Sunday, September 03, 2006

Tasik Chini and The Legend

As promise before, this is the articles about Malaysia's second largest natural lake. In English, ‘Tasik’ means lake. Tasik Chini is one of the only two natural lakes in Peninsula Malaysia, both of which are located in the state of Pahang. Located approximately 100km from Kuantan town, the capital of Pahang, Chini is a lake that was formed from the natural damming of a river valley. It is Malaysia's second largest natural lake and is made up of a series of 12 lakes. With its well-known myths, the lake has attracted many visitors from various destinations. Nevertheless, these legends have enticed numerous archeologists to conduct scientific expeditions in Chini.
Local legend tells a tale of a wandering group of Jakun tribesmen who cleared the land to grow food crops. During their labour, an old woman appeared who proclaimed that she was the rightful owner of the land and that her permission should have been sought before any trees were felled. The Jakun humbly apologised, whereupon the woman allowed the men to continue their work. Before departing, however, she planted her walking stick in the ground as a mark of her ownership, telling the men never to remove it.
The men continued with their work, but some time later they heard one of their dogs barking and snarling at a decaying log. One of the Jakun threw his stick at the log, but immediately a torrent of blood issued from the log causing the man to run back to his friends in fear. His friends thought he was possessed by demons and tried to keep away from him. However, the barking continued so the entire tribe returned to investigate the log. A spreading pool of blood had formed around the log.
In fear they hurled their own sticks at the sight, whereupon a dark cloud gathered in the sky. The thunder roared, the lightning flashed and a torrent of rain fell from the sky. The men grabbed their belongings and ran for cover, but in the chaos one of them pulled the old woman's stick from the ground - the very stick which they had been warned not to touch. Immediately a fountain of water poured from the hole made by the stick. The water flowed for many years, thereby creating the lake of Tasik Chini. The tribe realised then that the log was actually the dragon called Naga Seri Gumum.
Of course, no magical lake would be complete without stories of a resident monster or a long-lost, sunken city. So, Tasik Chini has both ! Much like the famous Loch Ness, a serpent-like monster is reputed to make the lake its home. More seriously, there are theories that an ancient Khmer city once existed in the vicinity which has prompted archaeological studies of the lake and its surrounds.
The Sacred Lotus
In reality, Tasik Chini is less a lake and more a naturally dammed tributary of the mighty Pahang River, which lies to the north. Until recently the lake's waters rose and fell with the seasons - during the rainy season the waters were unable to flow down the narrow Sungai Chini and so became backed up in a series of lakes. A unique ecosystem developed, dominated by the presence of the Sacred Lotus Nelumbo Nucifera which once covered the entire surface of the lake system.

Taken from

Malaysia's Second Largest Natural Lake

Last week, my family and I went to my sister’s house at Felda Chini. She’s just been transferred here from Sabah. Once there, the first thing got in my mind is Tasik Chini, Malaysia's second largest natural lake. Actually, I never been there although I’m from this state, Pahang. So, we decided to spend time there. We went there with our mother that also came from Temerloh with my brother and his wife. So, it’s more alike a family gathering. So, we’ve been there about 2 hours and feel the refreshment beside the lake. Here are some picture to share with.
To know more about Tasik Chini and the legend tells about it I’ll make it in my next post.