Istana Hinggap - Negri Sembilan Malaysia

Although not as grandiose as those found in Sumatra, where the tips of the horn-shaped roofs rise up high above the main structure, Istana Ampang Tinggi retains the structural layout of Minangkabau houses. The ancestors of the Negri Sembilan royal family came from Pagar Ruyung in Sumatra in the 17th century on the invite of local leaders to unite and rule the various regions under one sovereignty. The ruler of Negri Sembilan is addressed as Yamtuan.

Istana Ampang Tinggi or Istana Hinggap was commissioned by the 5th Yamtuan of Negri Sembilan, Yamtuan Ulin Ibni Almarhum Yamtuan Hitam to be presented as a gift to his daughter, Tunku Cindai. The palace was built between 1865 and 1870 at Ampang Tinggi ("High Dam") in Kuala Pilah.

This was also the temporary residence for the Yamtuan when he made his frequent visits to the region. The structure of the palace is extremely functional. It consists of a long veranda where public sittings were conducted and a private area for resting was allocated just behind the veranda . There are no internal partitions and temporary areas were allocated as and when occasions demanded. Such layouts are most appropriate when hosting functions and village gatherings. At either ends of the veranda are raised platforms; one for the Yamtuan's seat and the other for the local chiefs. The interior walls are decorated with lavish carvings of leaf and flower motifs interspersed with Quran verses and are particular to Minangkabau palaces. These are called 'dinding janda ria'.

After the death of Tunku Cindai's daughter in 1921, the status of the istana was handed from one relative to another and was abandoned in the 1930's.

In 1953, the 8th Yamtuan of Negri Sembilan - Tunku Abdul Rahman consented to the reallocation of Istana Ampang Tinggi to Seremban.The palace has now been relocated to the cultural complex in Seremban.

It is recommended to take day trips to Istana Ampang Tinggi as it's just 5minutes drive away from Seremban town.