HISTORY OF LANGKAWI ISLAND
Langkawi Island or officianally known as the Permata Kedah is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. The island is a part of the state of Kedah, which is adjacent to the Thai border. On July 15, 2008, Sultan of Kedah had consented to the change of name to
Langkawi Permata Kedah in conjunction with his Golden Jubilee Celebration.
Another reference of the island's name has been made in the book The Legends of Langkawi by Tun Mohamed Zahir. It says that the term 'Langkawi' is a combination of two Sanskrit words, Langka (beauty) and Wi (innumerable). As per the book, Langkawi means the place of immense beauty. One more reference states that Langkawi means Eagles' Island. According to it, the term
Langkawi is a combination of two words Lang and Kawi. Where 'Lang' is a corrupt form of Malay word 'helang' which means eagle, 'Kawi' means marble. Since both eagles and marble are found in abundance in Langkawi, probably the place was named after the fact. Indeed, the Eagle Square at the island was built to commemorate its name. About 200 years ago, according to the folklore, a young woman, name Mahsuri, was accused of adultery and was executed by the people in spite of her earnest innocence.
Just before her death, Mahsuri laid a curse on the island that it will remain barren for seven generations.
That is about the mythological history of Langkawi.