A study by a heritage association has found that there was an ancient route that connected two villages in the southern part of Gunung Lanno, Simpang Pulai near Ipoh, Perak, which is believed to have been last used by the villagers more than 100 years ago.
Persatuan Jurupandu Pelancong Geopark Warisan Alam Semulajadi Perak (Geonat) chairman Mohd Fadly Md Noor said a Geonat team explored the area after receiving information from locals about this three months ago.
“We were asked to conduct a study and after the exploration based on an old topographic map published in 1916, we discovered traces of a route that had been used in ancient times.
“Among our findings were a long tunnel and a stair-shaped stone structure in a cave, ” he said when met by reporters in the area recently.He said the route was also believed to have been used for connecting two villages namely Teluk Kangor and Serba Jadi during the days of the British colonial era in Malaya during World War I (1914-1918), but most of the villages there had now been turned into an industrial area.
He said the findings would be relayed to the relevant parties to enable further studies to be conducted in more detail at the location gazetted as a quarry zone under the administration of the Batu Gajah District Council.
“Besides that, the area is unique and we believe has the potential
to be developed into a conservation centre and even suitable as a location for tourism activities such as kayaking because there is a pool about 2m deep with a 200m x 200m size.“Further research can be carried out by historians or institutions of higher learning because we found that there is a unique H-shaped water pool in the hill area, ” he said.
Mohd Fadly said if the cave there could be developed as a tourist attraction, it would be the first to offer water activities in Perak.
He said Geonat was still conducting further studies on the rock structure and environment of the cave area as well as safety aspects including identifying suitable times to visit based on water level and weather factors together with diving and waterfall experts and nurses.
Geonat was established in August last year with its mission and vision to develop ecotourism, specifically in Perak.
The 78-member association is active in exploration-related activities in cave areas, nature, heritage sites and geoparks.
Meanwhile, over 50 geological sites in Lenggong are currently being studied to be certified as a geopark, which will boost economic growth in Perak.
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Datuk Seri Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said the studies were being conducted before recognition could be given to Lenggong as Perak’s second national geopark, after the Lembah Kinta Geopark.
“I believe that a careful study will enable recognition to be given because its (geological, historic and scientific) values are high in Lenggong.
“For example, Gunung Pulut is as old as Gunung Mat Cincang in Langkawi, Kedah, which is more than 500 million years old. It is one of the invaluable geoparks around.
“In addition, there is a forest trail at Lake Raban which has a very high value, on par with what is available at Sungai Kilim in Langkawi.
“If recognition is given to both, it can elevate the Lenggong Geopark as a national geopark, and simultaneously become the focus of local and foreign tourists, ” he said.
Dr Shamsul, said what was being worked on by the federal and state governments on the Lenggong Geopark would provide short and long term benefits to the local community and the nation.
He said this was because the recognition of the Lenggong Geopark would likely have a positive impact on economic, educational and sociocultural developments.
The completed documents would be handed to the state government following a final study, which is currently being conducted, he added. – Bernama