There is an obscure interesting thing you can do in Melaka, which is related to its history in the long-ago past. I don’t mean its Straits Settlement history, nor even the Melaka sultanate history before that. It was a time when history was told in the form of legend, and as the ages passed, the things of that time survive – but its meaning is shrouded in mystery. One such thing are the megalith sites hidden around Melaka.
Road Tripping for Megalith Sites
I’ve been to Stonehenge in England once, many years ago. One day, if I get around to digitising the photos from that time, I might write about that trip, when I went to see the best known megalith site in the world.
I’ve also wandered about the UK a little bit, about which I might write sometime. So I confess to a certain partiality for the British countryside. I particularly have a soft spot for the random Roman ruins and bits of technology in surprising places.
But what I found most intriguing of all were the mounds and lonely standing stone circles, marked invitingly on ordinance maps. Ancient megalith sites, mysterious in their origins.
So obviously when I discovered my home country has megalith sites too – and in my own birth state at that – I had to go look for them!
Armed with scraps of information collated from the internet, I drove down to Melaka and enlisted my trusty friend Anoi. A Melaka native and generally up for anything ever since we were coursemates together in university, she packed up her sons and husband into my hatchback, and the unusual treasure hunt for Melaka’s megaliths began.
Indeed, it was the first story I wrote for another website, as I learned how to even have a travel blog. I recommend reading it first, before proceeding to the directions below. It gives the context of the road trip that we did, as well as a general history of the land, theories about what the standing stones could mean, folk beliefs about them, and what archaeologists think they mean.
7 Megalith Sites of Melaka and How to Find Them
Most of the fun of a road trip like this, is the hunting. It’s the uncertainty of whether you could find the megalith sites that people before you found, and the possibility that you might get a lead to sites that others hadn’t reported before.
If this is the kind of road trip you’re looking for, then do not read any further. You can use the information in the Travelista article above, which was all I had when I did this trip.
However, if you are especially interested in megaliths and want to have more time at each site to see them, then read on for the exact directions. And no, I purposely didn’t give the GPS co-ordinates because that is too much of a spoiler!
When I came to Melaka for this road trip, I only had vague clues for five megalith sites. The other two were completely fortuitous, because of the sharp eyes of Anoi’s eldest son. You don’t have to do the seven in this order, although some sites are clustered together.
We began the road trip with the best known megalith site, and the only one with signage and information board.
1. Datuk Tua Megalith Site
From anywhere in Melaka, head towards Taboh Naning in the Alor Gajah district. Once within the Taboh Naning area, head north towards Kampung Cherana Putih.
The Datuk Tua site is along this road. If heading northwards, you will pass by a school (Sekolah Kebangsaan Cherana Putih) on the left. The megalith site is soon after the school, on the right, and opposite a graveyard.
2. Unnamed Taboh Naning standing stone
Assuming you entered Taboh Naning from the south, turn back the way you came towards the toll exit of Alor Gajah for the North-South Highway (also known as the “PLUS Highway”). Do not actually take the toll exit.
At the roundabout, there is a very small lane exiting the roundabout just before the exit to the toll booths. This lane goes to a “Sekolah Tahfiz Qur’an” i.e. a school specialising in memorisation of the Qur’an; you might accordingly notice the small sign that marks the lane. Go along this lane and the megalith site is on the left within an overgrown vacant lot.
This lane eventually merges with the main road of Taboh Naning at the other end.
3. Dato Sena @ Panglima Garang site
Once back on the main road, proceed towards and straight past Kampung Cherana Putih. You’ll be heading towards Kampung Taboh Naning.
Proceed onward until you reach a bridge overpass. Cross the overpass, and immediately after the overpass, there is a right turn. Take this right turn and immediately turn right again to take the smaller road parallel to the main road. The hardware yard should be on your left.
Proceed onward along the asphalt road. There will be oil palm on both sides. Look out for the next junction with the road name “Jalan Miad”.
Turn right into Jalan Miad. The Dato Sena megalith site is along this road, about where the TNB (=electric company) electrical pole TANA A32 is.
4. Garden megalith site
To leave Taboh Naning, go back south along the same main road as before, past the Kampung Cherana Putih area and the Datuk Tua megalith site. There is a junction on the right that leads to Universiti Kuala Lumpur’s (UniKL) Institute of Chemical and Bioengineering Technology.
Soon after passing this junction there is a house on the left. This house hosts a megalith site in its garden compound. (Please ask permission from the home owner to view the megaliths. Rural manners are recommended.)
5. Kampung Kemuning rubber estate site
Head towards Kampung Kemuning by heading south, past the little roundabout I mentioned before, until you reach a cross junction. Turn left onto the M10. You will go past A’Famosa Golf Resort.
Go along this road until you reach a junction to the right with an arch marking Kampung Kemuning. Turn into this road, which is the M135 going towards Gadek (there are hot springs there, by the way, in case you want to expand your road trip).
Keep your eyes peeled, because soon after turning into the M135, you should find the megalith site among the rubber trees on the right. You can stop by the road near the entrance road to a house in the lot next to the rubber trees. Do ask permission from the house owner to pass through the compound to enter the rubber grove.
6. Al Ikhwan Mosque megalith site
This next site is fairly easy to find. Continue along the M135 as before until you reach Al Ikhwan Mosque on the right. There is covered parking by the roadside just in front of the mosque. The megalith site is right by the lane leading up to the mosque, within the cemetery yard.
I advise against arriving around midday Friday, because at this time the mosque will be busy with worshippers and you would be in the way. Also, although the cemetery is not within the prayer spaces of the mosque building, it is advisable to dress modestly in the area. As a general guide, covering at least shoulders to knees is considered normal.
Note for foreign roadtrippers: To enter the mosque itself, local custom additionally asks that female visitors wear full length clothing and with hair covering. Even so, do be aware that rural mosques are typically village-oriented and may likely not know what to do with foreign visitors. They also would not have visitor robes such as you might find at larger or more iconic mosques.
7. Kampung Punggur Megalith site
For this final site, continue along the M135. This next junction will be on the right, but it is tricky, because the sign that marks it as the road to Kampung Punggur is very small and easy to miss. If you reach Gadek, you’ve missed it.
Take the junction and continue along the road.
All that this route requires is actually confidence and patience. Simply continue along the road and do not be tempted by any turns off of it. You will eventually start moving up a rise. The megalith site is on the left somewhere along this road.
Hope you have fun, and perhaps even add more sites to the list!
Think you can find all seven sites? Pin and find out!