Kediri Things to Do

  • The Airlangga Museum of Kediri city
    The Airlangga Museum of Kediri city
    by theo1006
  • Ancestor statues at the Airlangga Museum
    Ancestor statues at the Airlangga Museum
    by theo1006
  • An oxcart at the Airlangga Museum
    An oxcart at the Airlangga Museum
    by theo1006

Most Recent Things to Do in Kediri

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    The "Simpang Lima Gumul" monument

    by theo1006 Updated Oct 12, 2012
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    What was the governor of Kediri regency thinking...? Making Kediri a rival city of Paris?
    At a few km east from Kediri centre he had this copy of the Arc the Triomphe built. It stands in the centre of a circle where five roads come together. The area around it should be developed into a Commercial Centre, but was still empty when we last passed by (September 2012).
    Worse, the building is badly executed and already falling apart before it is finished. We asked for access to the upper levels; but stairs were closed, and “the elevator is for the use of the governor only” said a warden.
    So we were left to “admire” the reliefs, depicting a.o. the five religions and Dutch colonizers. And the Ganesha statues, four identical ones on each corners. Would have been more insteresting if they had been four different deities, following the custom of ancient Hindu temples.
    As the Arc sits in the centre of a traffic circle, three parkings on the perimeter of the circle have been provided from where a tunnel leads to the monument. But only one of the tunnels was open, so we had to drive around the circle in order to find the right parking.
    The money spent on this useless landmark had better been invested in upgrading the Airlangga Museum and the Selamangleng Cave park.

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    Selomangleng Hermitage Cave

    by theo1006 Written Oct 11, 2012

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    Selomangleng Cave at Kediri
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    The name Selomangleng can be translated as 'hanging rock' (selo = rock, mangleng = hanging). There are two caves of this name dating from the Majapahit era, one is near Kediri, the other one is located south of Tulungagung. The chambers seem to have been hewn into a stony hill near a spring, perhaps in a forest.
    The Kediri cave consists of two rooms. Their interest lies in the reliefs on their walls and roof. Some show dwellings on a hillside. Others depict small “rice granaries”; three-dimensional granary models in stone can be seen in the museum and are thought to be burial tokens.
    It is said that the daughter of king Airlangga chose a life of contemplation in this cave instead of the throne that was hers by right. She is now revered as Dewi Kilisuci in the nearby Hindu temple of Balinese style.
    The cave lies in a recreation park, together with a museum and a swimming pool. In part it may have been because of the dry season, but we found the park in need of better care. The swimming pool proves that water is available, so it should be possible to keep the park green. The exception was the Hindu temple precinct, but that was closed to the public.

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    • Archeology
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    The Airlangga Museum

    by theo1006 Updated Oct 10, 2012
    The Airlangga Museum of Kediri city
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    Airlangga is the oldest known king who ruled over most or all of East Java (1019-1049 AD. So it is fitting that the museum of Kediri city is named after him.
    The museum displays the usual stone (andesit) artefacts, some inside the building and some outside in the yard: statues depicting deities and ancestors, stela with inscriptions in old Javanese, a finely worked basin for holy water, etc. Not of andesit are a Javanese oxcart and two carriages of European design.
    Unfortunately the museum is badly neglected. When we visited the only guard was a woman with child sitting at a desk at the entrance. She did not even bother to ask for the Rp 1000 admission fee. What a difference with the Penataran museum, where an enthusiastic curator walked around with us explaining everything.

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    Tegowangi temple

    by theo1006 Updated Nov 26, 2010
    Candi Tegowangi
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    Like Candi Surowono, Candi Tegowangi is a Hindu temple from the Majapahit kingdom dated at 1400 AD. It seems a curious coincidence, but both temples are in commemoration of a king or prince who died in 1388. For Candi Tegowangi this would be king Bhre Matahun, also known as Rajasawardhana, who was married to a younger sister of king Ayam Wuruk.

