Candi Borobudur


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Architecture Of BOROBUDUR

Borobudur ground plan took form of aMandala.

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Borobudur is built as a single large stupa, and when viewed from above takes the form of a giant tantric Buddhist mandala, simultaneously representing the Buddhist cosmology and the nature of mind. The foundation is a square, approximately 118 meters (387 ft) on each side. It has nine platforms, of which the lower six are square and the upper three are circular. The upper platform features seventy-two small stupas surrounding one large central stupa. Each stupa is bell-shaped and pierced by numerous decorative openings. Statues of theBuddha sit inside the pierced enclosures.

Approximately 55,000 cubic metres (72,000 cu yd) of stones were taken from neighbouring rivers to build the monument.The stone was cut to size, transported to the site and laid without mortar. Knobs, indentations and dovetails were used to form joints between stones.Reliefs were createdin-situ after the building had been completed. The monument is equipped with a good drainagesystem to cater for the area’s high stormwaterrun-off. To avoid inundation, 100 spouts are provided at each corner with a unique carved gargoyles in the shape of giants ormakaras.

Half cross-section with 4:6:9 height ratio for foot, body and head, respectively.

Borobudur differs markedly with the general design of other structures built for this purpose. Instead of building on a flat surface, Borobudur is built on a natural hill. The building technique is, however, similar to other temples in Java. With no inner space as in other temples and its general design similar to the shape of pyramid, Borobudur was first thought more likely to have served as a stupa, instead of a temple.Astupa is intended as ashrine for the Lord Buddha. Sometimes stupas were built only as devotional symbols of Buddhism. A temple, on the other hand, is used as a house of deity and has inner spaces for worship. The complexity of the monument’s meticulous design suggests Borobudur is in fact a temple. Congregational worship in Borobudur is performed by means of pilgrimage.

Pilgrims were guided by the system of staircases and corridors ascending to the top platform. Each platform represents one stage ofenlightenment. The path that guides pilgrims was designed with the symbolism of sacred knowledge according to the Buddhist cosmology.

A narrow corridor with reliefs on the wall.

Lion gate guardian.

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Little is known about the architect Gunadharma. His name is actually recounted from Javanese legendary folk tales rather than written in old inscriptions. The basic unit measurement he used during the construction was called tala, defined as the length of a human face from the forehead’s hairline to the tip of the chin or the distance from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the middle finger when both fingers are stretched at their maximum distance. The unit metrics is then obviously relative between persons, but the monument has exact measurements. A survey conducted in 1977 revealed frequent findings of a ratio of 4:6:9 around the monument. The architect had used the formula to lay out the precise dimensions of Borobudur.

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An 1895 hand-tinted lantern slide of a guardian statue at Borobudur (Photograph by William Henry Jackson)

The identical ratio formula was further found in the nearby Buddhist temples of Pawon and Mendhut. Archeologists conjectured the purpose of the ratio formula and the tala dimension has calendrical, astronomical and cosmological themes, as of the case in other Hindu and Buddhist temple of Angkor Wat inCambodia.

A carved gargoyle-shaped water spout for water drainage.

The main vertical structure can be divided into three groups: base (or foot), body, and top, which resembles the three major division of a human body. The base is a 123×123 m (403.5×403.5 ft) square in size and 4 meters (13 ft) high of walls. The body is composed of five square platforms each with diminishing heights. The first terrace is set back 7 meters (23 ft) from the edge of the base. The other terraces are set back by 2 meters (7 ft), leaving a narrow corridor at each stage. The top consists of 3 circular platforms, with each stage supporting a row of perforated stupas, arranged in concentric circles. There is one main dome at the center; the top of which is the highest point of the monument (35 meters (115 ft) above ground level). Access to the upper part is through stairways at the centre of each 4 sides with a number of arched gates, watched by a total of 32 lion statues. The gates is adorned with Kala‘s head carved on top center of each portals withMakaras projecting from each sides. This Kala-Makara style is commonly found in Javanese temples portal. The main entrance is at the eastern side, the location of the first narrative reliefs. On the slopes of the hill, there are also stairways linking the monument to the low-lying plain.

The monument’s three divisions symbolize three stages of mental preparation towards the ultimate goal according to the Buddhist cosmology, namely Kāmadhātu (the world of desires), Rupadhatu(the world of forms), and finally Arupadhatu (the formless world).Kāmadhātu is represented by the base, Rupadhatu by the five square platforms (the body), and Arupadhatu by the three circular platforms and the large topmost stupa. The architectural features between three stages have metaphorical differences. For instance, square and detailed decorations in the Rupadhatudisappear into plain circular platforms in the Arupadhatu to represent how the world of forms – where men are still attached with forms and names – changes into the world of the formless.

In 1885, a hidden structure under the base was accidentally discovered. The “hidden foot” contains reliefs, 160 of which are narrative describing the real Kāmadhātu. The remaining reliefs are panels with short inscriptions that apparently describe instruction for the sculptors, illustrating the scene to be carved. The real base is hidden by an encasement base, the purpose of which remains a mystery. It was first thought that the real base had to be covered to prevent a disastrous subsidence of the monument through the hill. There is another theory that the encasement base was added because the original hidden foot was incorrectly designed, according to Vastu Shastra, the Indian ancient book aboutarchitecture and town planning. Regardless of its intention, the encasement base was built with detailed and meticulous design with aesthetics and religious compensation.

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Narrative Panels Distribution
section location story #panels
hidden foot wall Karmavibhangga 160
first gallery main wall Lalitavistara 120
Jataka/Avadana 120
balustrade Jataka/Avadana 372
Jataka/Avadana 128
second gallery balustrade Jataka/Avadana 100
main wall Gandavyuha 128
third gallery main wall Gandavyuha 88
balustrade Gandavyuha 88
fourth gallery main wall Gandavyuha 84
balustrade Gandavyuha 72
Total 1,460

Borobudur contains approximately 2,670 individualbas reliefs(1,460 narrative and 1,212 decorative panels), which cover thefaçades andbalustrades. The total relief surface is 2,500 square meters (26,909.8 sq ft) and they are distributed at the hidden foot (Kāmadhātu) and the five square platforms (Rupadhatu).

Indonesia, Java, Borobudur: Temple, the carved images of borobudur temple; the most famous buddhist  bas- relief of  southeast asia , the life of buddha Stock Photo - 2593455

The narrative panels, which tell the story of Sudhana and Manohara, are grouped into 11 series encircled the monument with the total length of 3,000 meters (9,843 ft). The hidden foot contains the first series with 160 narrative panels and the remaining 10 series are distributed throughout walls and balustrades in four galleries starting from the eastern entrance stairway to the left. Narrative panels on the wall read from right to left, while on the balustrade read from left to right.

Indonesia, Java, Borobudur: Temple, the carved images of borobudur temple; the most famous buddhist  bas- relief of  southeast asia , the life of buddha Stock Photo - 2593448

This conforms with pradaksina, the ritual of circumambulation performed bypilgrims who move in a clockwise direction while keeping thesanctuary to their right.

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The hidden foot depicts the workings of karmic law. The walls of the first gallery have two superimposed series of reliefs; each consists of 120 panels. The upper part depicts the biography of the Buddha, while the lower part of the wall and also balustrades in the first and the second galleries tell the story of the Buddha’s former lives.The remaining panels are devoted to Sudhana’s further wandering about his search, terminated by his attainment of the Perfect Wisdom.

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Borobudur’s main stupa, which is empty and raised a mystery when discovered

The law of karma (Karmavibhangga)

The 160 hidden panels do not form a continuous story, but each panel provides one complete illustration of cause and effect.There are depictions of blameworthy activities, from gossip to murder, with their corresponding punishments. There are also praiseworthy activities, that include charity and pilgrimage to sanctuaries, and their subsequent rewards. The pains of hell and the pleasure of heaven are also illustrated. There are scenes of daily life, complete with the full panorama of samsara (the endless cycle of birth and death).

Relief, Borobudur

The birth of Buddha (Lalitavistara)

Queen Maya riding horse carriage retreating to Lumbini to give birth to Prince Siddhartha Gautama.

Main article: The birth of Buddha (Lalitavistara)

The story starts from the glorious descent of the Lord Buddha from the Tushita heaven, and ends with his first sermon in the Deer Park near Benares. The relief shows the birth of the Buddha as Prince Siddhartha, son of King Suddhodana and Queen Maya of Kapilavastu(in present-day Nepal).

