Address : Dieng, Wonosobo, Jawa Tengah
The infamous Dieng Plateau is situated at an altitude of 2.100 m above sea level. This place offers scenic panorama and the refreshing air of highland.
Dieng Plateau is a flat terrain surrounded by mountain ranges, namely Prahu, Juranggrawah, Pengamun-amun, Sipandu, and some other mountains. The temperature around the area is usually about 150-100 Celcius. But in dry season, it could drop to 50 Celcius.
The name “Dieng” was derived from a combination of two Sanskrit words, “di” which means mountain, and “hyang” which means heaven. So Dieng refers to the abode of the Gods. However, another source maintains that “Dieng” originated from a Javanese phrase, “edi” which means beautiful, and “aeng” which means odd. So some people also take Dieng as a beautiful place that has oddities.
There are actually many objects you can visit in Dieng Plateau. Besides the lakes and craters, there are also temples which will welcome you as you enter the main gate of Dieng. The complex of temples is called Pandawa Temple, consisting of 5 other temples, i.e. Semar, Arjuna, Srikandi, Sembadra, and Puntadewa. They are all Hindu temples.
The local people say that in the 7th century AD, there lived a princess called Dewi Sima. She was a descendant of Sanjaya Dynasty. The princess, entitled Ratu Sima, ruled Kalingga, a Hindu Kingdom. During her reign, Ratu Sima built temples for religious purpose. She also set up other temples, such as Gatotkaca Temple in Pangonan Hill, Dwarawati Temple in the foot of Prahu Mountain, and Bima Temple, which is the biggest one in Dieng Plateau. The temples out of the complex are mostly solitary and surrounded by trees.
There are two lakes in this place, Telaga Warna and Telaga Pengilon. The lakes are close to each other. Telaga Warna literally means the colorful lake, referring to its uniqueness: it reflects colors. The sulfur element of the lake produces the green, the red alga produces the red, and the pure lake water emits the blue owing to the UV radiation. As for the latter, it is called Telaga Pengilon, literally, the mirror lake, because the water is so pure and reflects shadows just like mirror.
Around the lakes, there are some caves. One of them is Semar Cave, which is 4 m deep and usually used by people as a place for meditation. There are other caves like Sumur and Jaran Caves. Inside the former cave, there is a spring called “Tirta Prawitasari”.
Being located on a mountain range, Dieng Plateau has three craters, namely Sikidang, Candradimuka, and Sileri. Sikidang Cave emits hot water and mud and bad smell from the sulfur it contains (the amount is still categorized as safe for visitors). Around the place, holes spitting hot water and sulfur are here and there so you have to be careful while walking.
Dieng is also famous for its spring, where the water of Serayu River comes from. It is called Tuk Bimalukar. The Javanese word “tuk” refers to spring while “bimalukar” is taken from the myth told in the area. The local people believe that the water is the urine of Bhima Sena (one of the pandava brothers in Javanese puppet stories) who was competing with Kurawa to make a river. While urinating, Bhima saw a beautiful woman who was trying to disturb him and he said to her, “Sira ayu” (you are pretty). Thus Bhima’s urine became Serayu River, whose name was derived from the word Bhima said to the woman. The local people believe that the water of Tuk Bimalukar can make people stay young for longer.
After visiting the objects, you can also watch a 20-minutes movie in the Dieng Plateau Theater. The theater is situated in the slope of Sikendil Hill, about 300 m from Telaga Warna. Here you can watch various events ever happened in Dieng, one of which is Sinila Crater tragedy that took place in 1979, killing hundreds of people. This facility would be very interesting for you who want to know more about the history of Dieng.
At last, not far from Dieng, you might also like to visit Tambi Tea Plantation. Here not only can you enjoy the green scenery of the plantation, you can also have a good tea time, of course with the tea produced in the plantation.
Dieng Plateau lies on the borders of three regencies, i.e. Pekalongan, Wonosobo, and Banjarnegara, Central Java Provinces.
It is easier to get to Dieng Plateau from Wonosobo for the road allows comfortable motorcycle rides. However, either using car or motorcycle, you should make sure first that your vehicle is in a good condition because the road often goes sloping up and down and windy. And at some points, when you are riding through this route, you will find on your left and right that there are gorges. So, ride carefully.
By public transportation (bus), you can start from Wonosobo Bus Station, which is 30 km or about 45-60 minutes away from Dieng. The bus will cost about Rp 7,000 each person (November 2008).
The admission ticket is Rp 2,000 per person. This ticket does not include the entrance to tourism objects around the area. An admission ticket to all the tourism objects is Rp 12,000 each person, including Jasa Raharja Insurance. As for a single-object ticket, it is Rp 4,000 per person (November 2008).
F. Accommodations and Other Facilities
Standard facilities like small mosque, food stalls, and lodgings are available around the place. And there is also a market, in which tourists can get souvenirs, fresh vegetables, and carica (a kind of papaya, smaller, often sold as marshmallow).
Text: Hayyuningtyas Mulyandari
Translation: Reza Daffi
(Primary data and various sources)