On 14 – 16 September, over 120 students from BPS403 Higher Certificate in Buddhist Studies and Dhamma School for Adults embarked on a study tour to Bujang Valley, Kedah. The entourage was led by Nalanda founder Bro. Tan to develop a better understanding of Kedah’s rich history through its archaeological and historical sites.
Upon arrival at NEO Centre Sungai Petani, Bro. Tan provided a detailed narrative of ‘Srivijaya’ and other ancient South-east Asian kingdoms for students to gain a deeper appreciation of the links between trade routes, economic growth, social evolutions and religious ideologies over the last two millennia. The cultural and social effects of traders who once sailed from India across the Bay of Bengal and built settlements in Bujang Valley can still be felt today.
The group visited several archaeologically important sites such as Sungai Batu, Merbok, and Semeling, located in Kuala Muda district of Kedah. Besides historical sites, the students also travelled to the fishing village of Tanjung Dawai where they could vividly imagine the trade ships arriving and manoeuvring their way to safety upon sighting the grand Gunung Jerai.
We express our deepest gratitude to Bro. Tan for a truly marvellous and enlightening learning experience. We also thank the organisers, participants, and volunteers of Sungai Petani Branch for making this a memorable and impactful trip. Sadhu!