Seplawan cave is the next place I wanted to review. As you know, Indonesia is famous for its tourist destinations all over the country. Little did they know, there are so many more places to explore. As a native traveler, I can explore Indonesia much much easier. Some of these places like Kunir Mountain and Kelambu Waterfall are not yet popular, so put them in your recommendations! This time, I had a chance to explore the Seplawan Cave in the village of Donorejo. It is only an hour from the city of Purwerejo. It is located about 700 meters above sea level, so it will be a little bit cold and breezy. Don’t worry about the access to the cave, the paved road will lead you to the location directly.
You must be curious why this cave is sacred as in the title. When people discovered it in 1979, they have found not only an amazing cave but also two pure-golden statues portraying the Shiva and the Goddess Parwati. They weighed approximately 3 lbs and 6 inches tall. This indicated that people long-time ago had used it as a ritual site for worshipping the god and goddesses. Not only that, but the historical artifact of Kayu Ara Hiwang had mentioned the site several times. The official government used the historical artifact to determine the birth date of Purwerejo.
Now, The National Museum of Jakarta reserved the Authentic Statues to keep them safe. But don’t worry, the government had imitated the real ones so you can still see the exact same ones when you visit the Seplawan Cave. Right in front of the cave, alongside the landmark of Seplawan Cave. The statues at the Seplawan Cave is actually bigger than the real one.
The replica of the statues was displayed to remind people that this place was once sacred and should be kept preserved.
Just recently in June 2019, Japanese travelers found something even more bizarre. That is a stone-statue that resembles an elephant. The locals had suspected that this statue might be a fossil of the Mammoth. The local officials have confirmed that it does look like an elephant but there were no further steps taken to address it.
The cave itself is a beautiful site to explore. It is around a half-mile long towards the end of the cave. There are colorful stalactites and stalagmites creating a breathtaking landscape you have never seen. The cave is also very peaceful and calm with the freshwater dropping from the top of the cave, creating tranquil and serene vibes all around you. No wonder that people love to stay inside to meditate. Apparently, people sometimes stay there for a few days to undergo a ritual. You can tell by smelling the fragrance of incense and hioswa perfume around some corners.
Usually, people do not pray inside the cave, but in a built-in temple. But the natural phenomenon had ruined the temple to pieces. The real temple is just a few meters away from the entrance. They call it, Gondoarum Temple. Historians had predicted that the temple is actually older than the famous Borobudur Temple. Unfortunately, the only thing remained from the temple is small ruins.
The temple has a mystical meaning behind its unique name. Long-time ago, the locals wanted to move the remains of the temple to the museum. But once they started to lift the remaining, they smelled a burst of fragrance around, causing people to freak out. Local people still believe that no one should touch the temple anymore. That is why they have built a fence around the temple.
Once you decided to enter the cave, you will see the variation of the natural sedimentation and erosions from the water. You should be wearing stronger shoes since there will be a rocky landscape surrounding the cave. Once you have explored a little bit while you will find a wooden fence, signing you should go back to the entrance. You can cross the sign only if you have prepared the complete climbing equipment following the safety procedures.
If you noticed, there are some lamps across the wall to lighten the darkness of the cave. For those who are planning to explore the cave beyond the safety line, you are expected to bring your own lamp. Preferably the headlamp to make it easier.
The cave has some branches that do not have lamps across, and it is to sign the visitor to not go through it. It is actually very muddy and the locals even named it ‘the muddy palace’. Prepare a strong and high boot if you want to keep exploring.
After exploring the stalactite and the stalagmite, go outside and enjoy the sunlight back. Located in the top of the hill, it truly serves you an amazing view. I can say that the view resembles a mountain-hiking experience. The surrounding also has various plantations making it very green and absolutely enjoyable. There is a heavenly flower garden you can enjoy by the resting area. Perfect place for taking landscape shots so prepare your drone and camera!