Purworejo Things to Do Tips by theo1006
Purworejo Things to Do: 10 reviews and 36 photos
A Sumatran tiger
The regent's residence or kabupaten is an example of the Javanese concept of government. Meant to impress and to entertain guests.
Yet it is also open and accessable. Just walk into the porch, greet the watchman, and you are free to walk the grounds.
It is the privilege of a king to keep a caged tiger, even today when the Sumatran tiger is an endangered species.
Directions: North side, Purworejo town square
Curug Muncar waterfall
Curug Muncar is one of two important waterfalls in Purworejo regency, the one least visited. It lies in the north of the regency, you have to travel a secundary road and then still walk an hour.
We liked the route to get there, but were somewhat disappointed by the site itself. In the first place the waterfall comes down amid big boulders, no pool to take a bath let alone swim in. Secondly, most of the original forest along the path to the waterfall has been cut down in recent years, as a villager we met readily admitted. He said there were plans for replanting, but that will not restore what has been destroyed.
In Kutoarjo, west of Purworejo, take the road north to Bruno and Wonosobo. Past Bruno you cross Rabung river on a steel bridge, then soon on your left the waterfall is visible in the distance. At 30 km from Kutoarjo there is a small hamlet with a wooden porch on the left, no signboard. It is best to park here and start walking the road that starts at the porch, it soon becomes impassable for an ordinary car. Eventually the road changes into a footpath. When you get an irrigation ditch on your right, cross it at the second occasion, where there is a steep path uphill. After a 3 km 1 hour walk you reach the waterfall.
Address: Kaliwungu village, Bruno district
Caves abound in the hills on Java's south coast. Fairly close to Yogya is Goa Kiskendo, nice but not much of an adventure. Halfway between Purworejo and Cilacap is Goa Jatijajar, where on holidays you walk in rows along fenced walkways.
Seplawan Cave is not visited so much and to tell the truth not impressive as stalagmite and stalactite formations go, but it is just right for a bit of adventure if you are not a professional speleologist. A length of 750 m is sparsely lighted, and that is by no way the end of the tunnel. But 750 m is quite some distance to walk on slippery rocks and wading through underground rivers. Donorejo village takes it's water supply from them.
For a small amount an elderly villager will guide you with a torch. If you want to try it by yourself, be sure to bring your own light, because there might be a blackout of the electric lighting!
The entrance to the cave has been nicely landscaped, and if you have no taste for the cave itself you might try one of several lookouts lying around it. More pictures in our Seplawan Cave Travelogue
From Yogya take the road west through Godean into the Menoreh hills. At a crossing after about 15 km a signpost points to the cave.
From Purworejo take the road east to and past Kaligesing. At about 15 km from Purworejo a narrow unsigned road on your right crosses a bridge and goes uphill another 6 km to Donorejo village, where a sign points you to the cave.
Address: Desa Donorejo, kecamatan Kaligesing
View to the south
The southern part of Purworejo regency consists of a coastal plain about 25 km wide. North of Purworejo town you get into hilly terrain.
The first hilltop you reach going north features a lookout popular among joggers and young couples. One has to negotiate about 300 steps of partly broken stairs to get up there. When the skies are clear it is possible to see the Indian Ocean.
When you have crossed the concrete footbridge at the foot of the hill, you have the choice of going left or a clockwise run or right for an anticlockwise one. We did the latter and encountered a graveyard after about 100 steps. To go further uphill one should not enter the graveyard, but pass by it on the left.
Coming down hot and sweaty we welcomed the competition-sized Arta Tirta swimming pool that lies at the turnoff to the hill.
Directions: Take the road out of town direction Magelang. Just before the road starts rising steeply, turn right where a sign points to Arta Tirta swimming pool. From the pool it is about 200 m to a group of houses where you cross a footbridge leading to the stairs.
Bagelen's Masjid Santren
Built in 1618 this mosque, named Masjid Santren, is the oldest in Bagelen. However it did not strike us as old, so throughly has it been renovated in 2003.
It might have been different if we had been students of mosque architecture. The mosque was built on the order of Sultan Agung of Mataram as a reward for the religious leader Kyai Baidlowi who had stood fast with the Sultan against the Dutch invaders. It was designed by a famous architect of the time, Khasan Muhammad Shuufi, and features a typical wooden roof construction: the gonjo or crown on its top.
The mosque is located in a rural area on the border of Bogowonto river. To the left and right of it lie graves, perhaps of religious leaders. However, when we visited (on our way back from Benteng Pendem) there was no one around to tell us more about them.
Address: Town of Bagelen
Directions: On the road from Purworejo to Yogya, south of Bagelen town, you pass a double bridge (old and new bridge side by side). Just south of the bridge turn west into a dirt road and then take the second one to your right.
One of the lookout bunkers
They call it Benteng Pendem, which means Buried Fort. Actually there are several buried forts in the region, all called benteng pendem, and all built with the purpose of heading off invasions of enemies on the south coast. E.g. there is another - quite different - one at Cilacap which was built by the Dutch.
This Benteng Pendem at Bagelen south of Purworejo consists of fortifications built by the Japanese. On two hilltops there are bunkers looking out over the south coast, and a short distance below them on the land side are bunkers that served as quarters for the soldiers.
According to the villagers who showed us around, most foreign visitors seeking out their benteng pendem are Japanese and Dutch. If the the bunkers themselves are not that attractive, the view (on a clear day) is. And you can imagine the Japanese soldiers running uphill-downhill between their quarters and their lookouts.
Directions: From Purworejo take the main road to Yogya, after 13 km your reach Krendetan village. 300 m past Krendetan market turn left at the SMP Negeri 17. From here it is another 5.2 km. At the first tugu (pillar, at 1.4 km) turn right, at the second one (2.3 km) turn left. Past Telogokotes keep right uphill, at a T-crossing right again, until you reach a parking field at the highest spot. Here are three bunkers, there are more at 3 km distance to be reached when you go left at the last T-crossing.
Address: Dukuh Kalimaro, dusun Bapangsari, desa Krendetan.
Purworejo's main mosque boasts the biggest bedug or drum in the world. It is used to call for Friday prayers.
The bedug was built in 1834. At the front it measures 194 cm in diameter, at the back 180 cm.
It is 292 cm long and the striking surface is made of wild ox skin.
Address: Great Mosque Kauman
Directions: The Great Mosque is located at the west side of the city square (alun alun).
Bellows in a keris forge
In literal translation the High Javanese name Tosan Aji of the museum means: ‘valuable iron’. The term refers to the Javanese daggers or keris which constitute the main collection if the museum. Keris have always been in high regard, and the more ancient they are, the more mystical power they are supposed to possess.
Tosan Aji Museum was founded recently, in 1987, at the initiative of a governor of Central Java, who also donated his private collection of keris. In 2001 the museum moved to the the present location, an colonial building near the town square.
We called in near closing time, but were nevertheless shown around enthousiasically by one of the wardens, mr Soebowo. Entrance is free, we volunteered a donation.
Apart from keris of all kinds of makes and styles, the museum houses prehistoric stone axes, fossil wood, all kinds of ancient pottery and pre-islamic statues, as well as an inscribed stone (prasasti) found in Purworejo regency and an ancient gamelan set from the Surakarta kraton.
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 07.00-14.00, Fri 07.00-11.00, Sat 07.00-12.30.
Address: Jalan Mayjend. Sutoyo no 10, Purworejo
Directions: The museum is located a short distance south of the town square.
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