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Address: Desa Gerbosari, Samigaluh, Kulon Progo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
GPS Coordinate: S7°38'50.2" E110°10'48.1" (view map)
The Peak of Suroloyo as the meditating place of Sultan Agung and the direction center in Java Island gives you an opportunity to see four big mountains in Java Island, Borobudur Temple, and the scenery of sunrise.
The sun rises in reddish color at around 05:00a.m.; emerges among the green branches of trees. Its light divides the sky into three main colors: blue, magenta and yellow. When the sky color starts to be divided, a group of black birds starts to liven up the sky and turn down the loud voice of earth insects.
Four big mountains in Java Island, namely Merapi, Merbabu, Sumbing and Sindoro emerge among the white fog. The thick fog looks like the waves sinking the land that leaves only rice field forming track of ditch and trees on higher land. At the back of the fog, the black dome of Borobudur Temple emerges on the surface of the fog ocean.
You can see that scenery at dawn while standing at the Peak of Suroloyo, the highest hill at Menoreh Mountains at 1,091 meters above sea level. To reach the place, you must go through sharp binding road with steep grade, and start the journey at least at 02:00 a.m. There are two alternative roads to take; the first is Godean - Sentolo - Kalibawang route and the second is Magelang Street - Muntilan Market - Kalibawang. The first route is recommended for it takes you shorter time. You have to be physically in prime condition, your vehicle must be fully fuelled, and it is necessary to take reserved tire.
After 40 kilometers journey, you will find signing board directing to Sendang Sono. You can turn left to lead you to the Peak of Suroloyo, however, we suggest that you go straight ahead as far as 500 meters to reach small T-junction and turn left for smoother road. You still have to take 15 kilometers further to reach the Peak of Suroloyo. In fact, it will be a tiring journey, but the beautiful scenery pays for it.
You reach the Peak of Suroloyo when you find three viewing posts that are also well known as meditating places, each of which named Suroloyo, Sariloyo and Kaendran. Suroloyo is the first meditating place to see; it can be reached on foot by ascending 286 staircases at the slope of 300 - 600. If the fog does not block your view, you can see Borobudur Temple, Merapi and Merbabu Mountains and the view of Magelang city more clearly.
Suroloyo meditating place is the most legendary. The story tells that Raden Mas Rangsang who later was named Sultan Agung Hanyokrokusuma meditated in the place. In Cabolek book written by Ngabehi Yosodipuro in the eighteenth century, Sultan Agung received two divine inspirations. First, he will be the ruler of Java so that he was encouraged to walk westwards of Kotagede to reach Menoreh Mountains; second, he had to live asceticism in order to become a ruler.
Going to another meditating place, you will see different view. At the peak of Sariloyo that is located 200 meters west of Suroloyo, you will see Sumbing and Sindoro mountains more clearly. Before reaching the place, you will see a monument bordering Yogyakarta province with Central Java that stands on Tegal Kepanasan flat land. From Sariloyo, if you walk 250 meters and ascend to Kaendran meditating place, you will see Kulon Progo city with the beautiful view of Glagah beach.
After enjoying the scenery from the three places, you can walk around the Peak of Suroloyo to see the activities of local people in the morning time. Usually, beginning at around five o'clock in the morning, men go to field while smoking hand-rolled cigarette. When you walk by those smoking people, you will smell fragrant aroma of the incense that is mixed with the tobacco.
In addition to the enchanting view, the Peak of Suroloyo also keeps myth. This peak is believed to be the center of the four directions in Java Island. Local people believe that this peak is the meeting point of two lines drawn from north to south and from west to east of Java Island. With the myth, history and its natural scenery, this place is worth visiting on the first day of the New Year.
Text: Yunanto Wiji Utomo
Artistic: Agung Sulistiono Mabruron
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