Legend of Mountains Cave of Legends
Legend of the Beach of Skulls Of Farts
Centuries ago skilled
storytellers on the mainland made a living from spinning wondrous,
spectacular tales of folklore, history, myths and legends of celestial
beings, demons, warriors and wars, giants, beautiful maidens and gallant
heroes. Pulau Langkawi was inaccessible to local folks in those days.
LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAINS
Gunung Raya & Gunung Mat Chincang
There are two well known mountains in the heart of Langkawi Island,
Gunung Raya and Gunung Mat Cincang. Added to the two and appearing
to separate them is a hill called Bukit Sawar.
If you look hard at Gunung Mat Cincang located at 700m above sea level,
you can actually see it is smiling to its 850m high neighbour, Gunung
(the island's highest mountain).
According to folklore, these two mountains together with Bukit Sawar (Sawar
a smaller mountain, were all human beings at one time with respective
of Mat Raya, Mat Cincang and Mat Sawar.
Such good friends they were that they all shared the same martial arts
As the story goes, Mat Cincang's daughter was engaged to Mat Raya's son.
With this Mat Raya planned a grand feast to celebrate the engagement of
his daughter to Mat Cincang's son.
Unfortunately, the young man was caught flirting with another maiden at
the party, an indiscretion that resulted in a raging battle between the
childhood friends. During the fight everyone became violent and pots and
were flung at one another. A big pot of gravy was broken and the
spilled on the ground.
The spot where the gravy spilled is known as Kuah (gravy
in Malay), Kisap (or 'to
seep in') became the name of the village where the gravy seeped through
and where the pot was broken as became known as Belanga Pecah (broken
A cauldron of hot water was also spilled on the ground and the spot is
as Air Hangat Village (Hot Water Village) . Where the engagement ring
was flung became known as 'Tanjung Cincin' or Cape of the Ring.
The straits now separates Langkawi from Terutau Island in Thailand.
The fight between the two families went on until it was intervened by
who eventually was able to stop the fight. Both Mat Raya and Mat Cincang
apologised for the damage incurred. In remorse, they chose to be
transformed into mountains, immobile and benign.
Soon, Mat Sawar followed suit. If you look at the two mountains today,
you will notice that little Mat Sawar Hill is wedged in between,
probably to prevent
another fight between the two.
The marriage turned out to be a prosperous one, for Mat Raya's son
over leaf and became a devoted husband.
THE CAVE OF LEGENDS
The Gua Cerita is one of the many fascinating limestone caves
situated in the north-east of Langkawi.
It comprises two limestone caves, one above the other and faces the sea.
There are a number of legends associated with the Gua Cerita. Here we
one of which was related to Merong Maha Wangsa in the episode involving
the Roman and the Chinese Emperors. The other is one concerns a strange
creature called Gedembai
You will see faintly legible on the walls
Jawi inscriptions that date back to 1754 AD.
You will also see rocks that somewhat resemble furniture
Gua Cerita & Merong Maha Wangsa
The story goes that the emperors of Rome and China had a plan to marry
their children. The scheme was opposed by the legendary Garuda (phoenix)
who saw the union of the two great powers as a threat to the other
smaller kingdoms. The Garuda was determined to quash the scheme; what it
to abduct the Chinese princess and hid her in a cave believed to be on
Langkawi Island. It then set to attack and destroy the Roman fleet
Merong Maha Wangsa with the Roman Prince on it. Merong Maha Wangsa is
said to be of mythical origin, the descendents of an indera (a minor
and a gergasi (ogre).
During the battle Merong Maha Wangsa summoned the help of Jentayu, the
mythical bird of water. However the Garuda was victorious. During the
battle the Roman prince fell into the sea and was washed ashore on the
island where the Chinese princess was hidden. He was later found by the
princess's maids and the couple were finally united in betrothal.
Meanwhile the Garuda had thought he was victorious but came to know
that the couple was united in marriage. In disgrace the Garuda vanished
itself from the world.
Gua Cerita & The Gadembai
A long time ago there lived a strange creature on Langkawi, called
who could turn any human or animal into anything she wished just by
saying the words. If she said to someone, "You look like an ox!" that
person would instantly
be transformed into an ox. She could also turn people into inanimate
such as rocks, and this meant certain death. Gedembai was feared and
by everyone and her unusual power virtually made her the queen of the
Her wishes were fulfilled unquestioningly and no one dared to disobey
She was described to appear in various forms. The Malay dictionary Kamus
Dewan describes her as a ghost and the Encyclopedia Malaysiana describes
her as a creature like a human being but of giant size. Somewhat of a Malay version of
Medussa, both however
ability to turn people into stone. Contrary to what may be expected, the
Langkawi Gedembai was a beautiful, luscious woman in her early thirties.
Her character was devoid of love or compassion and her deadly ability
people to stay away from her. Many people left the island and those who
not afford to leave lived in great fear. They learned that appearing
weak kept them safe from Gedembai, as long as they did what she wanted.
Gedembai lived in a beautiful timber house that was build for her by
One day as she was walking along the beach of Tanjung Rhu, she noticed a
cave and took a liking to it. This cave, called Gua Cerita, was already
by a family but Gedembai turned them all to stone.
For some time, stones could be found in the cave in the shape of beds,
tables, pots and pans, and other household items, and of a man, woman,
and three children, but they have been removed over time.
THE LEGEND OF THE SEVEN WELLS
The Seven Wells or Telaga Tujuh are actuarially a waterfall with a series of seven pools,
one after the other
on the face of a hill
It tells of fairies who delight in bathing in the cool waters which are
supposed to possess soothing healing properties. A mountain prince who
once lived near the wells tried to capture one of these fairy maidens,
until today, they have remained elusive.
It is believed that the unique lime trees and the sintuk, a climbing
plant which has large pods, that grow around the pools were left behind
by the fairies and locals who visit the Telaga Tujuh waterfalls often
use them to wash their hair in order to cleanse
of bad luck.
LEGEND OF THE BEACH OF SKULLS
A rather eerie legend shadows this lovely secluded little beach.
locals believe that a a sea demon or in some cases a giant whirlpool
unwary ships just off the Langkawi islands - at the spot where the
of Malacca join the Indian Ocean and the Andaman Sea.
The demon/ whirlpool is said to have swallowed countless number of
vessels and deposited the skulls of the crew and passengers at Pantai
The bone fragments of ancient mariners were found scattered at Tanjung
Tulang, while parts of the ships washed up on Pantai Pasir Hitam.
As a result, mineral deposits of tourmaline, ilmenite and zircon have
caused the sands to be black in the Beach Of Black Sand while the Beach
is littered with bones.
In another story, a prince once ate half cooked rice during a wedding
He suffered indigestion and farted at two spots now known as
Pulau Kentut Besar (big Fart Island) and Pulau Kentut Kecil (Small Fart
The best way to know about the various legends of Langkawi is to
visit the Legend Park or Taman Lagenda
Langkawi with its with 17 story-telling monuments, located
nearby Eagle Square in Kuah Town
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