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The story is preceded by 27 panels showing various preparations, in heavens and on earth, to welcome the final incarnation of theBodhisattva. Before descending from Tushita heaven, the Bodhisattva entrusted his crown to his successor, the future BuddhaMaitreya. He descended on earth in the shape of white elephantswith six tusks, penetrated to Queen Maya’s right womb. Queen Maya had a dream of this event, which was interpreted that his son would become either a sovereign or a Buddha.

Borobudur, Central Java

While Queen Maya felt that it was the time to give birth, she went to the Lumbini park outside the Kapilavastu city. She stood under aplaksa tree, holding one branch with her right hand and she gave birth to a son, Prince Siddhartha. The story on the panels continues until the prince becomes the Buddha.

Bas-Relief at Borobudur Temple, Indonesia

Prince Siddhartha Gautama become an ascetic hermit.

Prince Siddhartha story (Jataka) and other legendary persons (Avadana)

Jatakas are stories about the Buddha before he was born as Prince Siddhartha. Avadanas are similar to jatakas, but the main figure is not the Bodhisattva himself. The saintly deeds in avadanas are attributed to other legendary persons. Jatakas and avadanas are treated in one and the same series in the reliefs of Borobudur.

Bas-Relief at Borobudur Temple, Indonesia

The first 20 lower panels in the first gallery on the wall depict theSudhanakumaravadana or the saintly deeds of Sudhana. The first 135 upper panels in the same gallery on the balustrades are devoted to the 34 legends of the Jatakamala. The remaining 237 panels depict stories from other sources, as do for the lower series and panels in the second gallery. Some jatakas stories are depicted twice, for example the story of King Sibhi (Rama‘s forefather).

Sudhana’s search for the Ultimate Truth (Gandavyuha)

Gandavyuha is the story told in the final chapter of the Avatamsaka Sutra about Sudhana’s tireless wandering in search of the Highest Perfect Wisdom. It covers two galleries (third and fourth) and also half of the second gallery; comprising in total of 460 panels. The principal figure of the story, the youth Sudhana, son of an extremely rich merchant, appears on the 16th panel. The preceding 15 panels form a prologue to the story of the miracles during Buddha’ssamadhi in the Garden of Jeta at Sravasti.

Borobudur Temple, Indonesia

During his search, Sudhana visited no less than 30 teachers but none of them had satisfied him completely. He was then instructed by Manjusri to meet the monk Megasri, where he was given the first doctrine. As his journey continues, Sudhana meets (in the following order) Supratisthita, the physician Megha (Spirit of Knowledge), the banker Muktaka, the monk Saradhvaja, the upasika Asa (Spirit of Supreme Enlightenment), Bhismottaranirghosa, the BrahminJayosmayatna, Princess Maitrayani, the monk Sudarsana, a boy called Indriyesvara, the upasika Prabhuta, the banker Ratnachuda, King Anala, the god Siva MahadevaQueen MayaBodhisattvaMaitreya and then back to Manjusri. Each meeting has given Sudhana a specific doctrine, knowledge and wisdom. These meetings are shown in the third gallery.

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Lens flare at the Borobudur stairs and Kala arches entrance. Borobudur is the 8th century Buddhist monument took shape as a giant Mandala-mountain. The stairs took pilgrim from Kamadhatu (realm of desire}, through Rupadhatu (realm of forms and shapes), and finaly elevated to a higher spiritual plane of Arupadhatu (realm of formlesness). Central Java, Indonesia

After the last meeting with Manjusri, Sudhana went to the residence of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra; depicted in the fourth gallery. The entire series of the fourth gallery is devoted to the teaching of Samantabhadra. The narrative panels finally end with Sudhana’s achievement of the Supreme Knowledge and the Ultimate Truth.


A Buddha statue with the hand position of dharmachakra mudra(turning the Wheel of the Law)

 Buddha statues

A Buddha statue with the hand position of dharmachakra mudra(turning the Wheels of the Law).

Apart from the story of Buddhist cosmology carved in stone, Borobudur has many statues of various Buddhas. The cross-legged statues are seated in a lotus position and distributed on the five square platforms (the Rupadhatu level) as well as on the top platform (the Arupadhatu level).

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A Buddha statue inside a stupa

A headless Buddha statue inside a stupa.

The Buddha statues are in niches at the Rupadhatu level, arranged in rows on the outer sides of the balustrades, the number of statues decreasing as platforms progressively diminish to the upper level. The first balustrades have 104 niches, the second 104, the third 88, the fourth 72 and the fifth 64. In total, there are 432 Buddha statues at the Rupadhatu level. At the Arupadhatu level (or the three circular platforms), Buddha statues are placed inside perforated stupas. The first circular platform has 32 stupas, the second 24 and the third 16, that add up to 72 stupas.Of the original 504 Buddha statues, over 300 are damaged (mostly headless) and 43 are missing (since the monument’s discovery, heads have been stolen as collector’s items, mostly by Western museums).

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Relief panel of a ship at Borobudur

At glance, all the Buddha statues appear similar, but there is a subtle difference between them in the mudras or the position of the hands. There are five groups of mudra: North, East, South, West and Zenith, which represent the five cardinal compass points according to Mahayana. The first four balustrades have the first fourmudras: North, East, South and West, of which the Buddha statues that face one compass direction have the corresponding mudra. Buddha statues at the fifth balustrades and inside the 72 stupas on the top platform have the same mudraZenith. Each mudrarepresents one of the Five Dhyani Buddhas; each has its own symbolism. They are Abhaya mudra for Amoghasiddhi (north),Vara mudra for Ratnasambhava (south), Dhyana mudra forAmitabha (west), Bhumisparsa mudra for Aksobhya (east) andDharmachakra mudra for Vairochana (zenith).

Musicians performing a musical ensemble, probably the early form of gamelan.


1971 poster calling for the restoration of Borobudur.

Borobudur attracted attention in 1885, when Yzerman, the Chairman of the Archaeological Society in Yogyakarta, made a discovery about the hidden foot.Photographs that reveal reliefs on the hidden foot were made in 1890–1891.The discovery led the Dutch East Indies government to take steps to safeguard the monument. In 1900, the government set up a commission consisting of three officials to assess the monument: Brandes, an art historian, Theodoor van Erp, a Dutch army engineer officer, and Van de Kamer, a construction engineer from the Department of Public Works.

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The Apsara of Borobudur.

In 1902, the commission submitted a threefold plan of proposal to the government. First, the immediate dangers should be avoided by resetting the corners, removing stones that endangered the adjacent parts, strengthening the first balustrades and restoring several niches, archways, stupas and the main dome. Second, fencing off the courtyards, providing proper maintenance and improving drainage by restoring floors and spouts. Third, all loose stones should be removed, the monument cleared up to the first balustrades, disfigured stones removed and the main dome restored. The total cost was estimated at that time around 48,800Dutch guilders.

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The bas relief of 8th century Borobudur depicted the palace scene of King and Queen accompanied by their subjects. Its strongly suggested that the relief depicted the actual scene of Sailendran royal court.

Embedding concrete and pvc pipe to improve Borobudur’s drainage system during the 1973 restoration.

The restoration then was carried out between 1907 and 1911, using the principles of anastylosis and led by Theodor van Erp.The first seven months of his restoration was occupied with excavating the grounds around the monument to find missing Buddha heads and panel stones. Van Erp dismantled and rebuilt the upper three circular platforms and stupas. Along the way, Van Erp discovered more things he could do to improve the monument; he submitted another proposal that was approved with the additional cost of 34,600 guilders. At first glance Borobudur had been restored to its old glory.

A bas-relief on the wall of Borobudur describe a man holding a medium sized sword or a dagger that similar to keris. The dagger’s part that shared similarity with typical keris is the handle and the wider part of the blade near the handle. This suggests that keris is quite well documented and have older tradition in Java.

Due to the limited budget, the restoration had been primarily focused on cleaning the sculptures, and Van Erp did not solve the drainage problem. Within fifteen years, the gallery walls were sagging and the reliefs showed signs of new cracks and deterioration. Van Erp used concrete from which alkali salts andcalcium hydroxide leached and were transported into the rest of the construction. This caused some problems, so that a further thorough renovation was urgently needed.

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Queen Maya retreat to Lumbini to gave birth to Prince Siddharta Gautama (Buddha), the panel of Lalitavistara, Borobudur, Central Java, Indonesia.

