Pariwisata Indonesia

Pariwisata Indonesia (13)



The Most Beautiful Hindu Temple in the World

One of the largest Hindu temple in Southeast Asia, the beautiful and elegant temple of Prambanan is a magnificent spectacle and an icon of Indonesia’s cultural heritage.

Located not far from the Buddhist Borobudur temple, Prambanan is located in Central Java, roughly 20 kilometres from Yogyakarta, the renowned cultural centre of Java.

The temples at Prambanan were built in the 9th century. The tallest temple of Prambanan is a staggering 47 meters high. Its peak visible from a quite a distant and rises high above the ruins of the other temples.

After hundreds of years of neglect, the Prambanan temple was rediscovered by CA Lons, a Dutchman, in 1733. Since then, this temple has been revitalized and today is widely regarded as the most beautiful and elegant Hindu temple in Indonesia. The grandeur, complexity, and integrated architectural concept of Prambanan, makes this a truly amazing structure. As a unique cultural and architectural marvel, Prambanan was declared a World Heritage site in 1991 by UNESCO.

Prambanan temple has three main temples in the primary yard; Vishnu temple – the Sustainer; Brahma temple – the Creator; and Shiva temple – the Destroyer. These three temples are symbols of Trimurti in the Hindu beliefs. All face to the east. Each main temple has an accompanying temple facing to the west, namely Nandini for Shiva, Angsa for Brahma, and Garuda for Vishnu. Besides them, there are 2 side temples, 4 colored temples and 4 corner temples. In the second area, there are 224 temples.

Entering Shiva temple, which is the highest temple and is located in the middle, you will find four rooms. One main room contains the Shiva statue, while the other three rooms contain the statues of Durga (Shiva's wife), Agastya (Shiva's teacher), and Ganesha (Shiva's son). Durga statue is said to be the statue of Roro Jonggrang in the legends.

In Vishnu temple, located to the north of Shiva temple, you will find only one room with Vishnu statue in it. In the Brahma temple, located to the south of Shiva temple, there is only one room with a Brahma statue in it. Prambanan also has information panels describing the story of Ramayana. Experts say that the panels is similar to the story of Ramayana that is told from generation to generation.

The legend

The popular legend of Loro Jonggrang is what connects the site of the Ratu Boko Palace, the origin of the Durga statue in northern cell/chamber of the main shrine, and the origin of the Sewu temple complex nearby. The legend tells of the story about Prince Bandung Bondowoso who fell in love with Princess Loro Jonggrang, the daughter of King Boko. The princess rejected his proposal of marriage because Bandung Bondowoso had killed King Boko and ruled her kingdom. Bandung Bondowoso insisted on the union. Finally Loro Jonggrang was forced to agree to the union in marriage, but she made one impossible condition: Bandung must build her a thousand temples in only one night.

The Prince entered into meditation and conjured up a multitude of spirits (demons) from the earth. Helped by supernatural beings, he succeeded in building 999 temples. When the prince was about to complete the last temple, the princess woke all her palace maids and ordered the women of the village to begin pounding rice and set a fire in the east of the temple, in attempt to make the prince and the spirits believe that the sun was about to rise. As the cocks began to crow, fooled by the light and the sounds of morning time, the spirits (demons) fled back into the ground. The prince was furious about the deception and in revenge he cursed Loro Jonggrang to stone. She became the last and the most beautiful of the thousand statues. According to the traditions, the unfinished thousandth temple created by the demons became the Sewu temple (Sewu means "thousands" in Javanese), and the Princess is the image of Durga in the north cell of the Shiva temple at Prambanan, which is still known as Loro Jonggrang or Slender Virgin.

Other temples around Prambanan

The Prambanan Plain span between the southern slopes of Merapi volcano in the north and Sewu mountain range in the south, near the present border of Yogyakarta province and the Klaten Regency, Central Java. Apart from the Lara Jonggrang complex, and the Prambanan plain, is the location of some of the earliest Buddhist temples in Indonesia. Not far to the north are the ruins of Bubrah temple, Lumbung temple, and Sewu temple. Further east are the Plaosan temple. To the west are the Kalasan temple and Sari temple, while further to the west are the Sambisari temples, and finally to the south are the Ratu Boko compounds which are on higher grounds. The discoveries of these archaeological sites are scattered only a few miles away, and were suggested that these area was an important religious, political, and urban center.

North of the Lara Jongrang complex

Candi Lumbung. Buddhist-style, consisting of one main temple surrounded by 16 smaller ones.
Candi Bubrah. Buddhist temple still in ruins.
Sewu. Buddhist temple complex, older than Roro Jonggrang. A main sanctuary surrounded by many smaller temples. Well preserved guardian statues, replicas of which stand in the central courtyard at the Jogja Kraton.
Candi Morangan. Hindu temple complex buried several meters under volcanic ashes, located northwest from Prambanan.
Candi Plaosan. Buddhist, probably 9th century. Thought to have been built by a Hindu king for his Buddhist queen. Two main temples with reliefs of Boddhisatva and Tara. Also rows of slender stupas.

South of the Lara Jongrang complex
Ratu Boko. Complex of fortified gates, bathing pools, and elevated walled stone enclosure, all located on top of the hill.
Sajiwan. Buddhist temple decorated with reliefs concerning education. The base and staircase are decorated with animal fables.
Banyunibo. A Buddhist temple with a unique roof design.
Candi Barong. A Hindu temple complex with large stepped stone courtyard. Located on the slope of the hill.
Candi Ijo. A cluster of Hindu temple located near the top of Ijo hill. The main temple houses a large lingam and yoni statue.
Arca Bugisan. Seven Buddha and bodhisattva statues, some collapsed, representing different poses and expressions.

