Kota Gelinging, 27000 Jerantut.
Kota Gelanggi, in the state of Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia, northeast of Temerloh. Off the old Jerantut to Maran road No 64, about 25 km east of Jerantut. Signposted, but unfortunately no sign at 54, follow sign to Kota Gelangi/Lepar Utara.
All year daily 9:30-12:30.
Park: Adults MYR 2, Children (5-12) MYR 1.
Show Cave: Adults MYR 5.
Tour A: Adults MYR 40.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||self guided|
Gua Kota Gelanggi, Kota Gelinging, 27000 Jerantut, Tel: +60-135-983-521.
Tour A. E-mail:
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1882||first recorded by Cameron in the Royal Asiatic Soc. Journal.|
|1981||film Sumpah Semerah Padi (Oath as Red as Rice) filmed here.|
|2008||after the collapse of Telingga Cave at Taman Negara Park, the number of visitors to these caves increased dramatically.|
Gua Kota Gelanggi (Gelanggi City Cave) is actually the name of this park, which covers a rather huge karst area, a karst tower which extends 1.8 km north-south and 1.2 km east-west. This limestone area, which has strange wall-like cliffs and towers is according to local legend a ruined city named Gelanggi, hence the name Gelanggi City. In this karst area eleven of the 18 known caves are open to the public. There is a visitors centre with car park, a via ferrata, a kayak experience, and the small Kota Gelanggi museum. Before you start visiting the caves, get the permit and/or pay the fee at the visitor center. The park also has several campgrounds and is quite popular with boy scouts and other youth groups.
The show cave Gua Terang Bulan (Bright Moon Cave) has electric light and paths. For the other caves, good shoes, appropriate clothes and electric torches are needed. The caves are reached on a single lane cul-de-sac, which becomes rather poor towards the end. There is one cave which is more like a natural bridge, a short through cave, and the single-lane dirt road goes right through. The visitors are quite impressed by the fact that it is possible to drive through a cave by car.
The most popular route in the park explores three caves, Gua Kepala Gajah (Elephant Head Cave), Gua Angin (Wind Cave), and Gua Sanding (Sanding Cave). This tour takes two hours, which includes the walking to and from the caves and the time inside the caves. They are the caves which are closest to the visitor center. It is called "cave adventure", probably because the caves are not developed with trails and light. However, these are semi-wild caves, they have level floors and a sort of dirt track. There are two challenging spots, a narrow squeeze and a 5 m high climb. Bring good walking shoes, gloves, and we strongly recommend a helmet with a headlamp. It not only protects your head, you also have the hands free if there are slippery spots or a small climb.
There are guided tours available, they are simply called Tour A. Either there are other tours planned, or there have been other tours. However, we do not recommend the operator as the website is not very trustworthy. There is no name given, only a strange email address. In many countries, a commercial website without a valid address and the name of the operator is actually illegal. It might be a scam, though a stupid one, as the number of people willing to pay upfront for a cave tour is rather low.
Othe caves are Gua Tongkat (Cave of Wands), Gua Kota Balai (Balai City Cave), Gua Penyu (Turtle Cave), and of course a Gua Kelawar (Bat Cave). Gua Kota Balai was full a bat guano, which was mined in the 1970s, and as a result the cave has become much bigger, with all the sediment removed. The bat guano was used in the area as fertilizer. The same happened at Gua Tangga (Stair Cave), but here it was necessary to install an iron staircase to reach the guano. It is unclear if the cave had a different name before, but since then it is named after the stairs. The stairs are a good thing as they make the visit much easier.
According to local lore, Princess Onangkio from Siam (Thailand) stopped here during her entourage to Pahang in the 19th century. At this time the nearby river Sungai Pahang was used for travelling, and it is actually quite possible that she spent some time here. Less probable are the legends of an underground connection of the cave to the states of Terengganu or Kelantan or to Thailand. Actually, caves exist only in the towers above the plain, the plain itself has a high groundwater level, and even if there are caves, they are filled with water. Such a story of a magical connection to the border to Thailand, which is 240 km to the north, is an example of a Far Connection Legend.
The site has once become a filming location. Scenes of the film Sumpah Semerah Padi (Oath as Red as Rice) directed by M. Amin in 1981 was filmed here.
Today the place is actually in danger, but not from the visitors who frequent the caves. Several companies are interested in quarrying the limestone, and such quarries would completely destroy the karst tower, including the caves.