(File pix) Sam Poh Tong (pix) along with other temple caves Nam To Ngam, Perak Cave Temple, Loong Thow Ngam Tao Temple, Nam Thean Tong Temple, Kwong Fook Ngam Buddhist Chinese Temple and Tung Wah Tong Buddhist Meditation will be documented and published in a book. Photo by Google user CW Tham

IPOH: After being listed as among Lonely Planet's Top 10 'must visit' regions this year, Perak continues to make a name for itself.

This time, China's well-known publisher, the China Social Sciences Press (CSSP), will highlight the state's rich heritage in a book titled 'History Records and Legends of the Cave Temple in Ipoh, Perak'.

State Health, Public Transport, Non-Muslim Affairs, National Integration and New Village Development Committee chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, in announcing this today said the state has achieved a new milestone by crafting its name in CSSP.

"The book is a cooperation between the state government, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Kampar campus and CSSP.

"The book will be about an in-depth study on 7 out of 42 temple caves in Ipoh. All the caves have existed since pre-World War II and it will be an important primary source for future researchers," he said at Bangunan Perak here today.

Also present were Prof. Song Yanpeng from CSSP, UTAR Department of Chinese Studies assistant professor Dr Tan Ai Boay and UTAR Department of Chinese Studies head Toh Teong Chuan.

The caves selected for the book are Nam To Ngam, Perak Cave Temple, Loong Thow Ngam Tao Temple, Sam Poh Tong, Nam Thean Tong Temple, Kwong Fook Ngam Buddhist Chinese Temple and Tung Wah Tong Buddhist Meditation. All the caves are located in Gunung Lang, Gunung Rapat, Simpang Pulai and Tambun.

"The book, between 150 and 200 pages, will also be a medium to introduce temple caves in Perak in order to attract more tourists, especially from China," Mah said.

Meanwhile, Tan who is also the head of the researcher of the project said that they had conducted a thorough research on temple caves since June last year.

"We are doing archiving works as well as field works. We have to drive and walk along the stretch of Kinta Valley because most of them could not be found on Google Maps.

"At the beginning, we had to find out how many caves are in Ipoh. After we discovered that, we narrowed it down to only seven temple caves that were already established before World War II." she said.

The book, in Mandarin and English, will be officially available in July.

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