West of the Lara Jongrang complex
Kalasan. 8th century Buddhist temple built in commemoration of the marriage of a king and his princess bride, ornamented with finely carved reliefs.
Sari. Once a sanctuary for Buddhist priests, discovered in the 8th century. Nine stupas at the top with two rooms beneath, each believed to be places for priests to meditate.
Sambisari. 9th century Hindu temple discovered in 1966, once buried 6.5 metres under volcanic ash. The main temple houses a linga and yoni statue, and the wall surrounding it displayed the images of Agastya, Durga, and Ganesha.
Gebang. A small Hindu temple discovered in 1937 located near the Yogyakarta northern ring-road. The temple displays the statue of Ganesha and interesting carving of faces on the roof.
Candi Gana. Rich in statues, bas-reliefs and sculpted stones. Frequent representations of children or dwarfs with raised hands. Located in the middle of the housing complex. Under restoration since 1997.
Candi Kedulan. Discovered in 1994 by sand diggers, 4 meters deep. Secondary temples not yet fully excavated.


By plane
Yogyakarta's airport is just ten kilometers from Prambanan. A taxi can be taken directly to the site and should cost approximately Rp 50,000.

By bus

You will be able to see Prambanan temple in a short distance across the street. There are a few Horse Carts waiting for passengers near Prambanan bus station, which will cost of approximately Rp. 15,000,- (fifteen thousands rupiah), the cart will deliver you from Prambanan bus station to the entrance gate of Prambanan temple and will also be available to take you back from the temple to the station again. The horse carts are also a unique experience when we have a moment to visit Prambanan Temple.




Lombok is an island in West Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Barat or NTB) province, Indonesia. It forms part of the chain of the Lesser Sunda Islands, with the Lombok Strait separating it from Bali to the west and the Alas Strait between it and Sumbawa to the east. It is roughly circular in shape, with a "tail" (Sekotong Peninsula) to the southwest, about 70 km across and a total area of about 4,725 km² (1,825 sq mi). The provincial capital and the largest city on the island is Mataram. It is fairly similar in size and density with its neighboring island; Bali and shares some cultural heritage, but is administratively part of NTB along with sparsely populated Sumbawa. It is surrounded by a number of smaller islands, locally called Gili.

The island is home to approximately 3.16 million Indonesians as recorded in the decennial 2010 census.


The most developed tourism area is on the west coast of the island and is concentrated on the village of Senggigi. Senggigi is a settlement which contains the most developed tourism facilities. On the west is a coastal strip, spreading along a 30 km wide area, following the coastal road north of Mataram, near the Ampenan airport. The main tourism area extends to Tanjung in the northwest, at the foot of Mount Rinjani and includes the Sire and Medana Peninsulas and the highly popular Gili Islands lying immediately offshore. These three small islands are most commonly accessed by boat from Bangsal near Pemenang, Teluk Nare a little to the south, or from further south at Senggigi and Mangsit beach. A large number of hotels and resorts offer accommodations ranging from budgeted to luxurious travelers. Recently speedboat services have been running from Bali making a direct route to the Gili islands. Although constantly changing in character, the Gili islands still provide both a lay-back backpacker's retreat and a high class resort destination.
Other tourist destinations include Mount Rinjani, Gili Bidara, Gili Lawang, Narmada Park and Mayura Park and Kuta (distinctly different from Kuta, Bali).[19] Kuta is also famous for its beautiful, largely deserted, white sandy beaches. Sekotong, in southwest of Lombok, is popular for its numerous and diverse scuba diving locations. South Lombok’s surfing is considered some of the best in the world and includes Desert Point at Banko Banko in the southwest of the island. The northern west coast near Tanjung has many new luxury hotels and villas developments centered close to Sire and Medana peninsular near the Gili islands and a new boating marina at Medana bay. These new developments complement the already existing 5 star resorts and a large golf course already established there.





Lombok International Airport (Bandara Internasional Lombok) is constructed at south west of the small regional city of Praya in South central Lombok, to replace Selaparang Lombok Airport. It is started to begin operations in October 2011 and Selaparang have been closed.

Lembar Harbour seaport in the southwest has shipping facilities, a ferry for road vehicles, and passenger services. Labuhan Lombok ferry port on the east coast provides a ferry for road vehicles and passenger services to Poto Tano on Sumbawa.


Raja Ampat


Located in the northwest tip of “Bird's Head” Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, in Indonesia's West Papua province, Raja Ampat (literally means Four Kings), is an archipelago that comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta, Waigeo, and the smaller island of Kofiau.

Raja Ampat  is new regency which separated from Sorong in 2004. It encompasses more than 40,000 km² of land and sea, which also contains Cenderawasih Bay, the largest marine national park in Indonesia.

The main occupation for local people here is fisherman. They live in a small colony of tribes that spreads around the area. Even strongly dominated with traditional culture, they are very welcome to newcomer.

Supported with oceanic natural resource around, Raja Ampat is significantly potential tourism object. Raja Ampat is also frequently placed as top ten popular diving place, moreover it’s also becomes number one in top underwater biodiversity place.