Small restorations have been performed since then, but not sufficient for complete protection. In the late 1960s, the Indonesian government had requested from the international community a major renovation to protect the monument. In 1973, a master plan to restore Borobudur was created.The Indonesian government and UNESCO then undertook the complete overhaul of the monument in a big restoration project between 1975–1982.The foundation was stabilized and all 1,460 panels were cleaned. The restoration involved the dismantling of the five square platforms and improved the drainage by embedding water channels into the monument. Both impermeable and filter layers were added. This colossal project involved around 600 people to restore the monument and cost a total of US$ 6,901,243. After the renovation was finished, UNESCO listed Borobudur as a World Heritage Site in 1991. It is listed under Cultural criteria (i) “to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius”, (ii) “to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design”, and (vi) “to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance”.

Gallery of reliefs

Relief panel of a ship at Borobudur. Musicians performing a musical ensemble. The Apsara of Borobudur.

Borobudur: Pyramid of the Cosmic Buddha

Written by Dr. Caesar Voûte

and Mark E. Long
Published by DK Printworld Ltd.

Oversized (30 cm) coffee-table style book with
351 text pages, 163 color and black & white photographs,
8 architectural drawings, glossary, bibliography, index, and
two folded copies of the Vajradhatu and Garbhadhatu mandalas
ISBN: 812460403-7 – Now available from through


A detailed carved relief stone.

Borobudur was constructed during the eighth century as a guide to the Noble Path of the Buddha. Born from silence and unfolding into the serenity of the other shore, it expresses the glory of Indonesia’s awareness and creativity, the smile of her plastic forms over the centuries as well as her travels along the edge of thoughts that cross the endless corridors of memory.
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The murals (reliefs) on the wall of Borobudur, central Java, Indonesia.

Though the western world rediscovered this magnificent structure almost two hundred years ago this sacred place nonetheless remains seated in its enigmatic depth, engulfed in vaporous illusions, waiting for someone to find the base simplicity of its Truth. This book is a catalyst and invites adventurous minds to find new directions by bringing into focus the vast universe of the Borobudur in order to cultivate the Way to weeding out error. The questions posed or solutions offered herein are like water and waves: different yet identical in essence. They stir discussion.

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A decorative gargoyle (makaras) at Borobudur as a spout to drainage waterfalls.

One of the special contributions of this book lies in its correlating the cyclical movements of the Sun and Moon with the numerical symbolism of Borobudur. The authors cite the magical effect of the Sun suddenly appearing out of the volcano Merapi and empowering the Borobudur-mountain with its radiant energy in poetic imagery. This magic moment of satori or enlightenment echoes the experiences of the unknown monarch who had commissioned the monument’s construction and the inspiration that made the architect envision this Buddhist wonder.» Dr. Lokesh Chandra, New Delhi

Prince Siddhartha Gautama became anascetic hermit.


Origin, wildlife and plants
Argopuro is a mountain range in East Java, Indonesia, extending from Probbolingo to the East corner of Java.

It’s origin is volcanic like almost every region on Java, thus creating a fantastic biodiversity with tropical rainforest and mountain rainforest. The highest mountain peak is 3088 meters above sea level and subject to an old legend of Princess Rengganis who once built her empire on the highest mountain top.

Some of the area remains natural and rarely explored by tourists. It is home to abundant wildlife such as leopards, black monkeys called Lutung, birds and snakes. The types of rainforests vary from moss covered, foggy mountain rainforest to tropical rainforest in lower areas. Tall grass and thorn covered leaves of the Girardinia Palmata plant make the trek quite an adventure. One can also experience savanna areas on Argopuro.

ProtectionThe forest of the Argopuro mountain range is divided and protected by two different government divisions. The part of the forest which lies 2’000 + meters above sea level is under BKSDA protection, which translates to governmental protection
,for conservation (This equates to approximately 14’430 hectars of the entire forest). The remaining forest is owned by the “Perhutani”, the governmental forest company. There locals plant corn, rubber trees, banana trees, pine trees, cacao trees, coffee and tea.Illegal logging is a big issue in the region due to the poverty of the people living in the villages around Argopuro, the insufficient protection and support from the government, and the people’s lack of knowledge about the importance of the forest.

There are several trails that run through the mountain range, and though they’re poorly maintained, they are a paradise for experienced trekkers and adventurous people who love true nature! This region also offers beautiful trails and hikes to tourists who look for the uncommon, who bring along enough time, and are ready to ”rough it” in the bush.

To enhace the adventure, there are only a few basic shelters to find along the track, so this can be quite a challenging and amazing experience to spend the night in a tent, especially during the flood of a tropical thunderstorm.

Mountain top and Colonial relicts

This is also an interesting region for those interested in colonial times. On the highest mountain top of Argopuro, there are still ruins of the kingdom of Princess Rengganis who built a temple in times long before Dutch colonialism. Because the Javanese people have a strong belief in magical power, this place is full of legends and mystical tales.

Additionally, ruins of an airstrip are found on the mountain in 2300 meters above sea level. The airstrip, built by the Dutch colonialists in the middle of nowhere, helped to deliver goods that were used to build a ranch and a meat factory. In 1943 it was destroyed by the Dutch so that the Japanese conquerors weren’t able to use it for military actions during the 2nd World War.

In another spot, one may visit ancient Hindu temples from times before Islam came to Java in the 15th century.

Taman Hidup means “Living Park” and is one of the most special and mystical places on Argopuro. The small lake is surrounded by dense tropical rainforest and it is believed that the spirits of dead Japanese soldiers (from WWII) roam the area. Locals believe that if you act too loudly around the lake, a cloud will come down and cover the place with fog.

You also need to ask the spirits for permission if you need to urinate. If you don’t do so, the spirits might punish you with bad luck or you might not find your way back.
With a little bit of luck trekkers may meet local people from the village of Bermi. These villagers are often found fishing at the craterlake at Taman Hidup, which is a steep 6-hour walk from Bermi. They usually spend 2-3 days at the lake, build their own tents out of grass and leaves, and bring home fish for their families. It’s a very impressive sight.

Starting at the village of Bermi, you can easily reach a beautiful waterfall in only about 40 minutes. This waterfall with crystal clear water is located in a wonderfully natural surrounding of tropical rainforest. Standing under the pouring water will refresh your body and your soul.

Starting at Gunung Pasang, close to Jember, will also give you the chance to hike to a beautiful waterfall in in about a one and a half hour hike. Much like the one in Bermi, this waterfall is surrounded by tropical rainforest and carries crystal clear water.

The Argopuro mountain range has much to offer: daytrips to waterfalls, weekend trips to the craterlake at Taman Hidup, as well as week long trekking to remote places for those who want to take their time. It’s all there, waiting to be explored!

7 Days Trekking of Argopuro Mountain

Day 1: Gunung Pasang – coffee storeroom (Distance +/- 3.5 km)

Welcome to Argopuro extreme. This first day we’ll start it out easy and go to Gunung Pasang (525 meters above sea level.), a village close to the city of Jember. We’ll walk for about 4 hours, and will pass by coffee plantations in the early part of the hike. We will take our time to observe and learn about the coffee. At night, we will camp out next to a coffee storage room (875 m.a.s.l.) or even sleep inside the storage room where we can smell the deep aroma of coffee beans.

Day 2: Coffee storeroom – Spring “Mahapena” (Distance +/- 4 km)

Today we’ll hike uphill and follow the line of one of the arms of the Argopuro mountain range. With a little bit of luck we might encounter a special kind of monkey who have long tails (kera ekor panjang) playing in the trees. We’ll camp out next to the “Mahapena” spring (1600 m.a.s.l.) where we’ll also be able replenish our water bottles.

Day 3: Mahapena spring – Patahan Gunung Putri (Distance +/- 2.5km)

The path continues to wind up along the branch of the Argopuro mountain range through dense tropical rainforest. Today we’ll climb up with the help of a rope in some parts of the path because here the trail is always muddy and very slippery. We’ll also need our bush knife today to clear the path from entangled brush and rich vegetation so you’ve got to be ready for it! We’ll be on our way for about 7 hours. Tonight we’ll camp out at Patahan Gunung Putri (+/-1900 m.a.s.l.), maybe just a little bit tired.

