Gunung Raya Granite Geosite

Langkawi UNESCO GLobal Geopark > Nature

This geosite is located at the centre of Langkawi, forming the highest peak (881 metres) in the Permanent Forest Reserve managed by the Kedah State Forestry Department. Gunung Raya granite is the youngest rock in Langkawi that intruded during Triassic (220-200 million years ago) causing the uplifting of Langkawi as a land. This granite rock contains a lot of dark-coloured minerals, especially tourmaline with little ilmenite. When the rock is weathered and disintegrated, quartz and dark minerals are transported by rivers, and then stranded onto shores forming black sand beaches, such as Pantai Pasir Hitam.

Gunung Raya is rich in biological diversity, particularly amphibians and reptilians. Among the interesting species here are two new species, Gunung Ray green-crested lizard (Bronchocela rayaensis) and Mahsuri’s rock gecko (Cnemaspis mahsuriae). There is also the Short-hand forest gecko (Cyrtodactylus brevipalmatus), which is a new Malaysian record (previously endemic to Thailand). The mountain also supports the biggest population of Great hornbill (Buceros bicornis), which is the largest hornbill in Malaysia. Gunung Raya is linked to the mythical fight between two giants, Mat Raya and Mat Chinchang who were both cursed by Sang Gedembai into mountains. Gunung Raya has not been fully developed for geotourism activities and efforts are being made to propose this area as the fourth geoforest park in Langkawi.