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Central Java Indonesia Travel

Wishing for Good Luck at Cetho Temple

It’s a 9km ride to out next destination coming from Sukuh Temple and Jumog Falls. We go higher up the slopes of the sacred Gunung Lawu and the views just keeps getting better. The afternoon light illuminates the vast tea plantation hills and we pass by a few tea harvesters going up and down the slopes. We are now 1400meters above sea level and I see the gates to the Cetho Temple (Candi Cetho) bathed in warm light with stone guardians to welcome us.

The Cetho Temple Grounds with Peak of Gunung Lawu in the background
The Cetho Temple Grounds with Peak of Gunung Lawu in the background

It’s a 9km ride to out next destination coming from Sukuh Temple and Jumog Falls. We go higher up the slopes of the sacred Gunung Lawu and the views just keeps getting better. The afternoon light illuminates the vast tea plantation hills and we pass by a few tea harvesters going up and down the slopes. We are now 1400 meters above sea level and I see the gates to the Cetho Temple (Candi Cetho) bathed in warm light with stone guardians to welcome us.

Entrance to the temple Balinese-style gate and one of the stone guardians
Entrance to the temple Balinese-style gate and one of the stone guardians

The Terraced Cetho Temple

Cetho Temple is the only other temple aside from Sukuh Temple that is found in Gunung Lawu, but this one is found higher and is a much bigger area with several terraces. Believed to be built-in the 1350’s, the design have strong influence from Balinese Temples (especially the split gates) but there are elements of fertility and Shivaism worship as well. Many Balinese Hindus set a pilgrimage here to make offerings for good luck.

I like the tranquility of the temple, with its distance far from the city and farther from Sukuh Temple, not many tourist make it here. I admire the stone works, statues, symbols and woodwork found in the temple. From the top, I could see the gates align perfectly on the slopes. There may be a time of the year when the sun would perfectly be at the center of these  split gates.

Sunset at the tea plantation
Sunset at the tea plantation

Sunset at the Tea Hills

As I got down, I noticed the a thin blanket of mist starting to build on the hills below. The light was wonderful. Wazit said that people usually spend the sunset here. But I wanted to go on the tea plantation we passed by. We rode by motorbike until the point where I thought the scene was ideal. The vast tea plantation was bathed in the purple twilight. I see Gunung (Mount) Merapi and Merbabu towering like twin pyramids on the horizon.

Mount Merapi and Mount Merbabu on the horizon
Mount Merapi and Mount Merbabu on the horizon

No Headlights Home

I packed my gears and got on the motorbike and later we found out Wazit’s motorbike headlight was broken. Just when I thought we were done with the misadventures, here we are again. It is certainly risky to drive the highway at night without lights. Fortunately I was brought my headlamp with me and told him to wear it while driving home. In the whole time on the road back, I was praying that we arrive home safe. Good luck may have also rubbed with us from our visit in Cetho Temple as I breathed a sigh of relief when I caught sight of the familiar landmarks of Solo City. I was thankful we got home safe and sound and got to see those wonderful sights despite bringing home some bruises and body aches.

A platform with a turtle head
A platform with a turtle head
Some shelter and altars on the upper terraces
Some shelter and altars on the upper terraces
A giant lingam as symbol for Siva worship
A giant lingam as symbol for Siva worship
Split gates align
Split gates align
A gatekeeper looking down at the valley
A gatekeeper looking down at the valley
Trees at the tea plantation hills
Trees at the tea plantation hills

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