After we did a city tour in Solo (or also known as Surakarta), myself and Sinthya has scheduled the next day to visit Candi Sukuh and Candi Cetho. We didn’t know how to get there, so my friend Ami, voluntarily helped us to find a rental car with the driver. She found a 12-hour rental car, using Innova, with a quite reasonable price.
After had the pizza and serabi from the previous day as our breakfast, we started the day at around 8:30AM.
We talked with Uncle Gunawan (the driver) about the unfortunate things that happened yesterday, that we couldn’t enter Keraton because they’ve already closed. He then said that we could visit Keraton Kasunanan first before we heading to see the Candi! Isn’t that nice? 🙂
So first we went to Keraton Kasunanan. As it opens every day from 9AM, so Uncle Gun decided to bring us to see Kebo bule (White Bull) at Alun-alun Kidul (Kidul = South). The white colour in the bull is because of albinism, but the people and Keraton consider them as a sacred animal.
Then we off to Keraton Kasunanan …
The ticketing counter was at the souvenirs shop beside the main entrance. They’ve also provided a tour guide for us. So us plus five more tourists from Malaysia went in through the other entrance at the left part of Keraton. This entrance is for tourist, while the main entrance is usually for guests of Keraton.
1 = no sandals … If you’re using slippers like I did, you need to take them off and put them inside the drawer, then you can walk barefoot.
2 = if you’re wearing shorts like I did, you need to wear a batik trousers that has been provided. (I love the trousers. It’s a very loose trousers, and very comfortable too! :))
So we walked on the sand, and we saw this tower called Sangga Buwana. It’s the tower that is used by the Sunan to pray. In this complex, there’re also some houses that is used for a meeting, and to host some guests. The statues here looks came from Europe (Greece perhaps?).
Next is the museum. There are no rules for clothing inside the museum, so I could use my sandals back, and returned that comfortable trousers 🙁 *LOL*
Inside the museum, we could see pictures of descendant from one of the Sunan. Other things that I could see in the museum were the Keris collection, the horse statues ~ the replica of the horse that was usually used in the keraton, the weapons that were used in the past, the chariot, and so on. Talking about the chariot, there’s also a chariot that was used to carry the corpse @.@
Anyway, the tour was quite interesting. It’s more interesting because we’re using a guide.
The guide told us about the difference in naming of the Keraton from the one in Jogja. In Jogja they used the name Kasultanan, because it is led by a Sultan, while in Solo they used the name Kasunanan, because it is led by a Sunan.
How about the name Solo and Surakarta? Which one is correct? Both are correct. The word ‘Solo’ was originally from a name of a village called ‘Sala,’ and after Keraton Kasunanan Surakarta Hadiningrat moved to that village, they changed the name of the village into Surakarta. Solo is commonly used in social life, while Surakarta is more towards administrative and official used.
The tour took about one hour to complete. So after we finished the tour, we went straight to the car, so we could go to Candi area. It’s located in Tawamangu, which is located outside Solo. The candi itself is laid near Mount Lawu.
It took some time to reach there, and well … I fell asleep a couple of time. It seemed that Uncle Gun even didn’t realize that I was sleeping, and he kept talking to me (oops) ~ I know that from Sinthya 😀
The view during the trip was beautiful, with Mount Lawu in the background, we passed many field, from chilli field to tea field, and more. The weather also was cool at that time, which I loved it.
Finally we arrived at Candi Sukuh! The area of the candi is quite small. Candi Sukuh is known with its erotic sculpture, so just to let you know, below there will be pictures that will represent this erotic sculpture.
After we paid the entrance fee at the ticketing counter we started exploring the complex.
There are some terraces in the complex. First, there’s a small candi. It supposed there’s an alley through the candi, but they’ve fenced it so no one can enter it. Then Sinthya climbed the stairs of that candi to see what’s inside it, and there’s this penis and vagina shaped sculpture on the ground. The penis also known as Lingga, and represents Dewa Shiwa, while the vagina also known as Yoni, represents Bethari Yuda. It’s just like a symbolic things, the penis and vagina deliver the human into this world.
In the next terrace, there are a few statues, reliefs, and the main candi. There’s a statue of a man with wings but without a head, statue of turtles, statues of a naked headless man, and so on. The main candi is not like the candi that we know. It doesn’t look like Candi Borobudur or Candi Prambanan. The shape of the candi here is like a trapezoid building. It looks like the temple of Inca tribe from Peru.
Next destination … Candi Cetho.
Cetho here is a Javanese language from ‘can be seen.’
When we first entered the entrace gate, we were already greeted by a kneel-man statue 😛
Before we went up to the next terrace, there’s like a house with the fiber of a palm tree as the roof. Apparently it’s the place where Kricing Wesi is burried. He’s the ancestors of the Cetho village.
