Kota Marudu is a town and district located in Kudat
Division, Malaysia with approximately 1,917 square kilometres of land. It had a population of more than 66,374 people in 2010, made up mainly by Dusun (Kimaragang Dusun, Tobilung, and more), Rungus, Bajau, Orang Sungai, Suluk, and Chinese (mostly Hakka and Hokkien).
Kota Marudu is located in the northern region of Sabah and is bordered by the districts of Kudat, Kota Belud
, and Beluran
. It takes roughly 2 hours to drive from the city of Kota Kinabalu, located 130km away, to Kota Marudu. You can also drive to Kudat from Kota Marudu which takes about 1½ hours by road. Kota Belud is merely an hour away.
Kota Marudu was formerly known as 'Bandau', which derives from the Kadazan-Dusun world 'Mondou'. According to the local folklore, Mondou is believed to be a buffalo-like creature feared by the local residents. The district was eventually renamed 'Kota Marudu' after a fort built by the famous local warrior Shariff Osman on Marudu Bay to protect the area from British colonisation.
Places of interest in Kota Marudu include the famous Sorinsim Waterfall
, located 40 km from the main town, and Taman Sagabon, an agriculture research station on Buyut lake. You can also find South East Asia
's biggest solar power station in Kota Marudu.
The district celebrates an annual Maize Festival in honour of the agricultural product's contribution to the socio-economic development of Kota Marudu. The line-up of activities includes a variety of exhibitions, competitions, traditional sports, and the crowning of a maize fashion queen.