Big Island, Malaysia
Private motorboats leave from Pernu, Umbai. Ferries run from the Malacca Pier, located at Melaka Raya, and from Anjung Batu Jetty. Ferries leave the Anjung Batu Jetty at 8:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:30, 17:00, 18:30 and 20:30, and return 30 minutes thereafter (8:30, 10:30, etc.). The adult return ticket is RM15, children over 4 pay RM11, under 4 RM4.
To get to Anjung Batu Jetty from Malacca, take bus "Panorama" #6A Platform #8 from Melaka Sentral terminal, direction Merlimau/Muar. When purchasing the ticket (RM2.50) from the driver at boarding, tell the driver you are going to Anjung Batu Jetty, and he will announce the destination upon arrival.
Legends and featuresEdit
This island has many legends associated with it.
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The island looks like a pregnant lady lying on her back. The locals around the island revere the island and attribute it to many legends. It has also become a place of pilgrimage to a large number of Indian Muslims in Malaysia. Many pilgrims come to the island to visit a mausoleum believed to be of a Wali, Sultan Ariffin Syeikh Ismail Waliallah. There are also numerous other graves visited by pilgrims such as that of Datok Janggut, Datuk Puteh and Nenek Kebayan. The group of 7 graves called graves of the seven princesses were torn down by the state religious department during the 90's when the state government initiated construction work to build a hotel and golf course on the island. The resort operated for a few years before it eventually closed.
At the highest point on the island exist a large boulder that is split down the middle. It is named "Batu Belah" and is a favourite destination for local pilgrims. There also exists a cave which is said to be the place of meditation for another Wali named Yusof. Near this cave, it is claimed one can see the footprint of the Wali on a boulder. In 1997 the Malaysian government labeled such practices as deviant and tore down many buildings that were erected around the mausoleum. This caused an uproar in the Indian Muslim communities who frequently visited the island. By 2006, a new hall had been built using private funds from many Indian Muslim businessman.
Another legend is about the shrine of the seven princesses The seven maidens were said to have been on their way to Pulau Besar from India in order to deepen their mysticism. Alas, their ship was also to sink along the way. The graves of the seven princesses were buried on the island and can still be seen until today.
There is new development for the island. The New Strait Times on 1 November 2008 reported that the island will be turned into the country's largest independent oil storage terminal by 2010. Located about 40 km from the Petronas largest refinery complex in Sungai Udang, and the island itself is along one of the world's busiest trade routes in the Straits of Malacca, it will see an investment of RM700 million and become a hub for the petroleum industry in this region. Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the project would be implemented as soon as the Environmental Impact Assessment by the Department of Environment (DoE) had been completed.
As of March 2014, the development appears not to have been completed.