Temerloh is a town in Central Pahang, Malaysia in Temerloh district. Located about 130 kilometres (81 mi) from Kuala Lumpur along the Kuantan-Kuala Lumpur trunk road, Temerloh is the second largest town in Pahang after Kuantan. It is situated at the junction of the Pahang River and the Semantan River. The district consists of two areas, the 1,442-square-kilometre (557 sq mi) Municipal Council Area (64.08%) and the 808-square-kilometre (312 sq mi) outer Municipal Council Area (35.92%). Today, "Temerloh" usually refers to the territory under the administration of Temerloh Municipal Council or Majlis Perbandaran Temerloh, which includes the smaller towns adjacent to the city such as Mentakab, Lanchang, Kuala Krau and Kerdau. Temerloh district is bordered by Maran district on the east, Bentong on the west, Jerantut on the north, and Bera on the south.
An old town with some colonial buildings and shop houses, the town has prospered in recent years as a transportation hub and new industrial center. There have been many new commercial and industrial hub built in Temerloh in recent years. Cutting travel time in half, the newly completed East Coast Expressway links the town to Kuala Lumpur and Kuantan and adds to the growth of Temerloh.
Temerloh has been rebranded as "Bandar Ikan Patin", which literally means "Patin Fish Town". Patin ( Pangasius sp.), a type of freshwater catfish is a local delicacy highly sought after in the country. Patin fish is famous for its juicy taste and can be considered one of the best freshwater fish in Malaysia and world.
According to Haji Zakaria Hitam, the modern-day Temerloh developed from a small settlement called Kuala Semantan. Kuala Semantan was actually a small old village at the bank of Semantan River. According to the folk story, the name "Semantan" came from the word "Seman Tahan". Osman, or "Seman Tahan" as the villagers called him, is a Bruneian settled at the small river connected to Pahang River. He mastered the martial art of Silat, thus many people came all the way and settled here to learn silat from him. As "Seman Tahan" became popular among the villagers, they named the river "Seman Tahan River". Thus, the town near the river was called "Kuala Seman Tahan" (Kuala in Malay means river confluence). The name "Seman Tahan" gradually becomes "Semantan".
The Temerloh district, on the other hand was established on July 1, 1889, when J. P. Rodger, the first Pahang Resident divided Pahang state into six smaller administration areas (districts): Pekan, Rompin, Kuala Pahang, Kuantan, Temerloh and Hulu Pahang. The capital of Temerloh district then (1 July 1889) was Kuala Semantan. As Kuala Semantan begin to develop rapidly, the name Kuala Semantan was thought unsuitable as the kuala only refers to the river confluence. Hence, Kuala Semantan changed its name to Temerloh. Before the British colonization, Temerloh was governed by several headvillagers (Village level) and Orang Besar (dignitaries) under the Pahangs administration of the "Orang Besar System". The Temerlohs people (then) were mainly Malay and Orang Asli, however there were also small groups of Chinese and Arabs there.
Temerloh town sits at the confluence of the Pahang and Semantan Rivers, which is why it is rich with freshwater fish such as Patin (silver catfish), Jelawat, Baung, Tenggalan, Lampam, Belida, Tilapia and Kerai. As the home of the Patin fish, the Temerloh folks have special dishes that bring out the best taste of the fish. Besides, a visit to the Sunday Bazaar Pekan Sehari is not to be missed. Located along the towns riverside, Pekan Sehari is a place where all kinds of goods and commodities can be found and sold at a reasonable price. In fact this Pekan Sehari is said to be the longest and biggest in the whole of Pahang. The sellers normally come by riverboat early in the morning, and take their place before the customers arrive about 7:00 in the morning. Sunday mornings are busy when boats come and go ferrying passengers and goods to the Pekan Sehari.
Apart from its variety of fish, the town of Temerloh also offers a variety of jungle and wild-life experiences. The Kuala Krau Wildlife Reserve, a virgin forest reserve with untouched flora and fauna, is also where you can find the Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre and the Seladang Breeding Center. Gunung Senyum Recreational Forest, a paradise for nature and cave lovers is just about 20 kilometres (12 mi) away. Located at Bukit Rengit, Lanchang, the Deerland Park is where you can learn not only about deer, feed and touch them, but also other animals such as ostrich, peacock, tuna deer, nilga deer (India) and wood-duck (Canada). Home to the albino monkey, porcupine, black leopard, civet, the Malayan gharial crocodile and alligators, the towns mini zoo covers over 1.5 hectares (3.7 acres) of land, and is located at Jalan Bahagia, near Kampung Sungai Rabit. Theres also a recreational park located right in the middle of Temerloh town, behind the Courthouse, called Taman Bandar (Town Park). Among the facilities provided here are skate-board track, playground, jogging trails and a mini stadium.