KUCHING – The Beccari Discovery Trail, launched on July 25, 2020 at the Sri Maha Mariamman Hindu Temple in Kampung Matang, is the latest attraction in the Matang area, especially for nature and history enthusiasts. It is also one of ‘Sia Sitok Sarawak’ Intra-State Tourism Campaign tour packages offered.
The launch coincides with the demise centenary anniversary of a renowned Italian botanist, Odoardo Beccari, who was famous for his passion in making scientific discoveries on plants and insects during the reign of Charles Brooke, Sarawak’s second White Rajah.
Beccari published over 150 scientific papers, working on palms in Matang which earned him the reputation of a world specialist. Today, the forests at Matang are recognised as one of the richest palm habitats in the world with nearly 100 species identified.
The 3.2km trail starts from the old cart track at Kampung Matang to the site of Beccari’s field house – Vallombrosa. The route featured twelve (12) information boards related to some of the plants and animals along the trail, as well as an abandoned tea plantation while Beccari helped to establish for Charles Brooke.
One of the boards highlight Beccari’s findings of the relationship between ants and plants which fascinated him. Another features the diversity of plants, reptiles, amphibians, insects, fungi and so on, found along the trail.
Meanwhile, the launching site of the trail, the Sri Maha Mariamman Hindu Temple marks the legacy of the forefathers of the Indian Hindu community in Sarawak over 100 years ago. Known as the Lost Temple of Matang, it was accidentally discovered by a hunter back in 1960s and was rebuilt later in 2007.