Sunday, 18 October 2009

Tasek Chini Lake giant snake.


Located in south-west Pahang Malaysia , Tasek Bera is a natural freshwater lake system extending 35 km long and 20 km wide . Tasek Bera wetland is connected to the legendary Tasek Chini Lake . Legends have it that monsters dwell in the lake and guard a submerged ancient Khmer City. The legends of the submerged city are true and scientists have mounted expeditions there to try and study it. The monsters however have not been photographed despite being reported as seen by many people. They are said to be like a giant snake with grey scales.

A creature was seen in the lake by an officer of the Malayan police .Stewart Wavell's expedition to Malaysia in 1951 was to study the customs and folklore of the Semelai people, who lived in the area. The police officer was interviewed by Wavell and told him that he was swimming in Tasek Bera when he saw the head of a huge, silvery-gray serpent rising more than fifteen feet out of the water. He quickly swam out of the water, but the animal made no attempt to give chase.

The Semelai told Wavell that they believed in giant snakes which they said lived in Tasek Chini Lake. Wavell recorded that the Semelai used the name ular tedong to describe the animal, others say the name of the creature's name is naga . The Semelai said that he serpents were huge and covered in grey scales, but that the scales turned golden in older serpents.(they later said the golden bit was made up and that they stayed grey) The creatures also had two short horns on their heads but never left the water. The creatures had never been known to attack humans. He was also told that that the creature made a booming sound. Wavell drew a picture of a dinosaur, and the tribe were surprised that it resembled their monsters. Wavell then went to look for the creature and whilst camping near where the policemen had seen the creature was surprised by a noise. It was a bellow, shrill and strident, he described it as “ like a ship's horn, an elephant trumpet, and sea lion's bark all at once”. He was momentarily petrified, then frantically switched on the recorder, held up the microphone and waited for the next cry but a second call never came. That was the only evidence he found. There is a legend that goes:


The tribesmen cultivated the land for food crops. The owner, an old woman, found them and scolded them for not asking permission to fell trees and clear the fields. After apologizing, the woman allowed them to continue and marked the boundary with a stick, asking the men to never remove it. One day they heard dogs barking and chased them off by throwing sticks. One of the sticks pierced an old log and blood gushed out. Frightened and confused the tribesmen were sure the log was demonic. They returned to the log to find a shallow pool of blood. Suddenly the sky darkened, thunder rumbled, lightening cracked and a monsoon rain fell. Scared for their lives they ran away, grabbed their gear and anything else to protect themselves from the spirits. In their haste, one tribesman pulled out the old woman's stick. Water starting blasting out from the hole and did not stop for many years. Thus, creating Tasik Chini. The tribesmen did not disturb an old log, they punctured the underbelly of Naga Sri Gumum, the serpent dragon ...


It’s a great story isn’t it, the legend. As for the creatures , well the jungle has been there for millions of years and there is always a possibility that giant snakes do dwell there. It isn’t a very accessible place though but eventually I am sure someone will produce a grainy photo or some film. The scientists investigating the sunken city may find something. Let’s hope they do.

3 comments:

gwillgi said...

ular tedong (or tedung) actually means cobra in the malay language. naga, well, anyone worth their salt in indian mythology would know them as dragons. i've read quite a number of myths surrounding this lake (tasik means lake by the way) but the one you've posted here sounds new to me. cheers! ones i've heard were sorta like our version of atlantis... civilisation too rich and greedy that the gods decided to submerge it under a lake guarded over by a dragon...

Tabitca said...

Thank you for your comment. I am not very up on Malay mythology so this was a new story for me too. Sounds like there may be some truth in the legend as scientists have said there are sunken remains of buildings in the lake and now its seems a possibly a dragon like creature lives there , although it sounds more like a large aquatic snake.

tdyean said...

I wrote a story about the Dragon of Tasik Cini in my book 'Eight Treasures of the Dragon' published in 2011 by MPH Group Publishing. The story line is quite similar to the one here except that a man ate a serpent's egg and was cursed into one himself! There are other evidence of a lost civilisation in Tasik Cini - apparently the lotus plants growing in the lake is not native to Malaysia and has been identified as a variant found Cambodia. Also the people living around the lake speak a language containing Khmer words!