Day 4: Patahan Gunung Putri – Cikasur (Distance +/- 5 km)

Today will be another adventure day! The path winding up to Cikasur (+/-2200 m.a.s.l.) passes through an area where the path is also often covered by entangled brush and other rich vegetation so we might have to clear it using again a bush knife. On this path we will be able to take in the beauty of the vast area of Argopuro and enjoy the natural and untouched scenery. In the evening, we will pitch our tents in Cikasur. This place is an open area which was formerly used as an airstrip during WWII by the Japanese; ruins can still be found today. Here we can relax and refresh ourselves in the creek. We might

encounter women from Baderan Busuki who walk all this way up to collect “Arnong”-leaves which they sell on the market as a vegetable.

Day 5: Cikasur – Argopuro – Rengganis – Cisentor (Distance +/- 11km)

Today will be a tough day. We’ll leave Cisentor and work our way through rich vegetation and also parts of the forest which have been destroyed by forest fires up to the peak of the Argopuro mountain range. We will reach the Argopuro summit (3088 m.a.s.l.) and the nearby Rengganis summit after a 30-40 minute walk. We’ll see the ruins of an ancient temple built by the princess Rengganis and learn about the magic of this place. We will also discover pine trees and the Indonesian understanding of “Edelweiss”. We will camp out at Cisentor (+/-2400 m.a.s.l.) where we can take a dip in the nearby creek and refresh ourselves after a tough day of hiking.

Day 6. Cisentor – Taman Hidup (Distance +/- 8km)

Walking down a steep path through dense tropical rainforest we’ll pass by the creek “Aing Kenek”. If the weather permits we’ll be able to see the vast area of the Argopuro mountain range from this part of the trail. After about 5 hours of hiking, you’ll notice the change in the forest’s appearance; the trees and lianas are often covered by moss in this part of the forest. After another 3 hours we will reach the mystical lake “Taman Hidup” ( +/- 1900 m.a.s.l.) which is full of beauty and old legends. Taman Hidup is surrounded by dense tropical rainforest and moor. Here, we’ll pitch our tents. The night sounds of the rainforest and the crackling fire will put us to sleep on this last night.

Day 7: Taman Hidup – Waterfall Kalianan – Bermi (Distance +/- 5.5 km)

The early morning hours will give us time to relax at the shore of Taman Hidup. We can try our luck fishing or we can swim in the lake. After we’ve enjoyed the beauty of Taman Hidup we’ll walk back down toward Bermi. With a little bit of luck we’ll encounter black monkeys on our way. After a steep 2- hour walk through dense forest we’ll enter an area where coffee is grown. We will make a short detour and enjoy the natural surrounding of the waterfall Kali Anan and wash our dirt off in the clear and cold water. After a short walk we will end our trekking and journey in the village of Bermi.


Culinary Trip to Surabaya

Surabaya is Indonesia’s second-largest city, and the capital of the province of East Java. It is also one of the biggest cities in Southeast Asia, located on the northern shore of Eastern Java at the mouth of the Mas River and at the side of the Madura Strait. It is known as the city of heroes, because of its heroic role in the history of Indonesia. In 2007, the population of the city is approximately 4 million.

When you have the chance to visit Surabaya, don’t forget to do culinary trip and taste some local dishes like Rujak Cingur, Lontong Balap, Semanggi, etc in local restaurant or warung.


Semanggi (Clover leaf), consist of two kinds of vegetable, that is clover leaf, and stewed sprout, presented with mixture petis (shrimp black paste). Its flavour is typical representing of sweet potatoes, peanut, and brown sugar, and also equiped by the crisply puli crackers.

Semanggi is usually vended by a woman which circling around some area, its seller generally ages woman which still impose the jarit (kind of saroong) at the same time carry on the basket contain the clover substance on the back and one plastic big contain the crisply puli crackers. For you which curious with this unique food, can stop by toSurabaya Plaza Hotel, Every day start at 13.00 – 17.00 wib.

* Rujak Cingur

Rujak Cingur is sort of like vegetables salad, but with spicy sauce. This food have become the unique taste of Surabaya. Its mixed flavour is really unique, because combine the young banana slice, roasted peanut, demerara, onion fry, and petis (shrimp black paste). Feel the sweet, briny, fresh and a few casquette uniting by various slice of fruit type. There is, cucumber, yam bean (bengkuang), young mango, pineapple and kedondong added with  lontong (compressed rice), tofu, tempe, bendoyo or krai, and also vegetables like bean sprout,kangkung ( water convolvulus), and string bean. According to its name, not left behind cingur (unique cows beef). At some places, rujakpresented on the banana leaf (pincuk).

The following is some places that you can find Rujak Cingur :

1. Rujak Cingur Achmad Jais, Jl Achmad Jais
2. Rujak Cingur Pores Embong Sawo, Jl Embong Sawo
3. Rujak Cingur Delta Plasa Surabaya, Jl. Pemuda
4. Rujak Cingur Peneleh, Jl Peneleh
5. Pujasera Galaxy Mall, Jl Kertajaya Indah Timur

Have a look at the recipe of Rujak Cingur here.

* Nasi Pecel

Nasi Pecel is a traditional meal from one town in East Java, Madiun. It made from different vegetables and serve with peanut sauce and warm plain rice (nasi putih). And usually accompany with some flour cracker (rempeyek). In the reality has a lot of version. For example pecel Blitar, Nganjuk, Kediri, Ponorogo, and Madiun. Although its substance has no difference with others, but each have its uniqueness. Its difference starts from vegetable type and its flavour. In its presentation, there are multifarious steam vegetables and also fresh lalapan (vegetable that you can directly eat). As reference, there is nothing wrong if you try the place following :

1. Pecel Ketabang, Jl Ketabang Kali behind Plasa Surabaya
2. Warung Bu Kus, Jl Bratang (near Hotel Narita)
3. Pecel Tapaksiring, Tennis Court PJKA Jl Tapaksiring
4. Pecel Pandigiling, Jl Pandigiling In front of Purnama Motel
5. Pecel Kertajaya, Jl Kertajaya (near Suzana kiosk)
6. Pecel Madiun, Jl Indrapura

Have a look at the recipe of Pecel here.

* Lontong Balap

Some say, it is the original food of Surabaya, besides Semanggi Suroboyo, and Rujak Cingur. Lontong balap, according to its name consist of slices of  lontong (compressed rice), added with bean sprouts soup, fried tahu (fried tofu), lentho, soy sauce, fried union, and chilli sauce. Lentho made of rice peanut (in Surabaya so called tholoadded with the flour, koempheria galanga, leaf onion, orange purut, and salt).

For some people, eat the lontong balap not yet complete, otherwise added with the cockle satay. The question is why it is called lontong balap (Balap in English mean Race)? It is said, this name emerge from the style of lontong balap merchants in the past. All merchant used the big bamboo stick accommodating two clay frying-pans. Big size measure, it is clear weight shouldered. As a result, the merchants had to quicken their journey, provoking race. Since then, the term of lontong balap was emerged. So, where do we can enjoy the lontong balap ? Here are the list :

1. Lontong Balap in front of Grahadi, Jl Gubernur Suryo (near kantor pos)
2. Lontong Balap Rajawali, Jl Rajawali (opposite of Bank Eksekutif)
3. Lontong Balap Garuda, Jl Kranggan
4. Lontong Balap RIA, Jl Kombes Duryat
5. Warung Lontong Balap, Jl Kepanjen (in front of SMPN 2 Surabaya)
6. Lontong Balap Kertajaya, Jl Raya Gubeng Kertajaya XV
7. Lontong Balap Raya Gubeng, Jl Raya Gubeng (beside BNI)

Have a look at the recipe of Lontong Balap here.

* Sate Kelopo (Satay with Coconut)

Satay with coconut or sate kelopo (in Javanese), differing from other type of satay, because the steak is scattered by

Sate Kelopo (Satay with Coconut)

Satay with coconut or sate kelopo (in Javanese), differing from other type of satay, because the steak is scattered by the coconut rasp. This makes the odorous aroma and crispy likely compared to chicken or goat satay. If you want to try, you can find it at Jl. Walikota Mustajab;most of Surabayanese mention the road as Ondomohen.

It is about Rp. 8.500,- for 10 sticks. It’s more expensive than normal satay because its substance is special. It is selected by a flesh gulp in which its quality is nicest. This flesh is then locked out from its muscles so that is not hard eaten.

* Rawon

Rawon is a local dish from East Java, especially in Surabaya, made from beef with a special herb called ‘Kluwek’ that makes the dish has a black colour. You can find it easily in local restaurant, but one well-known place of rawon seller is Rawon Setan, setan – literally in English means ghost, this name was given because this warung start to open around midnight, the time when the ghost usually comes.