According to Marine Surveys of International Conservation International, it is reported that the marine life in Raja Ampat area has the highest diversity recorded on Earth. This area diversity is considerably greater than any other area sampled in the well-known ‘Coral Triangle’, that composed of Indonesia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea. This Coral Triangle is the heart of the world's coral reef biodiversity, this fact makes Raja Ampat as the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world.

The massive coral colonies along with relatively high sea surface temperatures in this area, makes the reefs be relatively resistant to threats - like coral bleaching and coral disease, which now jeopardize the survival of other coral ecosystems around the world. This Raja Ampat islands are remote and relatively undisturbed area.

The high marine diversity in Raja Ampat is strongly influenced by its position between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, in which coral and fish larvas are more easily shared between the two oceans. Raja Ampat's coral diversity, resilience, and role as larval source make it as a global priority for marine protection.

With 1,309 fish species, 537 coral species, a remarkable 96% of all scleractinia in the world that recorded from Indonesia are likely to occur in these islands, and 699 mollusk species, the variety of marine life in Raja Ampat is staggering. Some areas in Raja Ampat regency boast enormous regular sightings of sharks, such as wobbegongs.


Spend Your Honeymoon with your Viance in Raja-Ampat

Raja Ampat is one of the best natural destination for snorkeling and diving. Underwater enthusiasts flock to this region because of its world’s best marine sights.

Once they took their flight to the "bird head" / peninsula of Papua island, everything changed as they embarked on a diving tour. In the Raja Ampat islands, divers can explore vertical underwater walls. The thrill of drift diving is another great challenge. These are some awesome experiences that you will find in Raja Ampat.

In Raja Ampat there are also some great activities to fully enjoy your days with, such as:
•    Spectacular diving and snorkeling
•    Bird spotting – find the illusive Bird of Paradise from the water
•    Fishing - unexplored fly-fishing for bonefish or deep water trolling for marlin and sailfish
•    Sensational kayaking in the shallow bays, especially in the mangrove forests
•    Wreck diving in this area is superb as well. There are many wrecks here that haven't been plundered such as in Truk Lagoon, Papua New Guinea, the Solomons, Vanuatu and other well- known wreck diving areas.

Most of these World War II - wrecks were not seen by humans again until now and therefore completely intact. Over 50 years, marine life growing on and around them, that has turned them like beautiful gardens. By special arrangement of local government, divers can schedule to dive wrecks in the Manokwari area (east side of the 'bird's head'). Although there are plenty of wrecks all around the area, the wrecks in Manokwari are in shallowly clear water with plenty of coral growth and sea life surrounding them.

How to get there ?

The easiest way to get to Raja Ampat is to fly to Sorong via Jakarta. Domestic travelers can also fly via Makassar or Manado.

From Jakarta or Bali: Merpati, Express Air, Batavia Air and Lion/Wings operate daily flights from Jakarta to Sorong (with stopovers in Ujung Pandang/Makassar and/or Manado)

After landed on Sorong, then rent a boat to Raja Ampat Islands.

Best Season to visit :
May to October every year.



Tangkuban Perahu

Tangkuban Perahu

Tangkuban Perahu (pronounce: Tangkuban Parahu in local Sundanese dialect) volcano is located 30 km in the north of Bandung, the capital of West Java province, Indonesia. This last eruption was in 1959. The popular attraction of this mountain is hiking or riding to the edge of the crater, viewing hot water springs and the boiling mud up closely. Buying eggs that cooked on its hot surface is an alternative.

Tangkuban Perahu name has its ancient history. Tangkuban is the word of sundanese which means flipped over and Perahu means ship in English. In the whole term, Tangkuban Perahu means as mountain that has a shape like a flipped over-ship. This mountain shape can be seen from far away.

The location of Tangkuban Perahu is in Lembang, north side of Bandung. Surrounding with fresh air, using jacket during the journey is a must, especially when you arrive on the peak already. It will relieve your mood, by seeing the green color of the tea plantations along the road. These tea plantation are spread out on the land like a giant carpets.

There’re three caldron in Tangkuban Perahu. First caldron, near the gate is the Domas. In this caldron, you can even boil an eggs. This activity is recommended since it will give you special experience, in compare with your usual cooking activities. The second  is the Ratu Caldron. It is the main caldron and it takes a distant from the gate.But this main caldron is the widest among the others three. This caldron is 100-200m below the peak of Tangkuban Perahu.  This caldron is different from the Domas one, visitor cannot reach this caldron nearer, they can  see it from the peak only. Take a look at the deep of the caldron, the wall of the caldron and the smoke that still expel from this caldron is creating a sensational vie. Wood fence are set up surrounding this cauldron to avoid people from falling down. The land around the caldron is white with yellow sulfur rocks.

On the peak there’s a lot of people selling handycrafts. There are hat, sweater, cloth, wood sculpture, etc. Not only handycrafts, but also some foods. You can buy and taste the special beverage from Bandung, named Bandrek. Bandrek is made from ginger. If we’re drink bandrek, it will give you warm in your body. Using a jacket or sweater is a must on this peak, it’s cold up here.