    Candi Tegowangi was larger than Candi Surowono. The remaining base measures 11 m square, not counting the staircase in its western side. It too was built of andesit on a base of brick, of its height remains just 4.35 m.

    Candi Tegowangi also features three gana's 'supporting' the construction with their arms, but they are located in the centre of the sides, not on the corners. The very fine reliefs around the temple depict the story Sudamala in 14 panels. This story is about the transformation of the ugly Dewi Durga into the beautiful Dewi Uma wrought by Sadewa, the youngest of the Pandawa brothers.

    The yoni which once stood inside the temple now can be seen standing apart in the temple grounds, together with a statue of Garuda in human form (Parwati Ardhenari) . Also one perwara or ancillary temple has been preserved, featuring men carrying loads on a bamboo stick.

    Website: navigasi.net/goglr.php?tab=g&a=bucatgwn (in Indonesian).

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    Kelud Volcano V, the Spa

    by theo1006 Updated Apr 25, 2010

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    Billboard to
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    It takes an effort to see the "Hot River of Kelud Baby" and the "Sulphuric Spa", but they are well worth it. You have to go down a long stairway of 598 steps, not counting the descent into the spa or the short ascent to the hot-water falls.

    A billboard points to the stairs, which are near the parking. We were slightly disappointed when we arrived downstairs: the pretty girls on the billboard are not there! There was (on a workday) a steady trickle of domestic visitors. They come for the hot-water pools or "spa". If you intend to join them, bring your bathing suit; a tarpaulin booth for changing is available.

    One has to take some care when bathing in the pools. The water from the volcano is scalding hot, and is mixed with cold water from a river. But the mixing in the pools is not perfect. When one thinks one has found a spot with a comfortable temperature, a whiff of hotter water may spoil the comfort.

    While enjoying the "spa" you must wonder where the water comes from. The answer can be found by ascending the few steps beyond the bridge. When the vapours allow, there is just visible the man-made tunnel leading to the lake bottom. In a series of steaming falls and cataracts the water finally arrives at the "spa". See Travelogue Hot River of Kelud Baby.

    The tunnel must be the last one of a series excavated since 1919 to drain the lake and avert a possible disaster of millions of cubic meters of water rushing down the mountain after an eruption. This last one was dug in 1967 (after the 1966 eruption). The water temperature was at most 36 °C until the eruption that created Anak Gung Kelud in 2007. Nowadays the lake has disappeared, but the tunnel delivers scalding hot water.

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    Kelud Volcano IV, the Lookout Point

    by theo1006 Updated Apr 25, 2010

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    The Kelud lookout point
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    Just outside the tunnel, before one goes down to the lava dome, there is a flight of 498 stairs climbing up de crater ridge to a lookout point. From there one overlooks the whole crater with the lava dome as well as Blitar plane to the south.

    To the summit?
    We saw a path leaving the lookout in the direction of the highest point of the ridge. That would be the summit at 1731 m above sea level. But we did not attempt it, because clouds were already gathering around it.

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    • Mountain Climbing
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    Kelud Volcano III, the Child of Kelud

    by theo1006 Written Apr 22, 2010

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    Kelud volcano: the lava dome
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    What they call Anak Gunung Kelud, litterally the 'Child of Kelud Mountain', is a smoking lava dome which has arisen in the crater when the volcano was active in November 2007. Before that time there used to be a lake on the crater floor, of which only a small pool now remains.

    Visitors used to be allowed to approach the lake, but nowadays a locked gate and some barbed wire try to keep you at a distance from the lava dome. It was not too difficult to creep through the barbed wire to make some close-up pictures. But indeed we wouldn't dare set foot on the dome itself!

    Try googling "Kelud volcano" for pictures of the fiery lava dome in 2007!

