Fort Canning – Ghosts of Forgotten Singapore
Come with us to discover the multi-layered history, mysteries and legends of this green oasis, known to the Malays as Bukit Larangan (Forbidden Hill) and one of Singapore’s greatest treasures.
Travel across 700 years to meet the shadows of the Rajahs of the ancient city of Singapura as well as of our early colonial settlers to learn the story of the hills transformation from a royal residence to the seat of colonial government to a military base during World War II. Even with the interventions of our ever-changing world and its current incarnation as vibrant Fort Canning Park, it is still where the ghosts of a forgotten Singapore are ever present.
We will start from the north-eastern slope to wander through our former, and oldest Christian cemetery grounds, where we will meet a few of the prominent people buried there and see the many tombstones that testify to the diversity, struggles, successes and sorrows of our former colonial residents.
Then onto a mysterious keramat (shrine) – that of Iskandar Shah, the last of the kings of old Singapura, and where Singaporeans of all races and religions still pay homage and offer prayers.
From there, we will climb up through a lush oasis of majestic trees to the site of Raffles home with its lovely vistas as well as practical artefacts from a past era – the lighthouse, flagstaff and time ball – to be carried away by tales of ancient kings and bathing princesses, the accounts of early Chinese explorers and traders and British colonial settlers.
On the top of the hill we learn about the dramatic events which took place in its underground bunker in the days leading up to the Japanese invasion in 1942. And why the occupying Japanese were very wary of the spirits of the hill.
Cost: SG$50 ANZA Member, SG$60 Non-Member