Gua Cerita

Useful Information

Location: Langkawi, Kedah
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Boat trip: Per Person MYR 80.
Light: bring torch
Guided tours:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Gua Cerita (Cave of Legends) is famous for the legends about the cave. Some locals believe that the cave was the home of Gedembai, a giantess who had a deadly power. She also had the magical power of transforming anyone into an ox. When she found the cave and decided to live here, the cave was already inhabited. When the inhabitants refused to leave the cave, she transformed them into rocks. A nice explanation for the stalagmites inside the cave. Unfortunately they have been destroyed since the cave is visited by so many tourists. Or probably they were also just legends.

Another legend about the cave tells about the mystical Battle of the Big Birds. But the most popular legend around the cave is about the Princess of China who was kidnapped and held captive inside the cave.

Long ago rulers used to seal strategic alliances or settle disputes through marital arrangements. One such arrangement was the marriage between the Chinese emperor's daughter and the son of the emperor of Rome. A fleet of ships was sent off from Italy and an ambassador accompanied the prince.

One day they docked in Sri Lanka, and Garuda, the mystic Phoenix, heard about the marriage and decided to stop it. He realized, that the union of such great powers may pose threat to the smaller kingdoms. He told this to King Solomon, who warned him that God's will can never be altered, but he chose to ignore the warning. Garuda kidnapped the princess and hid her at Gua Cerita. Then he sent a violent storm to stop the fleet of the Chinese emperor, and finally the ship of the prince sank. With the prince supposedly dead, Garuda was convinced he had won and flew away.

One day the princess took a stroll on the beach. She found a shipwrecked person washed ashore and nursed him back to health. It was the prince. When they were both rescued from Sri Lanka together, they went to China and the marriage took place. Garuda failed - as King Solomon predicted - because the marriage was God's will and His authority cannot be challenged.

Old legend.

The cave is rather difficult to reach, as there is no road to the cave. There are boat trips from Pantai Tanjung Rhu which include a visit to the cave. There are two entrances, one above the other, which face the sea. The upper entrance is reached on a wooden ladder.

The cave contains a lot of graffiti, signatures of visitors dating back to the 1950's. There are also Arabic words etched into the walls of the lower chamber. The inscriptions tell the story of Sheikh Baharuddin who died on the ninth day of sixth month in year 68 of the Moslem calender. They were written in 1754 AD, during the reign of Sultan Mohamed Jiwa II of Kedah. In the upper chamber verses from the Koran can be seen.