Tulungagung Things to Do
Visit Wonorejo Barrier
Wonorejo barrier is a recent addition to Java's water management infrastructure. It was inaugurated in 2001 after 19 years of construction. It is a massive dam across a relatively narrow valley. Upstream of the dam a deep lake has formed suitable for all kind of water sports. Swimming is not encouraged though, 'because we have no supervision'. So you swim at your own risk. And for water-skying you would have to bring your own gear.
Although not high (the dam reaches 188 m above sea level), the climate is relatively cool. Approaching the dam there are some fine views. Accommodation is available, both luxury and budget, see Tulungagung hotel tips. The recreation area is well managed by the government-owned company Jasa Tirta I. Entrance fee: Rp 3000 per person, Rp 2000 per car.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Water Sports
Tulungagung Off The Beaten Path
Candi Mirigambar or Candi Gambar was described by Dutch archeologists in 1915. It was then in ruins, not much more than the base remaining, and since has been left in that state. Remains of other temples, including those of a bathing basin Mliwis Putih,indicated that this may have been a large place of devotion with several temples. The archaeologists deciphered two reliefs of Javanese script: in the base itself the year 1310 Saka (1388 AD) and nearby the year 1321 Saka (1399 AD). That would fit with a bronze plate also found nearby, relating that king Wikramawardhana of Majapahit was succeeded by king Hayam Wuruk, which event took place in 1389 AD.
The temple was built of brick. In its present state the temple measures about 8 m by 8 m, with entrance stairs on the west side. All around the base were reliefs carved in brick of which several remain. The archaeologists did not venture a guess about the meaning of the reliefs, but locals believe that they relate to the legendary king Prabu Angling Dharma, who had supernatural powers and could talk to animals in their own language. Of his presumed adventures a TV series was made.
Address: Mirigambar village, Sumbergempol district, Tulungagung regency,
Directions: Leave Tulungagung along the Blitar road, about 5 km to Sumbergempol. At the first traffic lights in Sumbergempol turn south, after 3.3 km turn east, after another 1.2 km turn south again for 1.2 km and then east again for 500 m, south 850 m, east 1.5 km, for a total of 8.5 km. At the T-crossing with a primary school on your right, go another 200 m south and 400 m east, then you arrive at a soccer field on your right. The ruins are located across the soccer field, under a big banyan tree.
As the gate was closed, we asked around and were referred to the warden, Pak Suyoto. He lives in a side-road 200 me before you reach the soccer field. His mobile phone was 081 33 42 85 857.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel
The following is a summary from a leaflet we received from the warden (juru kunci), Mr. Jono. He lives in the second of three houses between the crossing and the temple site (see directions).
Gayatri temple, or rather the ruins of it, are named thus because a statue found on the spot has been identified as a statue of Gayatri, a daughter of king Kertanegara of Singhosari who became the spouse of King Wijaya of Majapahit. Her memory is revered because she also was a Buddhist priestess (bhiksuni) with the title of Rajapadmi. It is thought that the temple was built to bury her ashes and/or as a place to worship her.
The temple ruins were recovered in 1914 by local people, under a mound of earth. There were three temples facing West, constructed of brick with a wooden roof. The statue of Gayatri has been replaced on the base of the central and largest one. She is shown sitting on a lotus flower, her hands in the pose of a teacher. Unfortunately her head and left arm have been looted.
The age of the temple could be ascertained from inscriptions on base stones showing the years 1291 Saka (AD 1369) and 1322 Saka (AD 1389). This means that it was built during the reign of King Hayam Wuruk of Majapahit (AD 1359-1389). It is also referred to in the chronicles by Mpu Prapanca, who relates that in Boyolanggu there was a holy buiding named Prajnaparmitapuri.
Address: Dadapan hamlet, Boyolangu village, Boyolangu district, Tulungagung regency.
Directions: From Tulungagung take the main road south direction Popoh. After 5.0 km along this road (i.e. 250 m before you reach the main crossing at Boyolangu village) there is a porch “Gang Gayatri” on the West side of the road. At 600 m from the porch lies the temple site.Related to:
- Road Trip
Candi Dadi is a remarkable temple, different from most others. We had been in the neighbourhood before, but not come round to seek it out. It takes some effort to reach the temple, as it lies on the highest summit of theWalikukun hills, 360 masl. It took us 45 minutes to walk the 3 km path, wishing there were more trees to shade it.
Our reward were the temple and the view, overlooking Tulungagung plain.
The temple is remarkably well preserved. One curious detail, there are no stairs leading up or into the temple. Statues and reliefs are lacking too. We met the caretaker (juru kunci) named Andi Kristia Pamuji (HP 081 2592 50477), who gave valuable information. He invited Theo to climb on top of the temple by way of a rickety bamboo ladder, but I have a little fear of heights. Then he climbed up himself and made pics with our camera of another curious detail, the big hole in the temple, 3 m wide and deep. He described the hole as a yoni, but much much bigger than usual. He did not want money for his services.
It is thought that the temple was built by the end of the 14th century, when Islam was spreading on Java and those who preferred the belief of their Hinduist and Buddhist ancestors took refuge in remote areas, far from the royal courts.
Address: Sanggrahan village, Boyolangu district, Tulungagung regency.
Directions: From Tulungagung take the road south to Sanggrahan village. At at the crossing near the village office (kantor desa Sanggrahan), go 500 m east where you find a rusted signboard pointing into a narrow path heaidng south. From here it is a tough 3 km walk uphill, which took us 45 minutes. After about 1 km on top of the first ridge the path turns east. If in doubt, follow the blue arrows or patches painted on exposed rocks. Pay attention to the way you came, because there are several routes down, and you don't want to end up at another place from where you started. Best start early to avoid the heat of day.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking