The name ‘dieng’ which literally translates as ‘abode of the Gods’ says all you need to know about this collection small ancient temples set in the remarkable volcanic landscape of the Dieng Plateau. The misty location, sulphurous springs and colored lakes truly make this a place of natural wonder and cultural significance.
Come here and you will be transported back to ancient times. The temples are remnants from the glorious period of the Hindu empire in Java dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries. Standing on a plateau 2,000 meters (6,500 ft) above sea level, it is the extraordinary setting of these temples which make them most remarkable. It is believed that this place was chosen as the sacred location because of the spectacular landscape.
From the bubbling mudholes, brightly colored sulphur lakes and thick mist surrounding the plateau, visitors will easily understand why the ancient Javanese considered this place to be the seat of supernatural powers. Modern visitors to the plateau are enthralled by the unearthly beauty of this spot, with many finding it quite eerie.
Each of the small temples is named after figures in the epic tale of the Mahabharata such as Bima, Gatotkaca, Arjuna and Srikandi. It is believed that these temples used to serve as residences of Hindu priests who would spread Hindu teachings.
The Two Colorful Lakes
The natural splendors of this location are fascinating. From lakes with green and yellow hues called Telaga Warna to the pristine waters of the reflective ‘mirror’ lake called Telaga Pengilon, the natural beauty of this spot is superb. The mirror lake is particularly impressive as it offers a perfectly reflective image of the landscape. While, the impact of logging can be seen as many of the trees surrounding the lake have been cut down, it still remains an impressive natural phenomenon.
Once you’ve walked to the top of the Dieng plateau you will feel like you are on top of the world. It will be difficult to know just where to look as the view from the plateau takes in steaming and colorful lakes, ancient temples and lush green landscape.
How to Get There
Whether you’re coming from Jakarta, Semarang, or Surabaya, the first thing you need to do is to reach Wonosobo either by train or bus since both are convenient and available anytime. Head to Mendolo Terminal in Wonosobo and then find a public minibus transportation called Mikromini for a ride straight to Dieng Plateau. Mikromini is always available in Mendolo Terminal everyday from 8.00 AM to 5.00 PM local time and the ride is just 1,5 - 2 hours away.
How to Get Around
There’s no better way to explore Dieng Plateau than on foot. However, if you’re looking for a quick method of hopping from one place to another, many locals provide motorcycle rides at affordable rates.
There are many things you can do in the Dieng Plateau. For a truly amazing spectacle, arrive at the plateau at sunrise and you will be spoiled with not one, but two amazing views of the sunrise, a ‘golden’ and a ‘silver’ sunrise. This double sunrise is a unique natural phenomenon. Visitors take in the first ‘golden’ sunrise from a watch tower while the second ‘silver’ sunrise can be seen from the temples.
Even the drive to the plateau offers impressive sights. On the way up, visitors will pass through tobacco plantations and beautiful mountain scenery.
The Dieng people are used to visitors and warmly welcome travellers to the region.
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Well, I just love Bali so much, and we fell in love with the culture, people, the food. Everything was just amazing. I feel like in Bali, you can find serenity anywhere, literally. It's our favorite place that we've been to on our entire trip.
by Jack Morris
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