The third caldron is the Upas. The journey to this caldron is harder to reach,  road with a lot of rocks along makes a special adventure on your journey. Your hards effort is worthy when you finally reach the peak. The view here is sensational. This mountain usually will be crowded by Indonesian visitors especially from West Java and Jakarta, in Saturday and Sunday. There’re also some foreigners that come to this mountain usually.
Local legend of the mountain

The name of Tangkuban Perahu translates roughly to "upturning of (a) boat" or "upturned boat" in Sundanese, referring to the local legend of its creation. The story tells of "Dayang Sumbi", a beauty villager who lived in West Java. She cast away her son "Sangkuriang" for disobedience, and in her sadness was granted the power of eternal youth by the Gods. After many years in exile, Sangkuriang decided to return to his home, long after the two had forgotten and failed to recognize each other. Sangkuriang fell in love with Dayang Sumbi and planned to marry her. Fortunately, Dayang Sumbi recognize his birthmark just as he was about to go hunting. In order to prevent the marriage to be happened, Dayang Sumbi asked Sangkuriang to build a dam on the river Citarum and to build a large boat to cross the river, both before the sunrise. Sangkuriang meditated and summoned mythical ogre-like creatures -buta hejo or green giant(s)- to do his bidding. Dayang Sumbi saw that the tasks were almost completed and called on her workers to spread red silk cloths east of the city, to give the impression of impending sunrise. Sangkuriang was fooled, and upon believing that he had failed, kicked the dam and the unfinished boat, resulting in severe flooding and the creation of Tangkuban Perahu from the hull of the boat.

By plane,
Bandung's Hussein Sastranegara airport is located at the end of Pajajaran Street, 4 km from the centre of the city. Continued by taxi, a metered taxi costs approximately US$2, but most hotels provide a free airport transfer services.
By bus,
The most convenient way is the air-conditioned bus with the express or non-stop tag. The main bus terminals in Bandung are Leuwipanjang, serving route from the west (Bogor, Jakarta, Merak, Pandeglang, Tangerang, Depok, Bekasi, Cikarang, Cibinong and Sukabumi.) and Cicaheum, serving routes from the east (Cirebon, Garut, Tasikmalaya, Banjar, Pangandaran, Indramayu, central Java cities, eastern Java cities and also from Bali Island).


Kota Tua Jakarta (Jakarta Old Town)


Jakarta Old Town, also known as Old Batavia (Oud Batavia), is a small area in Jakarta, Indonesia. This particular region has an area of 1.3 square kilometers across the North Jakarta and West Jakarta (Pinangsia, Taman Sari and Roa Malaka).

Dubbed the "Jewel of Asia" and "Queen of the East" in the 16th century by European voyagers, Jakarta has long considered as a center of trade for the continent of Asia because of its strategic location and abundant resources.


In 1526, Fatahillah, sent by the Sultanate of Demak, attacked the port of Sunda Kelapa in Pajajaran Hindu kingdom, later named White Rose. The city is only 15 hectares and has a traditional Javanese port city governance. In 1619, the VOC destroyed the White Rose under the command of Jan Pieterszoon Coen. One year later, the VOC built a new town named Batavieren Batavia, the Dutch ancestor. The city was centered around the east bank of the River Ciliwung, the current field of Fatahillah.

Batavia resident called "Batavianen", later known as the tribe "Betawi", composed of ethnic creole which is a descendant of the various ethnic groups that inhabit Batavia.

In 1635, the city expanded to the west bank of the River Ciliwung, in the ruins of the former White Rose. The city was designed by Dutch European style complete with a castle (Kasteel Batavia), city walls, and canals. The city is arranged in blocks that separated by a channel . Batavia city has completed built in 1650. Batavia became the headquarters of the VOC in the East Indies. Canals were filled because of the emergence of tropical epidemic in the walls of the city due to bad sanitation. This city started to expand to the south after the epidemic in 1835 and 1870 prompted many people out of the city narrow to the realm of Weltevreden (now the area around the Merdeka Square). Batavia became the administrative center of the Dutch East Indies. In 1942, during the Japanese occupation, Batavia was renamed Jakarta and still serves as the capital of Indonesia until now.

In 1972, the Governor of Jakarta, Ali Sadikin, issued a decree that officially made the Old City as a heritage site. Governor's decision was intended to protect the architectural history of the city - or at least the remaining buildings there. Although the governor decree has been isued, Old Town remains neglected. Many residents welcomed this decree, but it was not much to protect the legacy of Dutch colonial era.

Places that have been destroyed

In developing Jakarta, DKI Jakarta provincial government destroyed some buildings or places in the Old Jakarta area with specific reasons. Places are:
- Fortress Batavia
- Gate of Amsterdam (the location was in the cross of Clove Road, Cob Road and East Fisher Street. Crushed for access road widening.)
-  Tram lane Batavia

Interesting and historic places

Jakarta Old Town is a vacation spot both for persons who lives inside of Jakarta and from outside one. There are lot of interesting places to visit in Jakarta, but if you want to know the history of origin Jakarta, having vacation to the Old City of Jakarta is a good choice. This old city area was built by Jan Pieterszoon Coen, governor general of a VOC in 1619, his government buildings are now used as the Museum, also include:
•    Gedung Arsip Nasional (National Archives Building)
•    Gedung Chandranaya (Chandranaya Building)
•    Vihara Jin De Yuan (Vihara Dharma Bhakti)
•    Petak Sembilan (Nine plots)
•    Pecinan Glodok & Pinangsia
•    Gereja Sion (Zion Church)
•    Tugu Jam Kota Tua Jakarta (Tugu Jakarta Old Town Clock)
•    Stasiun Jakarta Kota (Jakarta Kota Station)
•    Museum Bank Mandiri
•    Museum Bank Indonesia
•    Standard-Chartered Bank
•    Kota's Pub
•    VG Pub Kota
•    Toko Merah (Red Shop)
•    Cafe Batavia
•    Museum Sejarah Jakarta Or  Museum Fatahillah (Former Batavia City Hall) Museum Seni Rupa dan Keramik (Former Court of Batavia)
•    Lapangan Fatahillah (Field Fatahillah)
•    Replika Sumur Batavia (Wells replica of Batavia)
•    Museum Wayang
•    Kali Besar (Grootegracht)
•    Hotel Former
•    Nieuws van de Dag
•    Gedung Dasaad Musin (Dasaad Musin Building)
•    Jembatan Tarik Kota Intan (Diamond City Bridge Pull)
•    Galangan VOC (Shipyard Of VOC)
•    Menara Syahbandar (Syahbandar Tower)
•    Museum Bahari
•    Pasar Ikan (Fish Market)
•    Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa (Sunda Kelapa Port)
•    Masjid Luar Batang (Luar Batang Mosque)