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    Kelud Volcano II, the Tunnel

    by theo1006 Updated Apr 22, 2010

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    Kelud volcano: the tunnel entrance
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    If we may trust the distance posted at the safety gate, then one has to walk 1.7 km from the parking to Anak Gunung Kelud, the lava dome in the crater. Some 120 m (our estimate) of this distance leads through a tunnel in the caldera rim, a shortcut from the outside to the inside of the caldera. You may bring a torchlight, but actually the walkway is quite smooth so that one may feel one's way through in the dark. Right at the start the tunnel makes a bend, so that one cannot see the exit. But once around the bend the exit is visible straight ahead.

    When one exits the tunnel one has the lava dome in view, and a flight of 148 stairs leads down to it.

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    Kelud Volcano I, the Access Road

    by theo1006 Written Apr 22, 2010

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    Kelud volcano: the road in the sky
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    At about 30 km of Kediri town, Kelud volcano has long been a favourite destination of domestic tourists. When the volcano had quietened down after its eruption in November 2007, the government of Kediri regency ordered the access road to be upgraded, so that now one can comfortably get into walking distance of the crater by car or motorbike. For the last few kms the road runs over steep ridges, quite an achievement of road building! Do not go near the roadside if you are subject to fear of heights.

    Directions: As Blitar is the better place to stay, and at the same distance as Kediri, we give here directions for the shortest itinirary to Kelud from Blitar.
    Take Jalan Ir Soekarno north out of town past Makam Bung Karno and Penataran. At 2.7 km from the Penataran temples turn right, direction Kediri and Wates. At 6.5 km do not take direction Wates, but take the road to the right. At 8.3 km at a crossing do NOT follow the sign pointing to Gunung Kelud, but turn right again to Sempu village. And at 11 km from the Penataran temples turn right another time. You now pass through Sempu village and pineapple plantations, until you reach Ngancar village at 17.7 km. Here take the road through Ngancar to Kelud mountain. After 3 km you reach the plantation gate where you pay the entrance fee. From there it is another 8.6 km through Margomulyo plantation to the iron saftety gate (closed at night) and 800 m more to the parking.

    Entrance: The plantation collects Rp 5000 from domestic visitors, Rp 15,000 from foreigners and Rp 2000 for a car.

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    Surowono temple

    by theo1006 Updated Mar 1, 2010
    Surowono temple near Pare, Kediri
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    Candi Surawana or Surowono was built in 1390 AD and consecrated in 1400 as a memorial to Wijayarajasa, prince of Wengker. The prince was a vassal and uncle by marriage of Rajasanagara (the king of the Hindu empire Majapahit also known as Ayam Wuruk) and wielded much power in is time. He died in 1388 and according to custom the Srada ceremony was held for him twelve years later.

    The temple was built of andesit on a foundation of brick. Only the base of the temple remains, reaching a height of 4.6 m. It forms a square with a side of 8 m, not counting the staircase on the west side which led to the inner chamber which has disappeared.

    The sides of the temple are decorated with finely detailed basreliefs.
    At the corners of the base we see ganas upholding the building with their arms. Between them are pictures of daily life and fables. Among the latter the story of "heron, fish and crab". The heron wanted to catch fish and wore a headdress to disguise himself as a shaman. But the crab sees through his disguise and kills him by pinching him by the neck.

    The main story depicted by the upper band of reliefs is the Arjunawiwaha, composed in 1035 AD by the poet Mpu Kwana. The story is very famous and until this day the subject of drama and paintings. The first episode is Arjuna's meditation on the east-facing wall, when Arjuna is tested by the gods three times. Going around we then see Arjuna's battle where he is assisted by Suprabha, and finally his reward in heaven where he marries seven heavenly nymphs.
    The story is interrupted by vertical panels on the corners depicting scenes of other stories.

    Address: Surowono hamlet, Canggu village, Pare district.

    Directions: From Pare town square take Jalan HOS Tjokroaminoto north for a few km. At the second traffic lights (near a mosque) turn right, then at a T-crossing left and the next road right again. Here you are in Canggu village, drive another km to Surowono hamlet, where you find the temple on the left side of the road. Total distance form Pare town square: 5.5 km, from Kediri: 28 km.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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