Giant Footprint in Penang, Malaysia

In a place called Batu Maung, located in the state of Penang, Malaysia lies a Chinese temple known as the "Sam Poh Footprint Temple". The temple was built only in 1993 and the local Chinese fishermen here are said to pay respects to the temple before going out to sea each day. Therefore, this temple is currently only 18 years old.

The history (before the temple was erected):
Originally there wasn't any temple erected for this foot print.

(Photo above: Taken before temple was erected)

According to locals, the foot print which is stamped on solid rock is believed to be more than a century old. (Himanshu Bhatt-Neo Sentuhan)

The size of the foot print: 33 inches / 0.85 meters

What the locals believe:

1. The ChineseThe Chinese believe that the footprint belongs to Admiral Cheng Ho (Admiral Zheng He)from China whom the locals called "Sam Poh Kong".

Who is Admiral Cheng Ho?

Historical accounts points out that he was a Muslim born in the district of Yunnan Province. He had led seven sea expeditions in the 15th Century believed to be between years 1405-1433 on behalf of the emperor from reign of Emperor Yong Le. Has traveled across Southeast Asia and visited several ports including Ayutthaya, Melaka, Palembang, Surabaya, Aden, Champa, etc.

A quote from an Indonesian Islamic scholar, Hamka says, "The development of Islam in Indonesia & Malaya (Malaysia was still known as Malaya until Sept 16, 1963)is intimately related to a Chinese Muslim, Admiral Zheng He." It is believed that he left behind many of his Muslim crew members in Malacca after building warehouses, granaries and stockade because the local community in Malacca was also Muslim.

After Zheng He's death, all expeditions were suspended and the ensuing result 400 years later is that the Hanafi sect that originally was amongst the Chinese became lost and absorbed into the Shafie sect of the locals. Later, the Chinese were discouraged from converting into Islam. The result: Many of the Chinese Muslim mosques became the San Bao temples commemorating Zheng He. As time passed by, the influence of Chinese Muslims in Malacca waned to almost none existent. (Wang Ma, R 2003)

Thus goes the story of the Chinese belief linking the footprint to Admiral Cheng Ho.

2. The local Indians
The local Indians believe that the footprint belongs to Lord Hanuman who while leaping over the ocean in search of herbal cure for Lakshamana, Rama's brother had left an indelible mark on a solid rock.

Another account of the belief also links to Lord Hanuman who on his way to meet Rama's wife, Sita, left an indelible mark.

3. The Malays
The local Malays believe that it "Tapak Gedembai" belongs to a gigantic figure known as Sang Gedembai who was strong and feared by the locals. According to this version, one day while a villager was chopping wood, 1 piece flew high enough and caught the eyes of the nearby terrified giant who ran for his life leaving heavy footprints all over which is still visible till today.

They say that this footprint in Batu Maung is only 1 of the four footprints of "Sang Gedembai" where 3 others are available in Pulau Jerejak (Island of Jerejak), Pulau Aman (Aman island) and Bayan Lepas. All 3 others are not too far away from Batu Maung.

Photo 1/2 of Closer view of another footprint located at Bayan Lepas

Photo 2/2 below: Distant view of (cemented) footprint captured in Bayan Lepas

1. Mr. Himanshu Bhatt- Neo Sentuhan with many thanks.
3. Asia Explorer


Patricia said...

impactante historia, querido amigo!
me gusta la versión de los indios y de los malayos.
un fuerte abrazo.

powerful story, dear friend!

I like the version of the Indians and Malays.

a big hug.

Mystique Earth said...

Hola Patricia,
¿Cómo está usted? Pienso que estoy con usted con respecto a su opinión. No hay dudas en el almirante en sus capacidades de la expedición. Sin embargo, él era apenas un hombre normal sin el apoyo histórico de su figura gigantesca, fuerza extraordinaria de las cuentas de las capacidades de salto que podrían dejar una marca como eso. ¡Un abrazo caliente!

Hasnul Yakin said...

Oh great! I have been study about sang Gedembai in Langkawi as well.

Mystique Earth said...

Hi Hasnul,
The footprint traced to Bayan Lepas is actually located in a discreet location known to the locals in a Malay village at Bayan Lepas. You may also want to check out "Neo Sentuhan" blog for this extensive information.

Wish you good luck in your trails of Sang Gedembai.

nituscorner said...

very interesting read!!!

Mystique Earth said...

Hi Nitus,
How are you? Glad you enjoyed the read.

Anonymous said...

I have tried several hotspots operated under the penang free wifi program. Some of them work but most, unfortunately, don’t.

As a Penangite myself I am thinking of starting a similar program for people of Penang, but this time it will be a rakyat-run program, since we know how inefficient government can be.

Anyone wants to join up can email me @ tua dot loh dot au at gmail dot com

Let us do something to make Penang better !

Mystique Earth said...

Hi Mr Tua,
Social networking sites have restrictions about sharing e-mail id's but there are no restriction here.

It is true about what you said rgds to WiFi in Penang.

Wish you Best of Luck in your efforts. All d Best!

Interested readers can feel free to check it out.

Anonymous said...

thanks my friend, i never knew this

Mystique Earth said...

Hi Mr Hans,
Long before, sometime in my primary school years, more than 3 decades ago, during a school "rombongan" i've actually visited this place before. My memory is very vague about this.

However, this came to my memory recently, and i decided to trace the place, which true enough i did. For some reasons, the place does not seem to look the same now.

I managed to capture some photos there. It is a very small Chinese Temple by the sea. I climbed up at the higher altar to get a good preview of the sea and captured some photos in my cheap camera phone. There were many fishermen boats parked by there. Being a nature lover, i truly enjoyed the view.

creativewrtrs said...

Truly remarkable site, thanks for the post!!

Mystique Earth said...

Hi Creative Writers,
Thanks for your supportive comment.

Best regards.

Anonymous said...

It is the Monkey God Hanuman..
How could a Asian and Human have a feet of 33inch or 0.85cm.. Pls don't hide the truth

Anonymous said...

Indians have to bring this truth out.. Not frame it up with others Wrong History

Anonymous said...

Of course its GOD HANUMAN..because the same footprint also have in Sri Lanka and India

sr devraj said...

Interesting facts...... read hanuman chalisa

God Mantras said...

Excellent information. Thank you for sharing this. regards,
hanuman chalisa team.

Mystique Earth said...

Thank you @ God Mantras and the Hanuman Chalisa Team.

Jyothi Sree said...

Awesome Post Admin.Jai Hanuman.Reading hanuman chalisa every day gives you Strength and power to you.Jai Sree Ram

Mystique Earth said...

Thank you, Jyoti Sree. God bless.


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Mystique Earth said...

@ Dottodot Malaysia,
Thank you.

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aavala anitha said...

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Mystique Earth said...

Hi @ aavala anitha,
Thank you very much for the words of encouragement. I must admit that I had been pretty much caught up with my career that I could not keep up with updating the block for some time. I will try to catch up. Thanks again.


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