Monorail station opened in 2003.

Panoramic view of Bukit Nanas


  1. Rough Guides Snapshot Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur. Rough Guides. 3 August 2015.
  2. 1 2 Gullick, J.M. (June 1990). "The Growth of Kuala Lumpur and the Malay Communities in Selangor Before 1880" (PDF). Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. LXIII (1): 15–17.
  3. Vijenthi Nair (21 January 2015). "Secret tunnel believed to be escape route during conflict". The Star Online.
  4. "Secret tunnel from Bukit Nanas to Klang River found!". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  5. 1 2 "A walk through the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve". Rain Forest Journal.
  6. "Asal nama Bukit Nanas". Utusan Online. 13 May 1998.
  7. Tan Ding Eing (1975). A Portrait of Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press. pp. 82–85. ISBN 978-0195807226.
  8. Lee Choon Fai (20 January 2015). "Ancient tunnel found on Bukit Nanas". The Sun Daily.
  9. "Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve". Official Portal Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Archived from the original on 2016-09-18.
  10. "Selamat Datang ke Laman SJI". St John Institution.
  11. "SMK St John's gets national heritage status". The Star. 22 May 2010.
  12. Melo Villareal (June 24, 2012). "St. John's Cathedral in Kuala Lumpur".
  13. "Bukit Nanas cable car service may return". The Star. 23 January 2015.
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Coordinates: 3°09′10″N 101°42′09″E / 3.15278°N 101.70250°E / 3.15278; 101.70250

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