Abdul Karim (centre) and wife Datin Zuraini Abdul Jabbar (on his right) planting a Casurina tree as a symbolic gimmick to launch the ‘Beccari Discovery Trail’.

KUCHING: The ‘Beccari Discovery Trail’ at Kampung Matang here is the latest addition to the state’s list of tourist attractions especially for nature and history enthusiasts.

The 3.2km trail up the hillside follows the story of Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari who made a scientific discovery on plants and insects during the second White Rajah Charles Brooke’s reign.

A mini waterfall near the ‘Beccari Discovery Trail’ on Mount Matang.

The mostly tar-sealed route starts from the old cart track at Kampung Matang to the site of Beccari’s field house — Vallombrosa. Along the route are 12 information boards related to the trail and its history.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the place, if promoted well, may become a good tourist spot for locals and foreign visitors.

He also mentioned that the place is one of the state’s heritages that should be promoted to the younger generation.

A photo of the trail.

When asked on any plans to develop the site, he said the ministry will discuss with the Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) on the matter.

“I believe the place can be upgraded in terms of parking space, toilets, resting places and other amenities.

“We will discuss with the council and see how we can upgrade the place to boost its potential to attract more tourists,” he stated.

He said this at a press conference after launching the ‘Beccari Discovery Trail’ in conjunction with Sarawak’s own Beccari Centenary Celebration 2020-2021 at the Sri Maha Mariamman Hindu Temple on Mount Matang yesterday.

The Sri Maha Mariamman Hindu Temple on Mount Matang.

On the temple itself, the building was built in the 1890s which marks the legacy of the forefathers of the Indian Hindu community who were brought to Sarawak to work on the coffee estate in the 1860s and 70s on Mount Matang.

It was reopened for prayers in 1970 and restored in 2011. The temple is a place of pilgrimage for visitors from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. It also hosts many local visitors especially during Deepavali.

Also present were Tourism, Arts and Culture Assistant Minister Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew; the ministry’s permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee; MPP chairman Lo Khere Chiang; Layar assemblyman Gerald Rentap Jabu; and Hindu Temple Association of Kuching president V Sahundararaju.

Lo poses for a photo in front of the foot of the stairs of Sri Maha Mariamman Hindu Temple at the end of the hiking journey on Mount Matang.