When you come here, you have to be patient to get a sit. If you want to try, just go to Jl. Embong Malang (in front of Westin Hotel). But don’t be surprise if you see the place because you won’t find it like a very nice restaurant. Have a look at the recipe of Rawon.

* Tahu Campur

Another traditional dish from Surabaya. But based on story, actually people from Lamongan (a town in East Java) who were the first time made it. That is why most of tahu campur seller in Surabaya named their restaurant/warung with “Tahu Campur Lamongan”. Literally “Tahu Campur” in English means Tofu Mixture. Tahu Campur is like a beef soup, but taste is different because it has petis (shrimp black paste) inside. So the taste is quite strong, and some people don’t like the smell of petis. It also has different ingredients such as tofu, cassava croquettes, bean sprouts, green salad and serve with prawn crackers.

If you want to try and taste it, you can go to Jl. Kalasan, Pacar Kelingwhere you can find street food stall of “Tahu Campur Kalasan H. Mahfud”. It’s really delicious, big slices of meat and the price is not so expensive.

Have a look at the recipe of Tahu Campur here.

Here other delicious culinary places in Surabaya you can’t miss:

1. Ayam Goreng Pemuda, Jl. Pemuda 38 and Ayam Goreng Sriwijaya, Jl. Sriwijaya 30-32

Main menu is Chicken, either fried or grill. They have the best sambal ever!!

2. Soto Ayam Ambengan “Sadi Asli”, Jl. Ambengan 3 A

This speciality from this restaurant is Soto Ayam (Javanese Style Chicken Soup).

3. Masakan Padang, New Antika Jl. Raya Darmo I

The speciality from this restaurant is all kind of dishes from Padang, a region in West Sumatra.You can easily find masakan Padang in big cities all around Indonesia. But here, their dishes are very delicious and would make your mouth watering!!

4. Kepiting Cak Gundul, Jl. Dukuh Kupang

Want to eat craps with different kind of taste? Spicy, sweet, but delicious? Come and enjoy it here! Prepare yourself for big portion of meals.

Tea Plantation

Tea Plantation Tourism – Wonosari – Lawang

This plantation pleasure gives a special and peaceful impression, beautiful panorama of tea plantation. The plantation is situated at an area on the slope of mount Arjuno, it belongs to Wonosari – Toyomarto village, Singosari district. In this tourist object, visitors can watch and enjoy the special impression, processing of tea from the leaves taken to the tea ready to drink. The location is reachable, about 30 km away to the North from Malang. Facilities: swimming pool, cottages, jogging tracks area, camping grounds, and many other.

Batu De Kleine

Batu De Kleine Switzerland

  • The name of Batu will directly come to your mind when you think about apples, cool air, and excellent scenery. Those icons make Batu differ from other country in Indonesia. Geographically, Batu is located in East Java, for about 19 Km in the west of Malang. It is placed on 680 – 1700 meters above the sea level, and its temperature is 15o-19o Celsius. It takes 2 hours drive from Surabaya.

Dutchmen call Batu as De Klein Switzerland (the Small Switzerland in Java). They love to visit it when they miss Swiss, the most beautiful city in the world. However, Batu lacks of snow.

There are many things you can find in this city. You can take your children to Jatim Park when you want to accompany them to enjoy their holiday while doing fun-learning. After visiting Jatim Park, you can continue your trip to Selecta. It provides play ground, swimming pool, water cycling, and ecotourism of pine forest.

Satisfied exploring those two interesting places, you need to refresh yourself. No need to be confused, Batu provides many kinds of accommodations starting from villa until four-star hotel with a reasonable rate. Don’t forget to spend your night in Payung while drinking hot coffee and roasted corn. Before going to Payung, you can take your family to explore a unique amusement facilities in Batu Night Spectacular (BNS) such as Lampion garden and challenging facilities. Also, you can enjoy the fantastic view of Batu at night from the high land.

  • One of tourism destination in Batu is waterfall Sensation. Coban Talun and Coban Rais waterfalls are not only beautiful from a distance but also more exotic when we look at it closely near the place where it drops the water. Both are located in the height of 75 meters in Junggo of Tulungrejo, Bumiaji area. Thundering sound of the waterfall and the rocks arouses the splash sensation on your body. This sensation also can be felt when you are a little bit farther from the site. The farther you are the slower the thundering sound.

Coban Talun

You need to be more patient to enjoy the splash sensation. You have to wait the wind blows bringing the drops around the location. When you look at around the site closely, you will find rainbows adding the exotic of the waterfall. They will be in every corner of the waterfalls.

It is not easy to reach this location. Not only you have to be careful, but also you need an extra power to get there. You have to pass the river and hills. The path to the site is very narrow, slippery and abrupt. You have to help yourself by holding the branch or grass around the path.


  • You can enjoy agro tourism in Batu, starting from picking apples, strawberries, oranges, and vegetables. These spots can be found in Punten, Bumiaji, Sidomiulyo, and the area around it. Another alternative is agro tourism in Kusuma Agro that also serves accommodation for you. Picking apples from its tree will be a memorable think. You will learn how to pick them from the guide in the apple garden. Moreover, the guide will inform you about a good apple, which one is ripe enough to pick. This spot is the only one in Indonesia. It would be an unfortunate if you don’t visit it.

After picking apples, you can continue to buy flowers in Bumiaji area, starting from Punten and Pandanrejo villages. Beside that you can also find it in Pandanrejo in Batu sub district. In those villages you will buy the flowers from the farmers.

There is the name of Bukit Berbunga street as it is famous of flowers cultivation. Entering this street, you will see many kinds of flowers arranged beautifully along the street. If you don’t have much time, you can just drop by, choose and buy the flowers, next, continue your trip. However, if you have spare time, it is better to take a walk enjoying the beautiful flowers there. After that, you can take a rest in flowers market in Sidomulyo Village. While choosing flowers, you can enjoy the great view of flower spreading out with a mountain view as the background.

Besides picking apples and flowers, there is an impression thing you can do in this city, namely milking a cow. Having a great potential of milk-cow producer, Batu is being one of fresh milk supplier to several company, such as Nestle. There are some spot of cow husbandry in Batu. They are Toyomerto of Pesanggrahan village and Oro-oro Ombo village. In the center of this husbandry, you are not only watching how to milk the cow, but you can try it by the guiding from the breeder. This is, of course, will be a memorable experience for you.

Para Gliding

Not only offers a beautiful view, Batu also be the best choice for those who love paragliding. They usually start their activities from Banyak mountain that is familiar as the aero sport. However, it is officially established as the paragliding on 20 June 2000. Since then, it is declared as the aero spot. The official announcement is at the same time of PON VI of East Java that is marked by building an epigraphy signed by Indonesian Air Marshal, Hanafi Asnan who is also the chairman of Indonesian Aero sport Federation. Paragliders usually come to this place in June up to October. There is a plan to have a paragliding show on the night. This is, of course, will be unique and interesting. If you want to see paragliding either from the landing area in Songgoriti or from the starting area in Banyak mountain, you will find many facilities such as observation station, food stalls, and shelters.

  • Batu Night Spectacular
  • Staying in Batu will be a different experience. At night you can enjoy the most spectacular spot in East Java at Batu Night Spectaculer (BNS). It is located in Oro-oro Ombo. The uniquely of BNS is its strategic location. Located in the high land, you can enjoy the great view of Malang and its surrounding at night perfectly. The sparkling lights will accompany you spending the night at café there.

It offers many facilities suitable for your family. For example, ghost gallery, slalom test, the highest air cycling, lampion garden, ghost gallery, 4-D cinema, the longest go-cart circuit, 50 meters screen in food court area, dancing fountain, and trampoline. You can also test your adrenalin by trying several facilities such as drag race, mouse coaster, etc. It also provides kids zone that offers for about 25 facilities.

Satisfied enjoying the facilities, you can go to night market to find souvenirs and hand gift. It also provides your daily needs. Near the night market, there is a food court that serves you many kinds of food and beverage. While eating and drinking, you can enjoy the show time maintained by the BNS management that present a music show. Other interesting thing is the dancing fountain in the middle of the show. The dancing fountain is followed by the sparkling lights that dance as the instrument play. After that you will have an outer journey through the laser show on the giant screen. You will feel like in outer space. Sometimes you will be surprised when you hear helicopter flying above your head. That’s fantastic!

