The fifth Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Alauddin Sulaiman had a dream. He visualised a big palace made of wood and marble, with fifteen rooms to cater for countless royal functions. He would design for his Queen a spacious and beautiful courtyard where she could repose and enjoy her moment of quietude. He would also need a grand balcony from where he would stand behold, while addressing his subjects. In keeping with Malay architecture, the roofs of the palace would be adorned with trimmings of intricate wooden carvings.
In 1905, his dream came to life. Sultan Alauddin remained in residence at Istana Bandar for 35 years. From this palace he governed, received numerous important British and foreign dignitaries, held important official and religious ceremonies, and taught his descendants the strategies of becoming powerful rulers.
There are unmistakable marks of Islamic influence in its aesthetic design - a delightful blend of Indian and Middle Eastern elegance; all this inspired Sultan Alauddin in building his dream palace. Masterful craftsmen from China were shipped in, their skills utilised in the making of wooden carvings, adding a dash of Chinese brilliance in the general overall artistry.