The primary airport of Jakarta is Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, one of Indonesia's two major international air gateways. The other airport which serves the city is Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport.


National Archives Building


Fatahillah Museum


Jakarta Kota Station


Bank Mandiri Museum


Immanuel Church


Shipyard of VOC


Kota Intan Bridge


Wayang Traditional Art, West Java

Wayang is an Indonesian word for theatre (literally "shadow") When the term is used to refer to kinds of puppet theater, sometimes the puppet itself is referred to as wayang. ", the Javanese word for shadow or imagination, also connotes "spirit." Performances of shadow puppet theater are accompanied by gamelan in Java, and by "gender wayang" in Bali.

UNESCO designated Wayang Kulit, a shadow puppet theater and the best known of the Indonesian wayang, as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on 7 November 2003. In return of the acknowledgment, UNESCO demanded Indonesia to preserve their heritage.


History of Wayang Kulit

Wayang shadow-puppet (Bali, early 20th century)

Wayang is a generic term denoting traditional theatre in Indonesia. There is no evidence that wayang existed before Hinduism came to Southeast Asia sometime in the first century CE brought in by Indian traders. However, there very well may have been indigenous storytelling traditions that had a profound impact on the development of the traditional puppet theatre. The first record of a wayang performance is from an inscription dated 930 CE which says "si Galigi mawayang," or "Sir Galigi played wayang". From that time till today it seems certain features of traditional puppet theatre have remained. Galigi was an itinerant performer who was requested to perform for a special royal occasion. At that event he performed a story about the hero Bhima from the Mahabharata.

Wayang is also known as Wayang Kulit Kelantan in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, especially those in Kelantan and Terengganu. They are physically different in form, language and music with those in Indonesia. In Malaysia, the Indonesian version of Wayang is known as Wayang Kulit Jawa.

Wayang Kulit is a very unique form of theatre employing the principle of light and shadow. The puppets are crafted from buffalo hide and mounted on bamboo sticks. When held up behind a piece of white cloth, with an electric bulb or an oil lamp as the light source, shadows are cast on the screen.

Wayang Kulit plays are invariably based on romantic tales, especially adaptations of the classic Indian epics, "The Mahabarata" and "The Ramayana". Some of the plays are also based on local happenings (current issues) or other local secular stories. It is up to the conductor or "Tok Dalang" to decide his direction.

A Dalang performing Wayang Kulit in Java, circa 1890.

The Dalang is the genius behind the entire performance. It is he who sits behind the screen and narrates the story. With a traditional orchestra in the background to provide a resonant melody and its conventional rhythm, the Dalang modulates his voice to create suspense thus heightening the drama. Invariably, the play climaxes with the triumph of good over evil.

Hinduism arrived in Indonesia from India even before the Christian era, and was slowly adopted as the local belief system. Sanskrit became the literary and court language of Java and later of Bali. The Hindus changed the Wayang (as did the Muslims, later) to spread their religion, mostly by stories from the Mahabharata or the Ramayana. Later this mixture of religion and wayang play was praised as harmony between Hinduism and traditional Indonesian culture. On Java, the western part of Sumatra and some smaller islands traditionalists continued to play the old stories for some time, but the influence of Hinduism prevailed and the traditional stories either fell into oblivion or were integrated into the Hinduistic plays.

The figures of the wayang are also present in the paintings of that time, for example, the roof murals of the courtroom in Klungkung, Bali. They are still present in traditional Balinese painting today.

When Islam began spreading in Indonesia, the display of God or gods in human form was prohibited, and thus this style of painting and shadow play was suppressed. King Raden Patah of Demak, Java, wanted to see the wayang in its traditional form, but failed to obtain permission from the Muslim religious leaders. As an alternative, the religious leaders converted the wayang golek into wayang purwa made from leather, and displayed only the shadow instead of the figures itself. Instead of the forbidden figures only their shadow picture was displayed, the birth of the wayang kulit.

The figures are painted, flat woodcarvings (a maximum of 5 to 15 mm thick -- barely half an inch) with movable arms. The head is solidly attached to the body. Wayang klitik can be used to perform puppet plays either during the day or at night. This type of wayang is relatively rare.

Wayang today is both the most ancient and most popular form of puppet theatre in the world. Hundreds of people will stay up all night long to watch the superstar performers, dalang, who command extravagant fees and are international celebrities. Some of the most famous dalang in recent history are Ki Nartosabdho, Ki Anom Suroto, Ki Asep Sunarya, Ki Sugino, and Ki Manteb Sudarsono.

