|Datuk Hamidah Osman with Chinese students in Gua Tempurung. |
Pic by L. Manimaran
The findings by Zhou Shunbin, head of geology department of the Guangzhou Province's Education Association, has prompted the Perak state government to conduct further studies on the cave which is a popular tourist destination.
Previous studies by the state authorities had shown that the cave was only 400 million years.
Zhou led a delegation of 93 students from Guangzhou to visit the cave recently.
The visit was arranged by the Global Institute of Tourism and Tourism Perak.
Zhou said one of the rocks known as "meat rock" spotted by in Gua Tempurung would have taken at least 1,500 million years to form. He said a similar rock was exhibited in a museum in Taiwan but it was not in its natural form.
"The rock designs and formation in Gua Tempurung are beautiful and they are unpolished," he said.
"We are also attracted by the biodiversity of the area."
The cave has one of the most majestic white marble and limestone towers in Malaysia.
Concealed within the cave is an intricate system of smaller caves.
There are breathtaking natural formations of stalagmites and stalactites found only in this part of the world. Tunnels meander under the limestone hill that run for nearly 2km.
Earlier, the delegation, including 14 teachers and education department officials, were welcomed by Perak Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Hamidah Osman.
They were then taken on a tour of the cave. Hamidah said: "Based on the age of the rock formation revealed by the delegation, we will ask the authorities to conduct a detailed study of the age of the cave.
"We will also liaise with Zhou for more information on his findings."
In China, such formations are preserved.
Hamidah also hoped the students would become ambassadors after their visit to promote the state back home.
"This will be a boost to the state in view of the Visit Perak Year 2012."
Meanwhile Chen Shu, 12, from Guanzhou Second Middle School, said: "I was excited about the visit. This is the first time I have seen such beautiful rock formations.
"I will definitely come back."
"I will share my knowledge with my classmates back home."
The delegation was on a three-day visit. They also went jungle-trekking in Ulu Geroh, Gopeng -- where they saw a Rafflesia flower -- before going to the seaside in Pangkor.
Read more: Cave believed to be 1,500mil years old - Northern - New Straits Times