In the next terrace, can be found a big sculpture on the ground. There’re 3 kind of sculptures here. First one is the sculpture of a very long phallus. Next to it, is a big triangle where there’re some animals sculpture in it. There’re frog, horseshoe crab, and crab. Each of animals represents a number, and it shows the year of the making of Candi Cetho, which is 1373 in Saka year or year 1451. The last part of the sculpture is a turtle that mounted a javan hawk-eagle. The turtle and javan hawk-eagle was taken from the story about Samudramanthana and Garudeya. It’s about an effort of a child (in the formed of Javan hawk-eagle ~ Garudeya) to release his mother from a curse.
Further up, there’re some pavilions. At the first stage, the two pavilions are dedicated to Sabdo Palon and Naya Genggong statues. Both are the servants of Brawijaya V. While the next pavilions, there are phallus statues and the statues of Brawijaya. Phallus is the symbol of god Shiwa, and as a symbol of gratitude and hoping for prosperity in life.
I also bought a book about Candi Cetho here. It’s quite cheap, IDR30,000, so if you’re interested about the history of Candi Cetho, just buy it, but it’s only in Bahasa Indonesia.
Nearby Candi Cetho, there’re 2 more interesting places that we can visit. First one is Saraswati garden. The statue of Saraswati is a gift from Gianyar regent, Bali. Saraswati is the wife of Brahma that has 4 arms. In this statue, she is standing on a lotus with two of her hands playing a guitar, the other hand holding a book (The Vedas?), and the other hand holding a rosary. She has a vehicle in the form of a goose. She also has a peacock as a pet. In the statue she was standing on a lotus. She’s also known as the goddess of knowledge and art.
Beside Saraswati garden, there’s a water spring, where the water is believed has the power of youthfulness. So if you’re interested, you could try to wash your face, hands, or everything, or even take the water and bring back home (you need to bring yourself a water containment ;)).
The second place that is located near Candi Cetho is Candi Kethek. Kethek is the javanese language for ‘monkey.’ Well, it’s actually not that near, as we needed to walk a bit far to get there. I didn’t use shoes, only sandals, and we should walk pass a creek and climbed some stepping stones a bit lol.
Finally we reached Candi Kethek.
It’s located in a secluded area. Not many people go here.
The shape of Candi Kethek is similar with the previous candi, with many terraces, and formed a trapezoid-like shape. And we found this small praying place at the top of the Candi.
After we finished exploring all the candi, we went for a very late lunch. Uncle Gun drove us to Bangun Tresno restaurant still in Tawamangu. It’s a Javanese restaurant, and I ordered Tongseng Kambing for my lunch, with a cold beras kencur for my drink. Aahh .. 🙂
After lunch, actually our plan was going to Grojogan waterfall, but Uncle Gun said that he could drive us to a lake called lake Sarangan in Magetan, at the border of Central and East Java with an additional price … Humm … Okay so we agree with his offer and off to Sarangan. The location is actually quite far …
Arriving at Sarangan Lake, I could see that there are many street vendor, horse rental, speed boat rental, and hotels or villas here. So I guess it’s the place if you want to stay over at least for one night or so …
Well, I asked Sinthya whether we want to ride the pedal boat 😀 , but she declined my idea lol … so we decided to ride a horse then … So we rode the horse, circling the lake. I guess it took us 45 minutes to complete it or less than that. Well we’re not a cowboy, so the speed was reeaallyyyy slooww … 😀
It’s almost dark, and the fog was already coming, so we said to Uncle Gun to go back.
Before we headed back to the hotel, we had our dinner first at Timlo Solo. We had many dishes as our last dinner in Solo 🙂 We ordered nasi timlo, liwet ayam, and babat gongso …
Aaahh … We’ve finished our full-day tour … Goodbye Solo … 🙂
For more photos, please go to my Flickr Page.
Recently Solo is famous with its batik carnival, if you’re interested to see it, come to Solo on 30 June each year. The carnival takes place in Jalan Slamet Riyadi 🙂
There’s a double decker bus in Solo that visiting some tourism spot in Solo, but it’s only available on Saturday and Sunday. (We didn’t get a chance to ride this as it’s already fully booked) –> Bus Tingkat Werkudara, contact person: Sandy +6285229790462
Hegi’a rental Car -> Uncle Gun: +62811295991
Jl. Jenderal Urip Sumoharjo 94 (+62-271-646180)
Bangun Trisno Restaurant and Hotel
Balekambang, Tawamangu (+62-271-697247
Opening time and Entrance Fee:
I’ve just found a website for the opening time of Keraton Kasunanan:
Everyday: 08:30 – 14:00
Sunday: 08:30 – 13:00
Entrance Fee: IDR10,000 + IDR3,500 (Camera), exluding tour guide tip.
Candi Sukuh opens from 7AM – 5PM
Entrance Fee: IDR3,000
Entrance Fee: IDR5,000
- A short trip to Solo (Part One) (mixedupalready.com)