About Gua Tempurung
The cave was first identified in 1887 in the Map of Perak-Malay Peninsula, which indicated a mountain spelt as “Gunong Tempoo Rong”. The Department of Minerals and Geosciences estimated the age of the rock formations in the area of Gua Tempurung to be between 250 and 400 million years. The cave was also known locally as Gua Perah. Perah is a type of fruit similar to rubber seed. In the old days, there were many Perah trees near the cave. Before 1935, tin mining activities on small scale took place in the cave. During the World War 11 (1939 – 1945), the cave became a refuge for locals from the invading Japanese.
The Malayan Emergency period (1948-1960) saw the cave being used by the communists as their hideout. It is said that Lee Meng, the notorious communist courier, once used the cave as a hideout. The fact that his name appears on one of the walls deep inside the cave certainly seems to support this story. The cave walls have hand drawn pictures and words by the communists. There are also inscription of hate slogans and song lyrics against the Japanese army. Another story speaks of the cave being used by the Japanese as a prison during their occupation of Malaya. This is made more evident by the existence of a gate-like structure made of horizontal steel bars.
After the Emergency period, mining activities in the area resumed. In 1975, the Perak State Government appointed a cave researcher and enthusiast, J. Crowter of the German Society of Caving to carry out research on Gua Tempurung and to help turn it to become a recreation area and a tourist attraction. Circa 1994, the State Government carried out a feasibility study and in 1995, work to develop Gua Tempurung as a destination began in stages. The cave was open to the public in November 1997 and entrance fees were introduced and collected by a joint-venture company formed by Yayasan Perak and a private company, which managed and maintained the place as one of the state’s tourist attractions.
WONDERS & FACTS
Gua Tempurung, the name itself conjures up images of mystery and intrigue that promises visitors a look into its deep dark secrets. Like Aladdin’s cave, Gua Tempurung has its own treasure trove of brilliant fishes living free in the river that flows at the base of the hills, rare ferns, and birds, which normally nest in caves and cliff surfaces also abound. The subterranean stream that meanders under the limestone hills is a special attraction in itself. When rain comes, the stream turns into a churning river of froth that rewards visitors with a taste of Indiana Jones-style adventure trekking. The cave follows a direct course through a mountain range called Gunung Gajah-Tempurung, which is south of Ipoh towards Gopeng and Kampar.
Gua Tempurung is the largest limestone cave in Peninsular Malaysia with the total length of the cave being 4.5km, while the part accessible to the public is about 1.9km. The cave contains an underground river of 1.6km in length. Walkways have been built within some parts of the caves making it easy for visitors to have a leisurely stroll while taking in the sights of the beautiful underground waterfalls and the pendant stalactites hanging from the roof stalagmites.
The cave is made up of five huge dooms and is divided into several sections, with the lower cave passage called the Molesworth Allen Tunnel, named in honour of the botanists, Betty Molesworth Allen. At the end of this tunnel, the cave opens up to Alam Cavern, the largest of the three major caverns, which is more than 130 metres in width and towers 72 metres high. In Tin Miners’ Cavern, the cave splits into two levels, the upper about eight metres above the stream and bearing the scars of early alluvial activity, while the lower passage follows the stream. The Gergasi Cavern is the last of the cave sections. It is named Gergasi because it holds a huge column, which is some 15 metres in height and 17 metres in length. The column stands sentinel- like at the end of the chamber, like a giant genie guarding its treasure.
The karst hill above the cave is sometimes called Gunung Tempurung and is about 500m high. Its spectacular size and shape make it clearly visible from the North South Expressway. The cave is home to bats especially during the mating season from March to May. Their droppings have created bat guano artworks on some the dome ceilings.
APT Consortium Sdn Bhd is an Ipoh-based private company with offices in both Ipoh and the Gua Tempurung area. The company was appointed by the Perak State Government in 2004 to manage and maintain Gua Tempurung as one of the state’s main tourist attractions. APT Consortium has been managing the cave till today. The number of tourists visiting the cave has been increasing steadily from more than 50,000 in 2005 to over 70,000 the following year. The cave continues to attract both locals and foreign tourists, with many coming from Europe, Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Singapore and other countries in the Asian region. In 2007, the company won the Perak Tourism Appreciation Awards for being one of the State’s Exciting Tourist Attractions.
APT Consortium employs cave rangers and part time rangers who are trained in caving activities. The company with the support of the State Government and local authorities have made Gua Tempurung more accessible to visitors with good paved road leading to the ample parking area near the cave entrance. The company not only maintains the area inside the cave but also the area fronting the cave. It also provides facilities for the convenience of the public visiting the cave.
A dry walk along concrete pathways and steel staircases as far as the Golden Flowstone cavern. Plenty of viewing galleries to admire the amazing rock formations.Read More
TOP OF THE WORLD
A slightly strenuous tour with more steps to climb, starting from the entrance to Golden Flowstone, covering all 5 domes all the way until Top Of The World (Platform 5).Read More
TOUR 3 - TOP OF THE WORLD & RIVER ADVENTURE
This tour covers all 5 caverns and the eastern side of the cave facing the North-South Expressway. The return journey is by underground river though.Read More
A complete journey walking about 1.9km from entrance to Golden Flowstone, Top Of The World with full length underground river until the end of the cave.
Monday – Sunday
9.00AM – 4.30PM
Friday 12.30PM – 2.30PM
First Eid Mubarak
How to get there
1. On the North-South Highway, take Exit 135 – Gopeng Interchange at KM297.
2. At the traffic light, turn left to Federal Route 1 – Kuala Lumpur direction.
GPS Coordinate : 4°36′00″N 101°4′00″E
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