Please be informed that the Painted Cave Trail is temporarily closed with immediate effect until further notice.This is due to the maintenance works of the plank walk system. The main gate at Gan Kira is also inaccessible to public.
Any inconvenience is highly regretted.
About Niah National Park
Niah is one of Sarawak’s smaller national parks, but it is certainly one of the most important, and has some of the most unusual visitor attractions. The park’s main claim to fame is its role as one of the birthplaces of civilisation. The oldest modern human remains discovered in Southeast Asia were found at Niah, making the park one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.
Yet there is much more to Niah than archaeology. A vast cave swarming with bats and swiftlets; the thriving local economy based on birds-nests and guano; ancient cave paintings; a majestic rainforest criss-crossed with walking trails; abundant plant and animal life – all these and more make up the geological, historical and environmental kaleidoscope that is Niah.
The Painted Cave, Niah National Park
The Painted Cave is the site of the famous Niah cave paintings and the place where the ‘death-ships’ were found. The contents of the death-ships have since been transferred to the Sarawak Museum, but the cave paintings and some of the empty death-ships can still be viewed on the wall behind the fenced-off burial site.
The paintings can be difficult to see unless you allow your eyes to become accustomed to the light. They are rendered in red hematite and cover a long narrow strip (approximately 30m) at the back of the cave wall. They portray spread-eagled human figures, probably representing warriors and hunters, some of the animals of the surrounding forest, and – most importantly – longboats carrying the souls of the deceased on the dangerous journey to the land of the dead.
Although the burial site at the Painted Cave is far more recent than those at the Great Cave, it is no less important as it offers a clear insight into the development of the traditional religions of Borneo. It is worth spending some time at the Painted Cave, as the atmosphere of the place is very tranquil and relaxing. It is easy to understand why Niah’s earlier inhabitants felt it was a suitable resting place for their ancestors.
For enquiries and further clarifications, kindly contact Zulkifli Baba Noor, Head of Corporate Communications, SARAWAK FORESTRY at +6082 612211 (office) or +6019 8875222 (mobile) or email to [email protected].
SARAWAK FORESTRY Corporation
Lot 218, KCLD, Jalan Tapang, Kota Sentosa, 93250 Kuching, Sarawak, MALAYSIA
Tel: +6082 610088
Fax: +6082 610099