Wayang kulit

Wayang kulit as seen from the shadow side

Wayang kulit, shadow puppets prevalent in Java and Bali in Indonesia, are without a doubt the best known of the Indonesian wayang. Kulit means skin, and refers to the leather construction of the puppets that are carefully chiseled with very fine tools and supported with carefully shaped buffalo horn handles and control rods.

The stories are usually drawn from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata or the Serat Menak.

There is a family of characters in Javanese wayang called Punakawan; they are sometimes referred to as "clown-servants" because they normally are associated with the story's hero, and provide humorous and philosophical interludes. Semar is the father of Gareng (oldest son), Petruk, and Bagong (youngest son). These characters did not originate in the Hindu epics, but were added later, possibly to introduce mystical aspects of Islam into the Hindu-Javanese stories. They provide something akin to a political cabaret, dealing with gossip and contemporary affairs.

The puppets figures themselves vary from place to place. In Central Java the city of Surakarta (Solo) is most famous and is the most commonly imitated style of puppets. Regional styles of shadow puppets can also be found in West Java, Banyumas, Cirebon, Semarang, and East Java. Bali produces more compact and naturalistic figures, and Lombok has figures representing real people. Often modern-world objects as bicycles, automobiles, airplanes and ships will be added for comic effect, but for the most part the traditional puppet designs have changed little in the last 300 years.

Historically, the performance consisted of shadows cast on a cotton screen and an oil lamp. Today, the source of light used in wayang performance in Java is most often a halogen electric light. Some modern forms of wayang such as Wayang Sandosa created in the Art Academy at Surakarta (STSI) has employed spotlights, colored lights and other innovations.

The handwork involved in making a wayang kulit figure that is suitable for a performance takes several weeks, with the artists working together in groups. They start from master models (typically on paper) which are traced out onto kulit (skin or parchment), providing the figures with an outline and with indications of any holes that will need to be cut (such as for the mouth or eyes). The figures are then smoothed, usually with a glass bottle, and primed. The structure is inspected and eventually the details are worked through. A further smoothing follows before individual painting, which is undertaken by yet another craftsman. Finally, the movable parts (upper arms, lower arms with hands and the associated sticks for manipulation) mounted on the body, which has a central staff by which it is held. A crew makes up to ten figures at a time, typically completing that number over the course of a week.

The painting of less expensive puppets is handled expediently with a spray technique, using templates, and with a different person handling each color. Less expensive puppets, often sold to children during performances, are sometimes made on cardboard instead of leather.

Wayang topeng or wayang gedog or wayang wong

An act in the wayang wong performance.

Wayang wong also known as Wayang orang (literally human wayang) is a type of theatrical performance with themes from the kingdom of Jenggala, in which the players wear masks known as wayang topeng or wayang gedog. The word "gedog" comes from "kedok", which, like "topeng" means "mask". The main theme is the story of Raden Panji and Candra. This is a love story about princess Candra Kirana of Kediri and Raden Panji Asmarabangun, the crown prince of Jenggala. Candra Kirana was the incarnation of Dewi Ratih (goddess of love) and Panji was an incarnation of Kamajaya (god of love). Kirana's story was given the title "Smaradahana" ("The fire of love"). At the end of the complicated story they finally can marry and bring forth a son, named Raja Putra. Panji Asmarabangun ruled Jenggala under the official names "Sri Kameswara", "Prabu Suryowiseso", and "Hino Kertapati". Originally, wayang wong was performed only as an aristocratic entertainment in four palaces of Yogyakarta and Surakarta. In the course of time, it spread to become a popular and folk form as well.

Wayang wong has fixed patterns of movement and costume:

For male performers:

  • Alus: very slow, elegant and smooth movement. For example, the dance of Arjuna, Puntadewa and all other slimly built Kshatriyas. There are two types of movement, lanyap and luruh.
  • Gagah:
    • Kambeng: a more athletic dance, used for the roles of Bima, Antareja, and Ghatotkacha.
    • Bapang: gagah and kasar for the warriors of Kaurawa.
    • Kalang kinantang: falls somewhere between alus and gagah, danced by tall, slim dancers in the roles of Kresno or Suteja.
  • Kasar: a coarse style, used in portraying ogres and demons.
  • Gecul: ponokawan and cantrik
    • Kambeng dengklik: for ape warriors, such as Hanuman.
    • Kalang kinantang dengklik: for ape warriors, such as Sugriwa and Subali.

For female performers: Kshatriya noblemen. Costumes and props distinguish kings, Kshatriyas, monks, princesses, The movements known as nggruda or ngenceng encot in the classical high style of dance consist of nine basic movements (joged pokok) and twelve other movements (joged gubahan and joged wirogo) and are used in portraying Bedoyo and Srimpi.

Today, the wayang wong, following the Gagrak style of Surakarta, is danced by women. They follow the alus movements associated with a Kshatriya, resembling Arjuna. Following the Gagkra style from Yogyakarta a male dancer uses these same Alus movements to depict princes and generals. There are about 45 distinct character types.

