Melaka Heritage Tip :: Hang Li Poh’s well a.k.a Perigi Raja

This ancient well is the oldest well in the Malay Peninsula, and it’a known as The King’s well (also known as Perigi Raja) or Hang Li Poh’s well or Sam Poh’s well is immediately adjacent to Poh San Teng temple.

It was constructed during the reign of Sultan Mansur Shah (from 1458-1477) for his fifth wife, a princess (there is official record in Ming dynasty on her existence) from China.

The well is said to never dry out even in the severest of droughts. During the Portuguese period it served as the main source of drinking water for Melacca. During a siege in 1551, Johore forces poisoned the well, causing the deaths of over 200 Portuguese soldiers. It was again poisoned in 1629 but its water became drinkable again after awhile.

During the Dutch occupation they turned this area into a restricted zone and constructed the present walls and guardhouses around the well (believed to have been completed by 1677). The square holes are for guns while the round ones are for transferring water outside the walls through chutes.

The British colonial neglected the well and unattended guardhouses became ruins under the natural forces.

According to anecdote, those people drinking the water from this well will return to Melaka in one day.

According to Malay Annals (Sejarah Melayu), the sultan dispatched Tun Perpatih Putih as his envoy to Ming (China) and carried a letter to the Emperor, it was mentioned that Hang Liu was sent to Malacca to be the bride of the Sultan. Li Po came to Malacca along with 500 other female attendants, many attendants later married officials serving Mansur Shah as Li Po married the sultan after she accepted the conversion to Islam. After their marriage, the sultan built a palace for Li Po and her attendants were given a permanent home at Bukit Cina which serves as a cemetery for the local Chinese. Princess Li Po became known as Hang Li Po when she was awarded the honorific “Hang” by the sultan of Melaka. Source: Wikipedia

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Category: Heritage @ Melaka