that was the first thing I have learned about the cave.
We bought our ticket for RM2 per person. Others would cost RM15 per person. There was a counter that provide visitors a log book to write down their names and as I waited for my turn, I skimmed through the pages and saw quite a number of names written down. So I thought, this place must have at least been known to some tourists.
The were three different caves in the hill namely Agop Siriba (lower cave), Agop Lintanga (middle cave) and Agop Sawat (upper cave). However, we only managed to go to the middle and upper cave, where we had to climb using the wooden stairs, the only way that was provided to reach the top. This is the cave where it allows only one person to enter at each time, because of its small and hollow entrance. The condition of the inside was quite scary for me personally because we came late in the afternoon and the surrounding was quite dark. We have seen the wooden coffins being put up at the corners of the cave and they have different kind of sizes, depending on the size of the dead one.
We later climbed up a little more to the top until we reach the Agop Sawat and this is where we have found coffins that are bigger and more exclusive. Inside of the Agop Sawat, we have seen a several number of wooden coffins that were uniquely carved, such as the head of the buffalo and snakes. While the coffins that we have seen in the middle cave were quite standard (not being carved) but both caves have been keeping coffins that aged 700-900 years ago (according to the information board). The coffins were believed to be associated to the belief of the Orang Sungai but has also been said that they are the coffins of the Chinese who once settled in the area as Chinese artifacts were found among the remains (http://www.sabahtourism.com/destination/batu-tulug).
It was a new knowledge learned that day. Not only it offers quite a challenge to climb up the stairs but it also helps to educate both locals and the visitors about the history of the past and the amazing remains that are still existed up to this day. Personally I was wondering in awe that these people of the past were able to do these amazing pieces of work and their dedication to provide such a unique way of respecting the dead person. It would have been an interesting research to find out the reason why these tribe/clan chooses to place these coffins inside the caves of the 39 meters limestone cliff. Probably in keeping the coffins safe from animals but who knows the right answer right?
|some of the remains kept inside the cave.|