Wayang golek (rod puppets)

A pair of wayang golek from West Java

Wayang golek are wooden doll puppets that are operated from below by rods connected to the hands and a central control rod that runs through the body to the head. The simple construction of the puppets belies their versatility, expressiveness and aptitude for imitating human dance. Little is known for certain about the history of wayang golek, but scholars have speculated that it most likely originated in China and arrived in Java sometime in the 17th century. Some of the oldest traditions of wayang golek are from the north coast of Java in what is called the pasisir region. This is home to some of the oldest Muslim kingdoms in Java and it is likely the wayang golek grew in popularity through telling the wayang menak stories of Amir Hamza, the uncle of Muhammad. These stories are still widely performed in Kabumen, Tegal, and Jepara as wayang golek menak, and in Cirebon, wayang golek cepak. Legendary origins of wayang golek attribute their invention to the Muslim saint Wali Sunan Kudus, who used the medium to proselytize Muslim values. In the 18th century the tradition moved into the mountains of West Java where it eventually was used to tell stories of the Ramayana and the Mahabarata in a tradition now called wayang golek purwa, which can be found in Bandung, Bogor and Jakarta. Wayang golek purwa has become the most popular form of wayang golek today and the most famous puppeteer family is the Sunarya family which has produced several generations of stellar performers.

Wayang karucil or wayang klitik

Wayang klitik image of Batara Guru

Wayang klitik figures occupy a middle ground between the figures of wayang golek and wayang kulit. They are constructed similarly to wayang kulit figures, but from thin pieces of wood instead of leather, and, like wayang kulit figures, are used as shadow puppets. A further similarity is that they are the same smaller size as wayang kulit figures. However, wood is more subject to breakage than leather. During battle scenes, wayang klitik figures often sustain considerable damage, much to the amusement of the public, but in a country in which before 1970 there were no adequate glues available, breakage generally meant an expensive, newly made figure. On this basis the wayang klitik figures, which are to appear in plays where they have to endure battle scenes, have leather arms. The name of these figures is onomotopaeic, from the sound klitik-klitik, that these figures make when worked by the dalang.

Wayang klitik figures come originally from eastern Java, where one still finds workshops turning them out. They are less costly to produce than wayang kulit figures.

The origin of the stories involved in these puppet plays comes from the kingdoms of eastern Java: Jenggala, Kediri and Majapahit. From Jenggala and Kediri come the stories of Raden Panji and Cindelaras, which tells of the adventures of a pair of village youngsters with their fighting cocks. The Damarwulan presents the stories of a hero (Damarwulan) from Majapahit. Damarwulan is a clever chap, who with courage, aptitude, intelligence and the assistance of his young lover Anjasmara, makes a surprise attack on the neighboring kingdom and brings down Minakjinggo, an Adipati (viceroy) of Blambangan and mighty enemy of Majapahit's beautiful queen Sri Ratu Kencanawungu. As a reward, Damarwulan is married to Kencanawungu and becomes king of Majapahit; he also takes Lady Anjasmara as a second wife. This story is full of love affairs and battles and is very popular with the public. The dalang is liable to incorporate the lawayang local gossip and quarrels and work them into the play as comedy.

Wayang beber

Wayang Museum in Jakarta (Jakarta Kota Railway Station area)

The wayang beber has strong similarities to narratives in the form of illustrated ballads that were common at annual fairs in medieval and early modern Europe. They have also been subject to the same fate—they have nearly vanished. Chinese visitors to Java during the 15th century described a storyteller or unrolled scrolls and told stories that made the audience laugh or cry. A few scrolls of images remain from those times, found today in museums. There are two sets, hand-painted on hand-made bark cloth, that are still owned by families who have inherited them from many generations ago, in Pacitan and Wonogiri, both villages in Central Java. Performances, mostly in small open-sided pavilions or auditoriums, take place according to the following pattern:

The dhalang (puppeteer, narrator) gives a sign, the small gamelan orchestra with drummer and a few knobbed gongs and a musician with a rebab (violin-like instrument held vertically) begins to play and the dhalang unrolls the first scroll of the story. Then, speaking and singing, he narrates the episode in more detail. In this manner, in the course of the evening he unrolls several scrolls one at a time. Each scene in the scrolls represents a story or part of a story. The content of the story typically stems from the Panji romances which are semi-historical legends set in the 12th-13th century East Javanese kingdoms of Jenggala, Daha and Kedhiri, and also in Bali.

Wayang Sadat

This newly developed form is used by teachers of Islam to show the principles of Muslim ethics and religion to the natives of Java and Bali.


Tanah Lot, Bali

Tanah Lot is a rock formation off the Indonesian island of Bali. It is home of a pilgrimage temple, the Pura Tanah Lot (literally "Tanah Lot temple") and a popular tourist and cultural icon for photography and general exoticism



Tanah Lot means "Land [sic: in the] Sea" in Balinese language Located in Tabanan, about 20 km from Denpasar, the temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide.

Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 15th century priest Nirartha. During his travels along the south coast he saw the rock-island's beautiful setting and rested there. Some fishermen saw him, and bought him gifts. Nirartha then spent the night on the little island. Later he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods.

The Tanah Lot temple was built and has been a part of Balinese mythology for centuries. The temple is one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast. Each of the sea temples were established within eyesight of the next to form a chain along the south-western coast.

At the base of the rocky island, poisonous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders. A giant snake purportedly protects the temple, which was created from Nirata’s scarf when he established the island.

Close up view


In 1980 the temple’s rock face was starting to crumble and the area around and inside the temple started to become dangerous. The Japanese government then provided a loan to the Indonesia government of Rp 800 billion (approximately USD $130 million) to conserve the historic temple and other significant locations around Bali. As a result, over one third of Tanah Lot's "rock" is actually cunningly disguised artificial rock created during the Japanese-funded and supervised renovation and stabilization program.

