Why Selogriyo is better
Selogriyo is actually one of the thousands of sacred temples in Indonesia. This one is quite unique. Selogriyo temple is located in the south of Sumbing Mountain, Central Java. It is also around 740 meters above the sea level, making it a little bit cold. The temple is also in a hidden place away from the nearest residence. No wonder that this place is tranquil as it is.
But why is it better than ricefields in Ubud? Well, I can say that tourism has not exploited this beautiful site yet. Even though international tourists regularly visited the temple, It is not as popular as the other temples in Magelang. Such as its huge competitor Borobudur as one of the world wonders. The ricefield along the Selogriyo temple is impressive. A word I can give to this site. It is truly a pure place for the farmers to grow the paddy and not meant for tourism. But the view of the mountains and the green plantations make it so much more than just an ordinary ricefield.
How to get there?
For local citizens like myself, getting to Selogriyo is not a problem. But if you are an international tourist, you might be scared of getting lost. Don’t worry, Selogiryo is pretty easy for you to access. You should head to Campurejo Village in Kembangkuning, Windusari Regency. Unfortunately, public transportation is not yet available to take you there. The usual public transportation is buses going from city to city. But you can pay Ojek or Bike driver to take you there. But my advice is to rent a car along with the driver. The local drive will you take you there with no problem. So don’t worry about getting lost.
Captivating Country Side
The ricefield in Selogriyo is just like the terraced ricefield in Ubud. If you want to hike the temple, it will only take you approximately an hour or even less. This place really reflects the countryside of the polluted and jampacked Central Java. As you know that Central Java is one of the most populated areas in Indonesia.
While you are hiking around, you can experience the traditional and minimalist lifestyle fo the locals, especially the farmers’ activity. Maybe you will see some of the local children playing football bare-footed on the mud, or some teens climbing the Coconut tree for extra money. You can even witness some of the water buffalos helping the farmers to plow the field. Very captivating for escaping the hustle-bustle of city life. I was able to film the whole landscapes using my drones so if you want to see the first hand experience of Selogriyo, check out this video down below!
I suggest you learn a few phrases of Indonesian such as ‘Terimakasih’ which means Thank You and ‘Selamat Pagi’ as good morning. You will certainly meet some Locals who had never seen any international tourists before so they might get excited. Indonesian locals are known to be the friendliest ever. So try to guide you around or even take you to their closest neighbors.
The life of farmers is truly humble and very down to earth. They usually depend their life on the season cycle which consists of rain and dry seasons. They can only start to plow and seed their field when they get enough rain and sunrise. If you come just after the harvesting time, you might not be able to see the green ricefield. But you can still see the traditional process of harvesting the grain of rice in the field. Usually, the women in the family come to the field and use these traditional tools to process the grain. The men in the family help harvesting in the field.
I truly hope that the farmers are making good outcome out of their hard work. Indonesia is an agricultural country with fertile soil and a good amount of rain. But lately, Indonesian farmers are eager to sell their lands. This is because of the changes in the cycle which becomes unpredictable due to climate change. Once the farmers failed their crops, they can receive a great loss and not going to have any income for the rest of the year. That is why they prefer to sell their lands to become a villa or a hotel.
Indonesia is truly rich for its nature and amazing tourist destinations like Mount Kunir and Kelambu Waterfall. But you can absolutely put Selogriyo in your wishlist. There is this villa that I want to recommend to you.
That is Villa Sumbing Indah which is French-Indonesian fusion via. There are green ricefields surrounding it, giving you the perfect serene and tranquil vibes. They serve you authentic Indonesian and French cuisine as well. I will guarentee you will feel like you are in Home. The staffs are very friendly and the owner sometimes will even cook for your foods. They also have a grand pool and a beautiful garden for you to enjoy in the middle of the hot day. They will even provide you a driver and a car to travel.
After that, it is time to discuss the Temple of Selogriyo which is very rich in culture. First of all, this temple is considered an ancient historical site as it was built in the 9th century on the period of the Mataram kingdom. But the first to discover this temple was the Dutch Government in the 1890s. When it was found, the temple was already in ruins and missing some of the parts. Since it is an ancient site, there are a lot of efforts needed to preserve this site from natural occurrences. They did some renovation on the temple a year ago and it was closed for public.
I personally think that this is the smallest temple I’ve ever been to in Indonesia. It is only about 5 meters tall and 4 meters wide. I think that it is absolutely nothing compared to the gigantic Borobudur Temple. This temple has a Hindu Culture, meaning that Hindu Monks used this place for the worshipping ceremony to the gods.
The reason why they built the temple in such a rural place because long time ago the monks live away from the crowd to meditate and focus on their spirituality. The temple is also very close to the water source for the monks to live. But the ultimate reason is that the gods reside on the highness. The rural area also was a choice to keep it away from other humans to ruin it
Meanwhile, the Name of the temple itself has a meaning. Selo means Rocks and Griyo mean House. From the research done by Van Erp in the 1950s, the temple reflected the guardian of the mountain as well. The story from the Hindu ancient mythology tells that there is an evil spirit called Dharamajaya who wanted to destroy the world. Therefore the spirit of Shiva, Brahma and Visnu created giants guardian reside in the mountain to prevent Dharamajaya to touch the earth.
The local government actually owns the land of Selogriyo Temple and made it a reservation area. They have divided the zones from the first, second and third zones to make the preservation of this temple more efficient. Other than that, the local government has made access to the temple way easier. They paved the road for about 400 meters long. But the way up in between the ricefield remains natural as not to bother the local farmers.
Even if this place is in rural areas, Selogriyo can have more than 50 visitors at the weekend. For domestic visitors, you only have to pay around Rp. 7000. While international visitors have to pay Rp. 25,000. That price already include insurance for safety. Before you enter the area of the temple, You will have to put your information like your name and your country of origin. I think that is for the survey.
There are some facilities available for your comfort. They have parking area for your bikes and cars, public toilets, and etc. Unfortunately, there are no food vendors nearby the temple. That means you need to prepare your snacks and water bottle beforehand. Don’t forget to bring a hat and sunscreen if you do not want to burn your skin.
I hope you guys enjoy this post!