SEVEN WELLS WATERFALL
by Kamila Delart
Located in the 450 – 550 million years old Machinchang Cambrian Geoforest Park with rock formations older than the Himalayas, the Telaga Tujuh Waterfall is one of the most magical places on the island.
Formed at the boundary between a Cambrian sandstone and late Triassic granite rocks, the magnificent waterfall is hidden deep in the jungle, embedded in dense tropical foliage.
Follow the rainforest trail, listening to a gentle humming that turns into a thundering sound as you reach the first platform. Falling over an edge 91 meters above your head, the wild water masses bounce off the rugged stony wall, filling the air with a powerful, life-affirming energy.
Enjoy the shade of the rainforest canopy as you climb another set of steps to reach the next platform.
Molded over time by flowing water, the smooth rock surface enchants with seven natural ponds connected by a stream gracefully cascading from one well into another. The place is of such beauty, the fairies are said to gather here at moonlight-filled nights to enjoy a refreshing dip in the cool mountain water. If you close your eyes, you may feel the echo of their presence or detect a delicate lemony fragrance lingering in the air. – The scent of the Sintuk creeper, a climbing plant the fairies left for us. Supposed to wash away bad luck, the leaves have been used for thousands of years in traditional Malay purification ceremonies.
If you have an adventurous spirit, cross the small stream in the back and follow the Telaga Tajuh Trail that leads to the very top of the mountain. Flanked by giant trees, the path winds along a river with natural whirlpools and calm reflecting ponds that invite you to sit down and lose yourself in contemplation.
Inhale the earthy aroma of the rainforest, listen to the mysterious jungle sounds and keep your eyes open! Admire the abstract paintings created on the tree trunks by lichens, a rainforest species of algae. Don’t miss the clusters of red tiny flowers growing behind the climbing bamboo. A powerful medicinal plant, the Ixora is a miracle remedy for nausea, used for thousands of years by local healers. Look out for trees with bark peeling in thin vertical lines – a clue that the trunk may contain Gharu Kaju, the fragrant Eagle Wood used in the most exquisite perfumes.
Explore the cavity of a fallen tree trunk. Chances are, it’s a hiding spot of a Millipete, a tiny creature with ‘thousand’ feet. The shallow waters of the river are home to tiny fish and you may even discover frog eggs. The dug up earth on the river bank gives away wild boars that came to drink. And if you lift your head, you may spot a sleeping colugo clinging to a branch, or a Giant Squirrel with a long bushy tail, daringly leaping from one branch to another.
Take a break and listen to the jungle melodies: the love song of cicadas, the cheerful chirping of a Crimson Sunbird, the mysterious laughter of a Hornbill… If you happen to spot the Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo, don’t get fooled. A master of mimicry, this bizarre creature likes to imitate the sound of other birds and even mammals when suspecting danger.
Determined to conquer the summit that raises 701 meters above sea level? The trail is quite steep and you are not likely to encounter another human soul in the wilderness. But the vision of unveiling a secret is hard to resist.
Told to be inhabited by mountain spirits, the peak is supposed to enchant with a garden-like landscape with rare flowers growing among artfully arranged boulders of divine shapes. The spirits like to keep the magical realm to themselves, covering the summit most of the time in a dense fog. But if you keep coming back over and over again, just as the locals do, one day the mysterious fog may lift…