Sunset at Tanah Lot


The area leading to Tanah Lot is highly commercialized and people are required to pay to enter the area. To reach the temple, visitors must walk through a carefully planned set of Balinese market-format souvenir shops which cover each side of the path down to the sea. On the mainland cliff tops, restaurants have also been provided for tourists.

Sunset at Tanah Lot

Bintan Island, Kepulauan Riau

Bintan Island or Negeri Segantang Lada is an island of 1,866 square kilometers, and is part of the Riau Islands province of Indonesia. The capital of Bintan is the southwestern city of Tanjung Pinang.



Bintan is the largest of 3,200 islands in the Riau Archipelago, and is located less than 40 kilometers from Singapore. The highest hill on the island is Bintan Besar. The hill is the remains of an old volcano. It is almost 400 meters high, the highest point on the Riau Islands province. Despite being larger than Batam, it is less populated.


Bintan first became politically important when Sultan Mahmud of the fallen Sultanate of Malacca fled to Bintan and created a resistance base there after Malacca was taken by the Portuguese forces in 1511. The Portuguese eventually destroyed the stronghold in 1526, and after a few years the Sultanate founded a new capital back on the Malay Peninsula and developed from there.

Bintan was also once the capital of the Sultanate of Johor that grew to considerable political and cultural power from the 17th to the 19th century. The island played a central role in Malay culture.

At the beginning of 18th century the Sultanate of Johor entered into political turmoil and the capital moved back to Bintan as the Bugis took control of the sultanate. In the hands of the Bugis, Bintan became a powerful trading port, attracting regional, Western, Indian and Chinese traders as well as migrants including Chinese much in the same way Malacca developed into a regional power three centuries earlier.

The success of the port caught the attention of the European powers. The British, who controlled Penang, were looking for a new settlement further to the south of the Straits of Malacca that would contain the Dutch expansions and considered Bintan as a possible location.

The Dutch, however, no longer accepted the competition from Bintan and attacked and took control of the island at the end of the 18th century, bringing to an end its local trading supremacy and delaying the British arrival in the area for a few years until the internal power struggle within the sultanate of Riau-Johor offered them the opportunity to take control of the island of Singapore.

Bintan agro beach resort


Modern development

Bintan's power and central role disappeared with the regional political changes and the island's past fortune is now overshadowed by neighboring Batam and Singapore. Following its founding by the British in 1819, Singapore became a new regional trading center. Due to its limited size, Singapore initiated the Sijori Growth Triangle and signed agreements with the Indonesian governments to invest in Batam and Bintan.

The once wild and deserted Batam island became an industrial "hinterland" for Singapore and a special investment zone for world industrial companies, also attracting thousands of workers from the entire country. Bintan was not transformed into the industrial park like Batam. Instead, Singapore again signed agreement with Indonesia to lease its northern coast and develop it into a resort for Singaporeans ("Bintan Resort").


Several daily ferries run between Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in Singapore to the capital of the Indonesian province Riau Islands and takes 45 mins.


Main road leading to Bintan Resort


Tana Toraja Regency, South Sulawesi

Tana Toraja Regency (Torajaland, Land of the Toraja or Tator) is a regency (kabupaten) of South Sulawesi, Indonesia, home of Toraja ethnic group people. The local government seat is in Makale, where the center of Toraja culture is in Rantepao. But now, Tana Toraja has been divided to two regencies that consist of Tana Toraja with capital is Makale and Toraja Utara with capital is Rantepao.

Tana Toraja boundary was determined by the Dutch East Indies government in 1909. In 1926, Tana Toraja was under the administration of Bugis state, Luwu. The regentschap (or regency) status was given on October 8, 1946, the last regency given by the Dutch. Since 1984, Tana Toraja has been named as the second tourist destination after Bali by the Ministry of Tourism, Indonesia. Since then, hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors have visited this regency. In addition, numerous Western anthropologists have come to Tana Toraja to study the indigenous culture and people of Toraja.


Tana Toraja is located on the Sulawesi island, 300 km north of Makassar, the provincial capital of South Sulawesi. The total area is 3.205,77 km², about 5% of the South Sulawesi province. The topography of Tana Toraja is mountainous. The minimum elevation is 150 m, while the maximum is 3,083 above the sea level.



Bunaken Marine Park, North Sulawesi

Bunaken is an island of 8 km², part of the Bunaken National Marine Park. Bunaken is located at the north of the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. It belongs administratively to the municipality of Manado. Scuba diving attracts many visitors to the island.

Bunaken National Park extends over an area of 890.65 km² of which only 3% is terrestrial, including Bunaken Island, as well as the islands of Manado Tua, Mantehage, Nain and Siladen.

The waters of Bunaken National Marine Park are up to 1,566 m deep in Manado Bay, with temperatures ranging between 27 to 29 °C. It has a high diversity of - corals, fish, echinoderms or sponges. Notably, 7 of the 8 species of giant clams that occur in the world, occur in Bunaken.

Oceanic currents may explain, in part, why Bunaken National Marine Park has such a high level of biodiversity. Northeasternly currents generally sweep through the park but abundant counter currents and gyros related to lunar cycles are believed to be a trap for free swimming larvae. This is particularly true on the south side of the crescent-shaped Bunaken Island, lying in the heart of the park. A snorkler or diver in the vicinity of Lekuan or Fukui may spot over 33 species of butterfly fish and numerous types of groupers, damsels, wrasses and gobies. The gobies, smallish fish with bulging eyes and modified fins that allow them to attach to hard surfaces, are the most diverse but least known group of fish in the park.External links

Bunaken marine park
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