The majestic hill soaring towards the Terengganu River estuary and South China Sea has been a witness to the historical development of Kuala Terengganu. Its strategic location made this hill an important government administrative centre and defence in the past.
The origin for the name Bukit Puteri could not be traced, but in the history of Terengganu, Bukit Puteri has been in existence since the 16th century. This proves its importance o to the Terengganu Government in facing foreign enemies, especially those coming from the sea.
During the reign of Sultan Mansur II (1831-1836), Sultan Muhamad I (1836-1839) and Sultan Umar (1839-1876) Bukit Puteri was a stronghold during a civil war that occured at the time. It covers an area of 0.688 hectares and is approximately 200 metres high.
On top of this hill is a pole to raise the royal flag during ceremonies. The first flag pole was installed in 1899 during the reign of Sultan Zainal Abidin III. The pole is approximately 18 metres tall and planted 2 metres deep. However, the existing pole is not the original pole but was built during the reign of Sultan Sulaiman Badrul Alam Shah.
At the bottom of the flag pole, there is a remnant of an underground chamber or cave. It is most possibly an ancient place to store ammunitions and gun powder. At the top is a remnant of a king's throne as the command centre.
On top of this hill there is also a light column or a lighthouse to mark the Estuary for the ships at sea. In the past there were several cannons placed on the embankment overlooking the sea and the land. Now the cannons are abandoned on the ground without care and some have already been moved to several places in Kuala Terengganu and also to the Badariah Palace as decorations.
The cannons are of various make such as Portuguese, Spanish and some were made by the Malays. Among the names of the cannons in Bukit Puteri are Sri Johor, Sri Buih, Laila Majnun and Sri Jamlor.
Another historical mark which still exists on Bukit Puteri to date is the Genta Besar (Big Bell).This bell has always been on Bukit Puteri since the era of the old monarchies. If damaged, the bell would be replaced. The present bell was made during the reign of Sultan Zainal Abidin III in 1908.