Istana Iskandariah (Iskandariah Palace) is located in Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar, Perak, is the official residence of the Sultan of Perak. Situated about 2.5 km from Kuala Kangsar, the palace is surrounded by beautiful structures and is the land mark of this Royal Town.
The scenic rolling hills on the embankment of the Perak River with its crystal clear water augment peace and tranquillity. It is here that the famous palaces in the state of Perak are located, including Istana Iskandariah. The palace was built circa 1930s on a hill known as Changkat Negara.It was built on the site of the former State Palace, which was demolished for the new palace.
The new palace was completed in 1933 and was named Istana Iskandariah after Sultan Iskandar who decreed its construction. Before its completion, Sultan Iskandar resided temporarily in Istana Kenangan before moving into the new palace. Since 1933, Istana Iskandariah has been the official residence of all Sultan of Perak who have been crowned as the State Rulers.
Istana Iskandariah has an attractive and unique architectural design. Its architecture resembles the Islamic Indo-Saracenic style blended with the architectural style of West Asia. This can clearly be seen in the motifs on its pointed arches and decorations on the minarets as well as its onion-shaped dome.
The foreign influence in its architecture was probably due to the experiences of the British architects who were influenced by the beauty of Indo-Islamic architecture. Later, this architecture was introduced into Malaya in the early 20th century with the construction of buildings such as Mosques, the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station and Istana Iskandariah.
Istana Iskandariah was built facing the sunrise and overlooking the pristine waters of Perak River. The Palace Building has 2 floors, the ground floor and fist floor known as the Roof Lounge. The ground floor houses several functional areas such as the Audience Hall, State Banquet Room, Dining Room, Aide-de-camp's Office, and others. There are also two large areas used as the Royal Council Chamber and Music Hall.
On the first floor are the sitting room and play area of the princes and princesses, royal chamber and other rooms. Access to this level is by a staircase and lift. Whereas the second floor of the palace is the most important as it houses the Balai Nobat, Balairung Seri (conference hall) and Singgahsana (throne), which are important, particularly for the investiture and coronation ceremonies, and others. This particular floor also situates a cloak room and a sitting room for the His Majesty the Sultan. With its architectural beauty and it being the largest of the palaces, it is therefore fitting that it has become the official palace of the Sultans of Perak since 1933 to date.
In the vicinity of Istana Iskandariah are other palaces that have played an important role in the history of Perak, such as the Istana Kenangan, which now houses the Royal Museum, and Istana Hulu, also known as Istana Kota. Istana Kota was used as the school building for Sekolah Kebangsaan Kota in 1957. The school later had its name changed to Sekolah Kebangsaan Raja Perempuan Mazwin in 1970.