  • Culinary Tourism
  • When you are tired of travelling around Batu, you don’t need to confuse to find the center of culinary. There are many culinary centers you can visit, for example in Warung Bambu. It is located in Selecta street, Punten, Bumiaji area. In this place, your tiredness will disappear when you find a relaxing situation. Warung Bambu also offers special menu for you that is roasted gurami. As the place is surrounded by a pool filled with Koi, when you sit near the pool, they are ready to give you a massage on your foot.  What a wonderful sensation.

To play with those fish, you just pay Rp 1000,- to buy a small pack of fish woof. By scattering the woof on the pool, the fish will come to you. Next, put your foot on it and you will feel the massage sensation when the fish eat the woof.

This nice situation fits the need of relaxing and filling your stomach. The sound of water flowing will increase your appetite enjoying the roasted gurami. The menu of Warung Bambu is different from others because of its fresh atmosphere and also fresh fish.

Other famous culinary center in Batu is Payung. This place is a favorite place for youth to refresh. There are many cafes offering special meals, such as roasted corn, baked bread, and instant noodles. Beside that you will also find rice if the meal is not make you full.

Payung is located on the main road of Batu-Pujon, for about 3 km in the west of the city. Cafes in Payung have a special characteristic; each place is separated by partitions, so you will have your privacy. While relaxing, you can enjoy the view of Batu with its cool air and the fog that sometimes appears. There is a guarantee that you will stay longer there while enjoying roasted corn, hot coffee and milk with your friends.

There are also other culinary centers in Batu, for instance in Beji street, you will find Warung Sate Kelinci (rabbit) and Rest Ba-Be that serve you a special menu. In the city, you can find several places that are always full on holidays; they are Rumah Makan Khas Jawa, Batu Suki, and Grand Palem.

  • Handycraft of Batu
  • Batu is well known as the center of handycraft in East Java. One of it is Batik industry  in Sisir village, Batu subdistrict. There are three centers of it, namely Sanggar Butik Olive Batik, Raden Wijaya, and Semar. Batu’s Batik has a special character as the potential of its area, such as apples, vegetables, flowers, and coins.
  • Besides Batik, Batu also has traditional handicraft called as cobek-a kitchen equipment for blend the spice manually. Cobek is made from stone, so it is a little hard. You can find the centre of cobek in Rejoso of Junrejo village that is very familiar since the independence era.

There is onix handicraft that is located in 130 Mertojoyo St. Dadaprejo of Junrejo area. This handycraft has been exported to some foreign countries. This industry often joins a handicraft expo in Indonesia. You will find many creative design of onix, such as fruit basket, miniature of house, statue, etc.

Various earthenware vessels craft also exist in Batu, such as antique vessels, statue, etc. Those products are mainly sent to Bali, Malaysia, and Malang. Those are used for the need of traditional ceremony.

Batu has a traditional music instrument named as Gong. It is produced in Junrejo village in Munaji’s house. Although he is old enough, 81 years old, he is still able to make Gong. His gong is usually being the part of a complete java’s music instrument. Even more, his creative work has been exported to other countries.

Historically, this handicraft was set up by Munaji in 1945. Formerly, he just learns to make farm tools. Then, it is developed into gong. Now, he is famous up to Europe as his unique gong. His gong succeeds to make a harmonious tone in the production process. Beside gong, Munaji also produces gendang as the part of gamelan.

In this cool city, there is the one who is skillfully making violin. His name is Moestafidz Chaeroni. The quality of his violin can be the same as European making. He started to make violin in 1982. He went to Jakarta with his Italian friend, Alviano, to learn music deeper. Since that time, he learnt hard about piano, guitar, violin and other string instruments. Finally, he can make a good violin. He got many orders. Now, he has produced hundred of violins in various price starting from 1-3 million rupiahs.


Batik of Indonesia


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This article is about the painting and textile dyeing technique, for other uses see Batik (disambiguation). For the SVG software library, see Batik (software)

Indonesian batik

Batik (Javanese pronunciation: [ˈbate?]; Indonesian pronunciation: [ˈbaːtik]; English: /ˈbætɪk/ or /bəˈtiːk/) is a cloth that traditionally uses a manual wax-resist dyeing technique.

Javanese traditional batik, especially from Yogyakarta and Surakarta, has special meanings rooted to the Javanese conceptualization of the universe. Traditional colours include indigo, dark brown, and white, which represent the three major Hindu Gods (Brahmā, Visnu, and Śiva). This is related to the fact that natural dyes are only available in indigo and brown. Certain patterns can only be worn by nobility; traditionally, wider stripes or wavy lines of greater width indicated higher rank. Consequently, during Javanese ceremonies, one could determine the royal lineage of a person by the cloth he or she was wearing.

Other regions of Indonesia have their own unique patterns that normally take themes from everyday lives, incorporating patterns such as flowers, nature, animals, folklore or people. The colours of pesisir batik, from the coastal cities of northern Java, is especially vibrant, and it absorbs influence from the Javanese, Arab, Chinese and Dutch culture. In the colonial times pesisir batik was a favorite of the Peranakan Chinese, Dutch and Eurasians.[citation needed]UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on October 2, 2009. As part of the acknowledgment, UNESCO insisted that Indonesia preserve their heritage.[1]

Batik or fabrics with the traditional batik patterns are also found in several countries such as Malaysia, Japan, China, Azerbaijan, India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, and Singapore. Malaysian batik often displays plants and flowers, as Islam forbid pictures of other living beings.[2]


[edit] Etymology

Although the word’s origin is Javanese, its etymology may be either from the Javanese amba (‘to write’) and titik (‘dot’ or ‘point’), or constructed from a hypothetical Proto-Austronesian root *beCík, meaning ‘to tattoo’ from the use of a needle in the process. The word is first recorded in English in the Encyclopædia Britannica of 1880, in which it is spelled battik. It is attested in the Indonesian Archipelago during the Dutch colonial period in various forms: mbatek, mbatik, batek and batik.[3][4][5]

[edit] History

Wax resist dyeing technique in fabric is an ancient art form. Discoveries show it already existed in Egypt in the 4th century BCE, where it was used to wrap mummies; linen was soaked in wax, and scratched using a sharp tool. In Asia, the technique was practiced in China during the T’ang dynasty (618-907 CE), and in India and Japan during the Nara period (645-794 CE). In Africa it was originally practiced by the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria, Soninke and Wolof in Senegal.[6]

In Java, Indonesia, batik predates written records. GP. Rouffaer argues that the technique might have been introduced during the 6th or 7th century from India or Sri Lanka.[6] On the other hand, JLA. Brandes (a Dutch archeologist) and F.A. Sutjipto (an Indonesian archeologist) believe Indonesian batik is a native tradition, regions such as Toraja, Flores, Halmahera, and Papua, which were not directly influenced by Hinduism and have an old age tradition of batik making.[7]

GP. Rouffaer also reported that the gringsing pattern was already known by the 12th century in Kediri, East Java. He concluded that such a delicate pattern could only be created by means of the canting (also spelled tjanting or tjunting; IPA: [tʃantɪŋ]) tool. He proposed that the canting was invented in Java around that time.[7]

Batik was mentioned in the 17th century Malay Annals. The legend goes when Laksamana Hang Nadim was ordered by Sultan Mahmud to sail to India to get 140 pieces of serasah cloth (batik) with 40 types of flowers depicted on each. Unable to find any that fulfilled the requirements explained to him, he made up his own. On his return unfortunately, his ship sank and he only managed to bring four pieces, earning displeasure from the Sultan.[8][9]

In Europe, the technique is described for the first time in the History of Java, published in London in 1817 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles who had been a British governor for the island. In 1873 the Dutch merchant Van Rijckevorsel gave the pieces he collected during a trip to Indonesia to the ethnographic museum in Rotterdam. Today Tropenmuseum housed the biggest collection of Indonesian batik in the Netherlands. The Dutch were active in developing batik in the colonial era, they introduced new innovations and prints. And it was indeed starting from the early 19th century that the art of batik really grew finer and reached its golden period. Exposed to the Exposition Universelle at Paris in 1900, the Indonesian batik impressed the public and the artisans.[6] After the independence of Indonesia and the decline of the Dutch textile industry, the Dutch batik production was lost, the Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag contains artifacts from that era.

Due globalization and industrialization, which introduced automated techniques, new breeds of batik, known as batik cap (IPA: [tʃap]) and batik print emerged, and the traditional batik, which incorporates the hand written wax-resist dyeing technique is known now as batik tulis (lit: ‘Written Batik’). At the same time Indonesian immigrants to Malaysia and Singapore brought Indonesian batik with them.

