Magelang is a tourist destination that holds a wide range of natural wonders situated quite close to the town of Yogyakarta en route to the magnificent Borobudur, Pawon and Mendut temples, where you travel to witness the impressive celebrations of Vesak Day, on May 9th-11th, 2017.
The town of Magelang is cradled between two mountains (Mt. Merbabu and Mt. Sumbing) and is bordered by two rivers (the Progo and the Elo river), which renders its fertility. Magelang lies at the crossroad between Yogyakarta in the south and Semarang on the north coast, on the way to Borobudur. It lies 43 km north of Yogya, and 75 km south of Semarang, capital city of Central Java.
After visiting the majestic temples, the road to Magelang will lead you to the beautiful sites of Punthuk Setumbu, the Rooster Church on Rhema Hills, the Suroloyo Peak and the Oei Hong Djien’s contemporary Art Museum, popularly known as the OHD Museum. The refreshing cool air in lovely Magelang city will definitely invigorate you. The stretching beauty of green mountains and valleys will unfold before you as you drive through this fertile agricultural land. Here are some of the most beautiful natural sites around Magelang.
The Kragilan Pine Forest
Photo by ANTARA FOTO/Aditya Pradana Putra
It was the fast growing social media platform which has enabled all to share anything in real time, which has carried this place to fame. Here you will be welcomed at the gate which says: “Top Selfie Pinusan Kragilan”, indicating that this place has plenty of spots where you can take incredible photo shoots .
The graceful lines of pine trees shading the fertile site gives the feeling as if you are transported into a European forest, surrounded by a cool and misty air. The sloping main path is one of the most photographed spot, since it is beautifully bordered on both sides by tall pines.
You may see couples taking pre-wedding shots, or a group of youngsters climbing a multi-tier colorful hammock to get a unique instagrammable pictures. Perched along the slopes of Mount Merbabu, this great spot is truly a soothing place to unwind among nature’s wealth.
Photo by Veni Yintagani
If you plan to stay longer in Magelang, then you should definitely go for a trek to Mount Andong. Located in the Grabag district, this mountain has never recorded any volcanic activity. At an altitude of around 1,736 meters, the shield-type mountain spans between the towns of Ngablak and Tlogorejo.
The relatively soft sloping terrain gives a chance for first time climbers to test their agility. Time flies with the enchanting panorama around and the whispering mountain breeze escorting you during the three hours’ walk to its peak. Enjoy the breathtaking view as you reach the summit and inhale that magical feeling when the sun warms the earth and smile down on these green valleys.
Sekar Langit Waterfalls
Photo source: triadicl.com
This is the a 25 metres high waterfall well known by the locals on account of its legendary folktale of Jaka Tarub and Nawangwulan, the love story between a human and a gorgeous nymph. This pristine pouring waterfall is truly refreshing since it is located in the mountains closed in by a dense cover of tropical trees and shrubs. Located about 30 minutes away from Magelang, at the foot of Mt. Telomoyo at Grabag, it is easily accessible either from Magelang or from Salatiga.
Progo River Rafting
Photo by progorafting.com
This is the largest river in Central Java and it is also known as one of the sites where the Borobudur builders gathered the huge rocks for the temple’s construction. The river is great for rafting and is divided into the Lower Progo and the Upper Progo, each having its own slightly different character.
The Lower Progo course starts from the bridge in the Klangon Village and ends at the Dekso Village. It has a long meandering route covering 26 km, which takes around 3-4 hours to navigate. Whereas, the Upper Progo stretches only 10 km and takes about 2-3 hours to cruise down from the starting point near Mt. Sumbing. Both stretches offer a difficulty level from III to V, meaning that these can be navigated only by those with previous experience in rafting rapid currents.
Scattered large boulders give the course many spontaneous drops and viable hurdles, that can be managed by skillful rafters only. During the journey, you will rest at an area to take your breath and absorb this amazing surrounding panorama.
When you visit Central Java in the month of May, you will get the chance to witness Vesak Day procession and ceremony. Vesak is the holiest Buddhist day. The procession will take place from 9-11th May 2017, starting from the Mendut temple to Pawon temple with pinnacle at the majestic Borobudur temple.
Make sure to be there!