Cheruk Tokun Relic or Batu Bersurat can be presently found within the compound of the St Anne Church. It took Chandra and me a longtime to find out where these spot is.
Misleading road sign from Penang Ferry lead to nowhere when we were following to search for the relic.
Until our visit with the Penang Heritage Trust member (which I am one) to St Anne Church recently, were we shown a special enclosed area within the compound of the church.
The relic can be traced back to ancient Indian Kingdom of Kadaaram, presently known as Kedah, a northern state in Malaysia.
Some Pallava scripts or Sanskrit inscriptions can be found written on the large, smooth block of granite bearing inscriptions. It was said to have been carved around the 5th - 6th centuries.
The script is Pre-Pallava and the language is Sanskrit. The inscription speaks about 'Thus vanquish, the enemies of King Ramaunnibha'.
It does make one think, what happen to the once very prosperous kingdom? Also the loyal supporters of Raja Chola? All we got now are remnants of the once very ancient 5th - 6th centuries old Penang Indian history.
And its ports were important international markets as Romans, Indians, Chinese, Arabs were the people who used to frequent these places.
The ancient Kingdom of Kadaaram was a rich source of gold. Its rivers contained gold sand. Furthermore, there were abundant spices and forest products.
The kingdom was well-cultivated and hence rich in food material. Further two stone writings or Buddha gupta inscriptions using the Pallava scripts and in the Sanskrit language was found at Guar Kepah, and Cheruk Tok Kun in Bukit Mertajam according to the Archaeological Research 1992-2001.
Southern Kedah or Lembah Bujang civilization in the early century to 20 A.D. was intimately related to maritime trade between a few countries in Asia, China, West Asia and India.
The development of its entrepot trade was often tied to the Thalassocractic Kingdom of Srivijaya.
The finding of historical sites on which could be found thousands of pieces of ceramics, glass and beads from China, West Asia, India or local. The ruins of temples dedicated to Hindu gods and Buddha.
The structures of sunken towns and harbors, cultural artifacts such as idols and statutes, stone writings and tools used in the community's everyday activities had indicated that this cluster as the place where the ancient Kedah coastal state was founded.
Sungai Mas and the corridor of Sungai Muda is a historical site that crosses through pre-historic era of such cultures as the Hoabinhian, proto-history, and history.
Even though its research had taken nearly 150 years, but efforts at revealing, reviving and re-constructing history, its role and development is still being debated and had not been agreed upon.
Its status and potential is recognized by participants of the Inter ASEAN project: Archaeological Excavation and Conversation of Bujang Valley, Kedah in 1985.
It was recognized by the Malaysian Book of Records for the discovery of hundreds of thousands of ancient beads and for being one of the comprehensive locations for the manufacture of beads in the Indo-Pacific region.
Because its harbor was indispensable and located within the trans-peninsular route between Old Kedah and Langkasuka (Patani), it developed into an important city-port.
It seems this unusual megalith is the only megalith in the state of Penang gazette by the Department of Museum and Antiquities. The Museum and Antiquities Department built a shed over the megalith in 1973.
It seems a little late by the time it was enclosed as the one and only megalith in Penang gazette is craved or engraved by people who does not know the significant of it.
Outside the megalith stood a lone stone slab validating the find by a British army officer Colonel James Low in 1845.
After seeing Cheruk Tokun Relic, a 5th century old megalith in Penang, take a walk around the beautiful surrounding of the new St Ann Church.
The architecture, the Station of the Cross and the new Shrine will keep you captivated as the beautiful landscape allows you to breath a breath of fresh air. I do feel so peaceful, serene and I take a deep breath and treasure what I have seen.