[edit] Culture

In one form or another, batik has worldwide popularity. Now, not only is batik used as a material to clothe the human body, its uses also include furnishing fabrics, heavy canvas wall hangings, tablecloths and household accessories. Batik techniques are used by famous artists to create batik paintings, which grace many homes and offices.

[edit] Indonesia

The Javanese aristocrats R.A. Kartini in kebaya and her husband. Her skirt is of batik, with the parang pattern, which was for aristocrats. Her husband is wearing a blangkon

Depending on the quality of the art work, dyes, and fabric, the finest batik tulis halus cloth can fetch several thousand dollars, reflecting the fact that it probably took several months to make. Batik tulis has both sides of the cloth ornamented.

In Indonesia, traditionally, batik was sold in 2.25-meter lengths used for kain panjang or sarong for kebaya dress. It can also be worn by wrapping it around the body, or made into a hat known as blangkon. Infants are carried in batik slings decorated with symbols designed to bring the child luck. Certain batik designs are reserved for brides and bridegrooms, as well as their families. The dead are shrouded in funerary batik.[1] Other designs are reserved for the Sultan and his family or their attendants. A person’s rank could be determined by the pattern of the batik he or she wore.

Sacred Dance of Bedhoyo Ketawang. The batik is wrapped around the body

For special occasions, batik was formerly decorated with gold leaf or dust. This cloth is known as prada (a Javanese word for gold) cloth. Gold decorated cloth is still made today; however, gold paint has replaced gold dust and leaf.

Batik garments play a central role in certain rituals, such as the ceremonial casting of royal batik into a volcano. In the Javanese naloni mitoni “first pregnancy” ceremony, the mother-to-be is wrapped in seven layers of batik, wishing her good things. Batik is also prominent in the tedak siten ceremony when a child touches the earth for the first time. Batik is also part of the labuhan ceremony when people gather at a beach to throw their problems away into the sea.[10]

Contemporary batik, while owing much to the past, is markedly different from the more traditional and formal styles. For example, the artist may use etching, discharge dyeing, stencils, different tools for waxing and dyeing, wax recipes with different resist values and work with silk, cotton, wool, leather, paper or even wood and ceramics. The wide diversity of patterns reflects a variety of influences, ranging from Arabic calligraphy, European bouquets and Chinese phoenixes to Japanese cherry blossoms and Indian or Persian peacocks.[1].

In Indonesia, batik popularity has its up and downs. Historically it was essential for ceremonial costumes and it was worn as part of a kebaya dress, which was commonly worn every day. According to Professor Michael Hitchcock of the University of Chichester (UK), batik “has a strong political dimension. The batik shirt was invented as a formal non-Western shirt for men in Indonesia in the 1960s.[11] It waned from the 1960s onwards, because more and more women chose western clothes. However, batik clothing has revived somewhat in the 21st century, due to the effort of Indonesian fashion designers to innovate the kebaya by incorporating new colors, fabrics, and patterns. Batik is a fashion item for many young people in Indonesia, such as a shirt, dress, or scarf for casual wear. For a formal occasion, a kebaya is standard for women. It is also acceptable for men to wear batik in the office or as a replacement for jacket-and-tie at certain receptions.

[edit] Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and Thailand

Batik is often worn in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and southern Thailand brought there by Indonesian immigrants or merchants in the 19th century. Malaysian batik can be found on the east cost of Malaysia such as Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang, while batik in Johor clearly shows Javanese and Sumatran influences since there is a lot of Javanese and Sumatran immigrants in southern Malaysia. The most popular motifs are leaves and flowers. Malaysian batik never depicting humans or animals because Islamic norms forbid anthropomorph and animal images as decoration. However, the butterfly theme is a common exception. The Malaysian batik is also famous for its geometrical designs, such as spirals. The method of Malaysian batik making also quite different from those of Indonesian Javanese batik, the pattern is larger and simpler, it seldom or never uses canting to create intricate patterns and rely heavily on brush painting method to apply colors on fabrics. The colors also tends to be more light and vibrant than deep colored Javanese batik.

The flight attendants of Indonesian, Singaporean, and Malaysian national airlines all wear batik in their uniform. Batik sarongs are also designed as wraps for casual beachwear.

In the southern of Thailand island of Koh Samui, batik is easily found in the form of the resort uniforms, or decorations at many places, and is also the locals casual wear in the forms of sarongs or shirts and blouses, and is the most common, or even one of the symbolic products for the ones whom travels to the Koh Samui Island. The Batik of Samui is mostly showing the beauty and attractions of the paradise island and its culture, such as the coconut shells, the beaches, palm trees, the islands tropical flowers, fishing boats, its rich water life and southern dancer, Papthalung.

[edit] Azerbaijan

The batik pattern can be found in its women’s silk scarves, known as kelagai, which have been part of women’s clothing there for centuries. Kelagai were first produced in the village of Basgal and were created using the stamping method and natural colors. The cocoons were traditionally processed by women while the hand-printing with hot wax was only entrusted to male artists. The silk spinning and production of kelagai in Azerbaijan slumped after the fall of the USSR. It was the Inkishaf Scientific Center that revived kelagai in the country. Kelagai is worn by women both old and young. Young women prefer bright colors, while older women wear dark colors.[12]

[edit] China

Batik is done by the ethnic people in Guizhou Province, in the South-West of China. The Miao, Bouyei and Gejia people use a dye resist method for their traditional costumes. The traditional costumes are made up of decorative fabrics, which they achieve by pattern weaving and wax resist. Almost all the Miao decorate hemp and cotton by applying hot wax then dipping the cloth in an indigo dye. The cloth is then used for skirts, panels on jackets, aprons and baby carriers. Like the Javanese, their traditional patterns also contain symbolism, the patterns include the dragon, phoenix, and flowers.[13]

[edit] Types and Variations of Batik

[edit] Javanese Kraton Batik (Javanese court Batik)

Javanese keraton (court) Batik is the oldest batik tradition known in Java. Also known as Batik Pedalaman (inland batik)

Word of Hokokai was took from japanese word. The Hokokai motif was designed when Japan were colonizing Indonesia on arround 1940. Now, batik Java Hokokai appears with many motifs. (Above)


in contras with Batik Pesisiran (coastal batik).

This type of batik has earthy color tones such as black, brown, and dark yellow (sogan), sometimes against a white background. The motifs of traditional court batik have symbolic meanings. Some designs are restricted: larger motifs can only be worn by royalty; and certain motifs are not suitable for women, or for specific occasions (e.g., weddings).

The palace courts (keratonan) in two cities in central Java are known for preserving and fostering batik traditions:

  • Surakarta (Solo City) Batik. Traditional Surakarta court batik is preserved and fostered by the Susuhunan and Mangkunegaran courts. The main areas that produce Solo batik are the Laweyan and Kauman districts of the city. Solo batik typically has sogan as the background color. Pasar Klewer near the Susuhunan palace is a retail trade center.
  • Batik Tulis Tiga Negeri =- Solo (Above)

Batik Tiga Negeri is a batik which was colorized in three cities: red in Lasem, blue in Pekalongan, and sogan in Solo. These three cities were called countries(negeri) because they have autonomy government when Netherland colonialism was happening in Indonesia.

  • Yogyakarta Batik. Traditional Yogya batik is preserved and fostered by the Yogyakarta Sultanate and the Pakualaman court. Usually Yogya Batik has white as the background color. Fine batik is produced at Kampung Taman district. Beringharjo market near Malioboro street is well known as a retail batik trade center in Yogyakarta.

Batik Jogja motif

Parang Barong


Batik Jogja motif :

Parang Curiga

Parang Rusak (english: defective big knife) is a traditional batik pattern from Yogyakarta. It is visualized as many defective parang (big knife) with diagonally format. Yogyakarta batikers used to colorize it in brown & white.

[edit] Pesisir Batik (Coastal Batik)

Cirebon batik depicting sea creatures

Pesisir batik is created and produced by several areas on the northern coast of Java and on Madura. As a consequence of maritime trading, the Pesisir batik tradition was more open to foreign influences in textile design, coloring, and motifs, in contrast to inland batik, which was relatively independent of outside influences. For example, Pesisir batik utilizes vivid colors and Chinese motifs such as clouds, phoenix, dragon, qilin, lotus, peony, and floral patterns.(Below)

Batik Cirebon : Penjual Leegen

(Above : Batik Kompeni Cirebon)

Pekalongan Batik. The most famous Pesisir Batik production area is the town of Pekalongan in Central Java province. Compared to other pesisir batik production centers, the batik production houses in this town is the most thriving. Batik Pekalongan was influenced by both DutchEuropean and Chinese motifs, for example the buketan motifs was influenced by European flower bouquet.

