The Entrance of Balai Nobat.
Upon the official opening of the Alor Star town in 1735 by HRH
Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin Muazzam Shah, the 19th Sultan
of Kedah (1710-1778), a number of early buildings had been completed
including the Kota Setar Palace, the Balai Besar, the Balai Nobat
and the State Mosque. The original design of the Balai Nobat could
not be ascertained but certainly it was built using wood.
During the reign of HRH Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Mukarram Shah, the
25th Sultan of Kedah (1854-1879), the new Balai Nobat consisting
of five-story building was built. The building was totally built
of wood with zinc roofing. During the reign of the HRH Sultan Abdul
Hamid Halim Shah, the 26th Sultan of Kedah (1882-1943), a new building
was built using concrete and metal. The architecture is the same
as the previous wooden building. The height was three-story and
the dome at its apex represents the Islamic element such as those
found on mosques. This new building was built in 1906.
The Balai Nobat keeps all the nobat musical instruments including
the serunai (wooden flute), nafiri, gendang (drum) and gong that
are played for specific ceremonies such as royal installations,
deaths and other official ceremonies.