• Cave of the Banshee • Isle of the
Pregnant Maiden •
The islands of Langkawi were
infested with pirates living and feasting on boats and travellers who
chose to sail in their waters. Not many locals ventured to the islands
and soon stories abound of these mysterious islands. The myths are still
woven strongly into the lifestyle of the local people.
CAVE OF THE BANSHEE
On the neighbouring island of Pulau Dayang Bunting, there is a cave so
and dark that no one dares to venture in. People today claim that
of bats live in it but the local people of yesteryear would not set foot
not even for all the riches in the world.
They are convinced the cave is home to a female vampire called the
which, after having lured men to its lair, would suck their bodies dry
The "langsir" in Malaysian mythology is supposed to be an evil spirit
shrieks, much like the Irish banshee, although this local variety also
drinks the blood of its victims.
No one would go near Gua Langsir, for they
believe that the eerie sounds that come from the depths of the cave are
the cries of the banshee and it is enough to make their blood run cold
and their hair stand on end?.
This cave is 91m in height and rumoured to be haunted. Gua Langsir is
filled with bats and is definitely not a place for the faint-hearted
Gua Langsir somehow lacks the usual stalactite and stalagmite formations
on its ceiling and floor respectively. It is, however, gloomy and
slightly eerie, almost as if it truly is haunted....
ISLE OF THE PREGNANT MAIDEN
Tasik Dayang Bunting
Tasik Dayang Bunting is a fresh water lake on the island of Dayang
the second largest in the Langkawi archipelago.
Here are two main legends related to the island
Dayang Bunting & The Rude Merchamts
Dayang Bunting was a giant guardian spirit that kept watch over the
The lady's defences include her pet lion and poison from the tuba root,
potent weapons for her protection. Hence, the two islands closest to
Pulau Dayang Bunting, are named Pulau Singa Besar (Great Lion Island)
and Pulau Tuba (Poisonous Root Island).
The story goes that, a group of rude merchants failed to pay the
respects to Dayang Bunting as they passed by the islands. Rudely
by the intrusion, she summoned her pet lion to despatch the trespassers.
She roused the spirits of wind and water, stirring up a tropical storm
unleashed its fury on the incoming fleet of sailors.
The howling winds and tossing waves threw and dashed vessels on Pulau
Jong (Junk Island), hence the remains of wrecked vessels.
In the stormy affair, a cargo of black and white water buffaloes escaped
Pulau Gubang Darat (Land Stable Island) and Pulau Gubang Laut
(Sea Stable Island) while the white buffaloes sheltered at Pulau Balar
(White Water Buffalo Island). Yet other boats, laden with rice, was
at Pulau Beras Basah (Wet Rice Island).
The Dayang Bunting Legend
The legend of Pulau Dayang Bunting is a romantic story concerning
Putri Dayang Sari Or also known as Mambang Sari, a celestial princess,
and Mat Teja, a male genie
Mambang Sari used to frequent the island accompanied by her maids.
Their favourite spot was Pasir Teluk Air Tahun and Teluk Lawak.
One day Mat Teja saw Mambang Sari and was struck by her beauty.
He fell in love with her and used to follow her wherever she went.
Once, while on a lookout for her, he met Tok Diang an old man from the
Mat Teja told him of his love for Mambang Sari but just did not know how
to reveal this secret and feared that his love might not be
Tok Diang asked Mat Teja to get the tears of a mermaid from the sea and
wipe them on his face the next time he met Mambang Sari.
He did just that and when Mambang Sari saw him she fell in love with
They often met at various places to enjoy the beauty and serenity of
these spots. They became more intimate and as a result Mambang Sari
His ploy worked indeed and he married the princess.
She chose to retire at Tasik Dayang Beranak (Lake of Born Maiden) to
give birth. Unfortunately the child died after seven days, which was
when she discovered
that her marriage was through trickery.
After burying her baby in the lake, Tasik Dayang Beranak, heart broken,
she went to the lake once more and blessed it with magical fertility
saying that any woman who wanted a child could get her wish fulfilled
drinking water from the lake. She returned to the heavens, never to
This legend gained credence when it was said that a couple, childless
almost twenty years of marriage and not for lack of trying, drank from
Only then did they have their prayers answered. They had a baby girl.
Today, a white crocodile is said to be living in the lake. It is indeed
a very lucky person who manages to get a glimpse of it for it is hardly
Guardian spirit or a real albino crocodile, no one is able to say for
sure but many believe in the authenticity of this legend that has
brought many a despairing
couple to its banks, who have put their faith in the good-will of a
fairy princess who had loved the lake and who has given Langkawi another
legendary legacy in Tasik Dayang Bunting, that is the
Lake of the Pregnant Maiden.
Some people believe the water of the lake possesses some mystical power
of helping barren women to bear children.
Hence, when going on the island hopping tour, if you look closely you can make out the physical appearance and
silhouette resembling that of a reclined pregnant giant woman
with her hand on the large belly
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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