Bukit Panau is situated in the province of Tanah Merah, Kelantan. Among old local folks, it is famous as a place for people of old to polish their martial skills apart from doing meditations. In fact some believe, Bukit Panau is actually the Bukit Pancalusa mentioned in the old Malay text Hikayat Hang Tuah as one of the place where Admiral Hang Tuah learnt the art of war, it is said from a master named Adi Putra.
According to certain sources, Adi Putra is also known as Sheikh Samman or Sayyid Thanauddin who is one of the members of Wali Tujuh (the seven saints). The group headed by an Ahlul Bait, a progeny of Prophet Muhammad SAW by the name of Sayyid Hussein Jamadil Kubra is estimated to have arrived at the Malay lands in the 14 century AD or so.
There are people who said, Bukit Panau was also the place of residence of Puteri Sa'adong, the famous princess in Kelantanese folklore. Others said, Puteri Sa'adong actually lived at Bukit Marak (I don' know where it is), while some said she did stay at Bukit Marak before moving on to Bukit Panau.
Maybe the princess followed the footsteps of her adopted mum Chek Siti Wan Kembang who used to lived in Tanah Merah, in an old country known as Tanah Sekebun Bunga Cherang Tenggayong before 'retiring' to the Gunung Stong, Gunung Ayam area at Ulu Kelantan? Whatever, let me just tell the easy part... About how I felt while climbing up the 234-metre high legendary hill!
Upon arriving at Tanah Merah by the 5.30am train from Gua Musang, I was immediately halted by a taxi driver... He asked where do I want to go, I said Bukit Panau. How much is the fare? RM12. I answered back, there's no need, let me just find a bus... It's different if the fare is shared with others as I have to cut down cost...
I was about to leave the train station area... At once the taxi driver called, there are others going there too, but only up to the villages at the foot of the hill. I just followed... To cut a long story short, I was left at the foothill before starting the climb.
Actually, my stamina is not that strong as it's been a while since I did any sports... My age is also approaching 40 and I'm actually not that well because of certain disturbances, no need to elaborate what are the disturbances.
Thank God, I still have the strong spirit and some 'old folks' tips' practiced which makes me able to take a huge amount of physical and mental load... At least could continue the climb although my breathing is starting to go heavy.
Just looking at such a steep route like this can break one's spirit from continuing the climb especially when one's breathing is starting to get out of pace...
When the steep hill-side is examined, it is apparent the rocks have been colourfully painted... Feels like the job of some Hindu adherents who wants to worship something. I got the opportunity to do the Dhuha (Islamic optional pre-afternoon prayer) using the wudhuk (ritual purification by water) performed earlier at a pool near the foothill.