SUNDAK BEACH
Dog and Sea Urchin Fight which Result A Blessing


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Desa Sidoharjo, Tepus, Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

It is not only waves that you can enjoy when you go Sundak Beach, but also historical evidences and the existing fortune; for example, the coral cave where a dog fight a sea urchin.

Updated on 1/26/2015

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Sundak Beach does not only have enchanting natural view but it also keeps story. The name Sundak turns to experience evolution of which evidences can be traced geologically.

In order to know its evolution, visitors must know first the condition the sea sides of Sundak Beach in the past and at present time. At the west side of the beach there is a mosque and a vacant space that is now utilized as a parking area. On the east side, there is a cave made of coral reef as high as around 12 meters. Entering the cave, there is a spring from which local people get fresh water.

Before 1930 the above area was still under sea water. The story tells that sea water reached the area where the mosque stands now and the cave was submerged in sea water. In line with geological process in the south sea, the sea water level decreased and sea water stood out more to the sea. The coral reef and the area around the mosque became new land that later coastal people used it for economy activities until today.

There was unique, natural phenomenon of the activity that finally served as starting point of naming this beach. When rainy season came, there was much water from the land flowing to the sea. Consequently, the land on east side of the beach split to make a river-look form. The flowing water looked like splitting the sand. When dry season came, the crevice disappeared since the sea water came ashore and drag away the sand. The name Wedibelah (the split sand) originated from this natural phenomenon. When YogYES visited the place, the crevice did not exist.

Tens of years later the name changed. In 1976, there was an interesting occurrence. In an afternoon, there was a dog running about the seaside and entered the cave where it met a sea urchin. Being starving, the dog tried to prey on the sea urchin but the sea urchin avoided. Then, the fight happened and finally the dog succeeded in eating half of the sea urchin body and the dog got out of the cave proudly. The owner of the dog, Arjasangku, saw half of the sea urchin body was still in the dog's mouth. Since then, the name Wedibedah was changed into Sundak as an abbreviation of asu (Javanese language for dog) and landak (Javanese language for sea urchin).

The quarrel turned to bring fortune for local people. After being short of water for years, local people finally found a spring. Initially, the owner of the dog was astonished that his dog was soaking wet after getting out of the cave. The hypothesis was that there was a spring inside the cave and the dog might fall in it while hunting the sea urchin. After some investigations, the prediction turned out to be true. Now, the spring functions as source of fresh water for local inhabitants. Pipes are now installed from the cave to distribute water to the community. The finding of the spring consoled the community who were disappointed because the wells that they dug were inundated by sea water.

Just imagine the condition of the area hundreds of years ago when we know its condition in 1930s. There had to be many organisms that utilized the lower part of the coral reef that now functions as a cave. For the reason, many archeologists believe that as the consequence of the occurring geological process, there were many sea organisms were left and piled up as fossils. Not many researches reveal what fossils exist in the area.

In addition to offering its silent historical witnesses, Sundak also offers enjoyable night atmosphere. You can enjoy the breeze of the night wind while ordering fresh fish to be grilled together with your friends. You only have to pay some thousands Rupiah for the firewood. If you are reluctant to do so, just order ready-to-eat grilled fish. To spend the night, you can just sleep anywhere; you can put up your tent or just lying on the bench of food sellers that are not used at night. Darkness can sometimes be more enjoyable than brightness. Don't worry about it.

If you want it, interact with local people can be valuable enlightenment. You can understand how people live their lives, their culture, and they might change your life point of view. To see Grandpa Tugiman who usually keeps the parking area or Grandpa Arjasangku can be another option. They are examples of the leaders of Sundak Beach. To have a talk with them does not only make you merely see the history witnesses but it enables you get direct story from the witnesses of how the story was carved. Please come, they all are waiting for you! (YogYES.COM)

Text: Yunanto Wiji Utomo
Photo & Artistic: Sutrisno
Copyright © 2006 YogYES.COM

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