Kota Mahsuri – Langkawi, Malaysia - Atlas Obscura

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Kota Mahsuri

Local history holds that a young woman, killed for a crime she did not commit, cursed this island. 


On Malaysia’s Langkawi Island, local folklore tells the tale of Mahsuri, a maiden who lived there in the late 18th century. The story goes that she was engaged to a warrior, Wan Darus, who left Langkawi for battle, and in his absence, Mahsuri befriended a wandering minstrel. Upon returning from battle, Wan Darus accused Mahsuri of infidelity, something she vehemently denied.

Mahsuri was tied to a tree for days while maintaining her innocence, but none of the islanders believed her. On the day of her execution, they tried many ways of killing her but nothing would puncture her skin. She finally told them to kill her with her father’s ceremonial keris, a type of dagger. When they stabbed her, white blood flowed from Mahsuri’s wound, signifying her innocence.

With her final dying breath, Mahsuri cursed the island of Langkawi for seven generations. Following her death, the island suffered many hardships, leading the local people to believe in her curse. There is a museum built around her grave, and a room portraying the story in life-size scenes.

Know Before You Go

Open daily from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. The museum is open for an entrance fee of 17RM for tourists and 12RM for locals.

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January 18, 2023

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