The site of many historical events, Padang Merdeka or Independence Field rose to prominence in 1844 after the completion of the Istana Besar. It is also known as Padang Bank (the bank refers to bank kerapu which was built nearby).
Padang Merdeka comes alive every year with the annual parade of Rejimen Askar Melayu DiraRja, in conjunction with the annual celebration of HRH Sultan of Kelantan's birthday (31st march).
Padang Merdeka in Kota Bharu is a historic site and has witness many major events. It was that the corpse of Tok Janggut Pahlawan Kelantan who fought the British was hung upside down in 1915. It was here too that the declaration of the country’s independence from British was made on 31st August 1957.
Padang Merdeka rose to prominence in 1844 after the completion of the Istana Balai Besar during the reign of Sultan Muhammad II (Long Senik). During that time, it was called Padang Kelupang and was the venue of Kota Bharu’s fresh market. Prior to 1844, Kota bharu had a floating market.