Lembah Bujang was once a renowned area even as early as the first century A.D. The trading factor which was rapidly growing between India and China assisted in developing this region, which was a short cut by a waterway en route from Sungai Merbok to Kelantan and the South China Sea. This area was also a key transit point for Indian merchants to travel to China and vice versa.
Gunung Jerai, located in this region was an important landmark for commercial ships entering Sungai Merbok within the areas of Lembah Bujang. At the foot of this highest mountain in Kedah were many waterfalls and sites suitable for settlements and religious ceremonies. This is was where Lembah Bujang developed as an ancient centre for development of politics and Hindu-Buddhism religion at a point in time.
why Lembah Bujang became one of the most important and preserved historical sites to date. Thus the Museum Department has conducted archaeological and excavation research efforts in reconstructing the ancient relics of the past.
Among the historical remains in Lembah Bujang, which covers an area of 224 km square, are the temples and artefacts of worship in the Hindu-Buddhism religion. There were several temples found there such as Candi Pengkalan Bujang, Candi Bukit Batu Pahat, Candi Pendiat and others.
Candi Batu Pahat, for example is believed to have been constructed in the 6th century A.D. The findings of archaeologists indicate that these temples were built using solid stones. A total of 50 temple sites have been found in Lembah Bujang. The temples are estimated to be built between the 4th and 12th century A.D. In preservation efforts of these historical monuments, the Museum Department had established the Lembah Bujang Archaeological Museum.
The Lembah Bujang Archaeological Museum was officially opened on 23 January 1980 by HRH Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah. The museum which is located on Bukit Batu Pahat, Merbok was built to carry out research work and archaeological excavations as well as to exhibit protohistoric or pre-Islamic artefacts from Lembah Bujang historic sites. Many of the Temple sites found have been rebuilt in the Museum area. This temple was rebuilt with stones found locally according to its original form.
Artefacts on display consisted of findings from the excavation activities of the temples. Artefacts found at the Museum are made up of trade materials brought by the Arab, Chinese and Indian traders as well as the local Malay Archipelago maritime traders, such as ceramics, glass beads and spices.
The preservation of Lembah Bujang is important from the perspective of cultural history of Kedah state and also provides an opportunity for researchers to study matters related to pre-Islamic trade and civilisation in Peninsula Malaysia.