Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ipoh or Paloh?

Ever wonder where the name of Ipoh comes from? I believe most Ipohans will encounter the name of 'Paloh' as well. So where is the word, Ipoh, comes from and what exactly is 'Paloh'?

Ipoh tree or pokok IpohIpoh tree

Ipoh is derived from 'Upas' or 'Ipoh tree' which grew abundantly along Kinta River in those days. Some said Ipoh trees existed in vicinity of Cowan Street.

Name: Ipoh / Upas tree.
Scientific Name: Antiaris Toxicaria.
Native: South East Asia, India and Sri Lanka.

orang asli
The sap of this plant is poisonous and was used by 'Orang Asli' (Indigenous people) to coat the tip of the darts of their blowpipes. It proves to be lethal should it come in contact with wound.
Currently there are only 2 Ipoh trees left in the entire Ipoh City.

ipoh free and pokok ipohIpoh tree

What is 'Paloh' then? Ask any aunty or uncle in Ipoh about 'Paloh' and sure they will tell you 'Paloh' is Ipoh. No one really knew how 'Paloh' came about.

Belief 1:
'Paloh' could have derived from the pools formed by fishing traps set by the olden day's villagers at Kampung Paloh and Chinese miners called them 'Pa-lo'. 'Pa' means dam while 'Lo' means basket. (Probably referring to traditional fish trap called 'Lukah')

Belief 2:
Another source claimed that 'Paloh' means 'pool of stagnant water'. In those days, dams were constructed along the Kinta Riverbank draw water from the Kinta River for fishing purpose. The place where these pools were located was later called Kampung Paloh.


cahingisore said...

in javanese, upas mean poison

Zaim WM said...

I have being told about Ipoh's pseudonym as Paloh by a senior citizen. His name is Haji Ishak or well known as Ayoi who lives at Kampung Kuala Pari Hilir. He told me that Paloh was one from Ipoh's Old Name.

He also told to me about Kampung Paloh, Tin Mines in Kuala Pari area, Kuala Pari and its surrounding areas' history, as well as Train-Motorcar mishap at November 1986 in Kuala Pari and also Islamic Educations.

Nei, Nei Hai Pin Towe?
(You, where do you want to go?)

(Paloh, or Ipoh.)

He said...


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