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Address: Desa Kanigoro, Saptosari, Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
GPS Coordinate: S8°7'10.6" E110°30'20.4" (view map)
Ngobaran Beach is rich of cultural enchantment; ranging from the temple, the mosque directing to the south, to the hidden culinary potential of fried sea urchin.
Going to Ngrenehan Beach and enjoying the grilled fish will be complete if you drop by Ngobaran Beach that is located adjacent to it. The location of the beach with high cliff is around two kilometers from Ngrenehan Beach. It is not far, isn't it? Local people of Ngrenehan Beach even talk and visit Ngobaran Beach, why don't you?
Ngobaran is such an exotic beach. When sea water falls, you can see spread of both green and brown seaweed. Being looked from the top, the spread of the algae growing in between coral reef looks like spread of rice field in a densely populated area. Tens of sea animal species also present in between the coral reef, ranging from sea urchin, starfish, to various types of cockle shells.
What you will not find in other beaches is the cultural enchantment, ranging from the building to the local food. One interesting place is four praying places that stand side by side. Is it form of multiculturalism? Who knows.
The most prominent one is a building that looks like a temple with ornaments of god statues in white color. The building was built in 2003 to commemorate the arrival of Brawijaya V, one of Majapahit's king, in Ngobaran. The people who use the place are of Kejawan belief. The name 'Kejawan' originates from the nickname of Brawijaya V's son, namely Bondhan Kejawan. The person who built the building acknowledge to be the descendant of Brawijaya V and appointed one person in the community to keep this place.
Walking to the left side of the praying place, you will see Javanese building, Joglo, which is used by followers of Kejawen belief to say their prayer. When YogYES visited this place, some people were saying their prayer. The people tell that Kejawan belief is different from Kejawen one. However, they cannot pinpoint the differences.
If you continue your way in front of the joglo, you fill see a stone box with dry plant on it. The plant is confined with grey wood fence. The point where the dry plant grows was the place where Brawijaya V pretended to burn himself. He took this step because he was not willing to fight his son, Raden Patah (the first King of Demak).
The truth of this story about Brawijaya V is doubted by many historians. The reason is, if Raden Patah attacked Brawijaya V, it will give an image that Islam was spread in a violent way. Many historians suggest that the existing historical evidences do not sufficiently conclude that Raden Patah made an attack. You may search any information for further assurance about it.
Some meters of the box where the dry plant grows there is a temple for Hindu people to say prayer. No detail information of its foundation.
In front of the dry plant grows, there is a mosque with the size of around 3x4 meters. The mosque building is quite simple since the floor is of sands as if it unites with the beach. What is unique is its direction. Most of the mosques in Indonesia face westwards, but this mosque faces southwards. The front part where the religious leader leads the prayer is open so that it directly sees the ocean. When YogYES asked local people about it, no one knows the reason. They even get surprised because the founder of the mosque is a well known kyai of Nahdatul Ulama who lived in Panggang, Gunung Kidul. For correct direction for those who want to pray in the mosque, local people make a sign on the wall using red pencil.
After being astonished with the religious site, you can get down to the beach. When you come early in the morning, you will see people take seaweed. They sell the seaweed at 1,000 to 1,500 Rupiah per kilogram. They use the earnings for their daily lives.
If you come in the afternoon, however, you will see people searching for sea urchin for their side dish at their dinner. The spines of the sea urchin must be cut first then it is pried using a sickle. The meat inside of the sea urchin is then taken out. When searching for the sea urchin, people usually bring bucket, coconut sieve, sickle, and hat to prevent them from the sun.
The ingredients to cook sea urchin are salt and chilli. It is then fried. Not many people sell this menu. They say that the meat is quite delicious. If you really want to have a try, please ask them to cook specially for you. Maybe you have special recipe to cook sea urchin so that it can be served as favourite cuisine and increase society welfare.
Isn't it complete yet? There might not be other choices for the beach beauty, enchantment of the praying places, and tempting cuisine other than this beach. (YogYES.COM)
Text: Yunanto Wiji Utomo
Photo & Artistic: Sutrisno
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