About Eliza van Zuylen (Above)

Eliza van Zuylen is a batik maker legend in Indonesia. She is a Dutch woman. Eliza van Zuylen lived in Indonesia arround 1863 – 1947 when Dutch were colonizing Indonesia. Above are Eliza van Zuylen’s sign. Dutch batik came into being & developed between 1840 & 1940, almost always in the form of a sarong and initially made only for the Dutch & Indo Dutch Eurasians, and primarily in the coastal region (Pekalongan).

Above : Batik Pekalongan motif Dewa Dewa

Dewa-dewa (Gods) is a batik motif from kedungwuni, a small area in Pekalongan. This motif was inspired by wayang (puppet shadow).

  • Cirebon Batik
  • . Also known as Trusmi Batik because that is the primary production area. The most well known Cirebon batik motif is megamendung (rain cloud) that was used in the former Cirebon kraton. This cloud motif shows Chinese influence.
  • Lasem Batik. Lasem batik is characterized by a bright red color called abang getih pithik (chicken blood red). Batik Lasem is heavily influenced by Chinese culture.
  • Tuban Batik. Batik gedog is the speciality of Tuban Batik, the batik was created from handmade tenun (woven) fabrics.
  • Madura Batik. Madurese Batik displays vibrant colors, such as yellow, red, black and green. Madura unique motifs for example pucuk tombak (spear tips), also various flora and fauna images.


[edit] Indonesian Batik from other areas

[edit] Java

  • Priangan Batik or Sundanese Batik is the term proposed to identify various batik cloths produced in the “Priangan” region, a cultural region in West Java and Northwest Java (Banten).[14] Traditionally this type of batik is produced by Sundanese people in the several district of West Java such as Ciamis, Garut, an Tasikmalaya; however it also encompasses Kuningan Batik which demonstrate Cirebon Batik influences, and also Banten Batik that developed quite independently and have its own unique motifs. The motifs of Priangan batik are visually naturalistic and strongly inspired by flora (flowers and swirling plants) and fauna (birds especially peacock and butterfly). The variants and production centers of Priangan Batik are:
    • Ciamis Batik. Ciamis used to rival other leading batik industry centers in Java during early 20th century. Compared to other regions, Ciamis batik is stylistically less complex. The flora and fauna motifs known as ciamisan are drawn in black, white, and yellowish brown. Motifs are similar to coastal Cirebon Batik, but the thickness of coloring share the same styles as inland batik. The thick coloring of Ciamis batik is called sarian.
    • Garut Batik. This type of batik is produced in the Garut district of West Java. Garutan batik can be identified by its distinctive colors, gumading (yellowish ivory), indigo, dark red, dark green, yellowish brown, and purple. Ivory stays dominant in the background. Despite applying traditional Javanese court motifs such as rereng, Garut batik uses lighter and brighter colors compared to Javanese court batik.
    • Tasikmalaya Batik. This type of batik is produced in the Tasikmalaya district, West Java. Tasikmalaya Batik has its own traditional motif such as umbrella. Center of Tasikmalaya Batik can be found in Ciroyom District about 2 km from city center of Tasikmalaya.
    • Kuningan Batik.
    • Banten Batik. This type of batik employs bright and soft pastel colors. It represents a revival of a lost art from the Sultanate of Banten, rediscovered through archaeological work during 2002-2004. Twelve motifs from locations such as Surosowan and several other places have been identified.[15]
  • Java Hokokai Batik. This type is characterized by flowers in a garden surrounded by butterflies. This motif originated during the Japanese occupation of Java in the early 1940s.

[edit] Bali

  • Balinese Batik. Balinese batik was influenced by neighbouring Javanese Batik and is relatively recent compared to the latter island, having been stimulated by the tourism industry and consequent rising demand for souvenirs (since the early 20th century). In addition to the traditional wax-resist dye technique and industrial techniques such as the stamp (cap) and painting, Balinese batik sometimes utilizes ikat (tie dye). Balinese batik is characterized by bright and vibrant colors, which the tie dye technique blends into a smooth gradation of color with many shades.

[edit] Sumatra

  • Jambi Batik. Trade relations between the Melayu Kingdom in Jambi and Javanese coastal cities have thrived since the 13th century. Therefore, the northern coastal areas of Java (Cirebon, Lasem, Tuban, and Madura) probably influenced Jambi in regard to batik. In 1875, Haji Mahibat from Central Java revived the declining batik industry in Jambi. The village of Mudung Laut in Pelayangan district is known for producing Jambi batik. This Jambi batik, as well as Javanese batik, influenced the batik craft in the Malay peninsula.[16]
  • Riau Batik.
  • Palembang Batik.
  • Aceh Batik.

[edit] Modern

Out of its traditional context, batik can also be as a medium for artists to make modern paintings or art. Such arts can be categorized in the normal categorization of arts of the west.

Sydney Opera House (Artist – Arman Mamyan)

[edit] Batik Collectors

  • Santosa Doellah has been recognised by The Indonesian Museum of Records as having the world’s largest collector of ancient Chinese-influenced Indonesian batik textiles. In total his collection are about 10,000 batik pieces.[17]
  • The late mother of United States president Barack Obama, Ann Dunham was an avid collector of Batik. In 2009, an exhibition of Dunham’s textile batik art collection (A Lady Found a Culture in its Cloth: Barack Obama’s Mother and Indonesian Batiks) toured six museums in the United States, finishing the tour at the Textile Museum.[18]
  • Nelson Mandela wears a batik shirt on formal occasions, the South Africans call it a Madiba shirt.

[edit] Technique

A Batik Tulis maker applying melted wax following pattern on fabric using canting, Yogyakarta (city), Indonesia.

Melted wax (Javanese: malam) is applied to cloth before being dipped in dye. It is common for people to use a mixture of beeswax and paraffin wax. The beeswax will hold to the fabric and the paraffin wax will allow cracking, which is a characteristic of batik. Wherever the wax has seeped through the fabric, the dye will not penetrate. Sometimes several colours are used, with a series of dyeing, drying and waxing steps.

Thin wax lines are made with a canting, a wooden handled tool with a tiny metal cup with a tiny spout, out of which the wax seeps. After the last dyeing, the fabric is hung up to dry. Then it is dipped in a solvent to dissolve the wax, or ironed between paper towels or newspapers to absorb the wax and reveal the deep rich colors and the fine crinkle lines that give batik its character. This traditional method of batik making is called batik tulis.

Dipping cloth in dye.

For batik prada, gold leaf was used in the Yogjakarta and Surakarta area. The Central Javanese used gold dust to decorate their prada cloth. It was applied to the fabric using a handmade glue consisting of egg white or linseed oil and yellow earth. The gold would remain on the cloth even after it had been washed. The gold could follow the design of the cloth or could take on its own design. Older batiks could be given a new look by applying gold to them.

[edit] Industrialization of Technique

The application of wax with a canting is done with great care and therefore is very time-consuming. As the population increased and commercial demand rose, time-saving methods evolved. Other methods of applying the wax to the fabric include pouring the liquid wax, painting the wax with a brush, and putting hot wax onto pre-carved wooden or copper block (called a cap or tjap) and stamping the fabric.

The invention of the copper block (cap) developed by the Javanese in the 20th century revolutionized batik production. By block printing the wax onto the fabric, it became possible to mass-produce designs and intricate patterns much faster than one could possibly do by using a canting.

Batik print is the common name given to fabric that incorporates batik pattern without actually using the wax-resist dyeing technique. It represents a further step in the process of industrialization, reducing the cost of batik by mass-producing the pattern repetitively, as a standard practice employed in the worldwide textile industry.

[edit] Maintaining batik

For both batik tulis and batik cap, the following rules apply:

  • Hand wash, or best just soak the cloth
  • Use very little detergent, best to use lerak
  • Hang the batik directly, do not squeeze the cloth
  • Do not hang in direct sunlight
  • The iron should not directly touch the cloth, best to use a steam iron
  • Silk batik is best dry-cleaned
  • Do not spray perfume onto the cloth directly