// Parang


Facts

Elevation: 915 m (3,002 ft) Prominence: 354 m
Ribu category: Google MarkerSpesial Province: Jawa Barat (West Java)
Google Earth: kml Other names:
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Bagging It!

Gunung Parang is one of the most interesting peaks in Java. Despite being clearly visible as a jagged rocky ridge from the Jakarta-Bandung toll road it remains something of a secret, generally known only to Indonesian rock climbers. From some angles it very closely resembles the famous and unusual Scottish mountain Suilven.

The mountain lies to the east of the large Jatiluhur reservoir near Purwakarta and is best accessed via Plered. From Purwakarta, which is a mere hour by car/bus from Jakarta) there are many angkots leading to Plered (Rp 5,000 per person, 2010). From Plered, the road west towards the mountain deteriorates quickly so you will need either a motorbike (plenty of ojeks available) or – if in a group – a 4WD with high clearance. It is about one hour along farm tracks and through delightful countryside from Plered. Most people in the area will be able to point you in the right direction but if in doubt, ask for Tegalwaru and then Cikakak. As the road gets higher, the views east are stunning.

After Cikakak, the road snakes down between the mountains in a delightful yet utterly confusing manner. The first sight you will get of Parang close-up is pretty astounding – it appears as a huge impenetrable vertical andesite cliff. From this side it certainly is impenetrable and it is only expert rock climbers that attempt to scale the mountain from any route other than the one described below. Interestingly, this area of vertical rocky peaks is very poorly represented in Google Earth – perhaps due to its unusual complexity.

Eventually, you will reach a village (‘Pasangrahan’) on the west of the peak where the trail to the summit begins (at roughly 430m above sea level). Opposite the tiny village shop are a couple of small buildings where you are requested to sign before climbing the mountain. One of the buildings actually has ‘Pos Jaga – Gunung Parang’ written on it so finding the correct starting point should be no problem. Additionally, a neighbouring and equally imposing peak, Gunung Bongkok (sometimes mis-spelt ‘Bangkok’), lies directly ahead (south west) along the village track.

You can probably climb the mountain alone but locals will recommend that you take a guide (for just Rp 50,000 per person). Unsurprisingly, the short hike to the summit ridge is relentlessly steep and incredibly hot. Make sure you take plenty of water. As you quickly gain elevation, the large Jatiluhur reservoir is revealed, with the forested flat top of Gunung Sangga Buana behind to the west and a smaller peak in the foreground, Gunung Lembu.

The trail is in good condition and straightforward other than couple of sections where you will need to use your hands to negotiate some large and slippery rocks. Most people can reach the top of the Parang ridge in just over one and a half hours. There is a small pile of stones and impressive views to a narrow grassy peak on the ridge just a hundred metres to the north. To reach this grassy peak (896m on the Bako map), descend beyond the small pile of stones before ascending steeply up the grassy and bouldery top with sheer drops on either side on the trail. Suddenly, the view opens out all around you. For a mountain in West Java of less than 1000m, few come more impressive than this. The vast reservoir, numerous villages, plus other shapely peaks in all directions – most notably a slightly higher forested peak at the southern end of the ridge and the equally fabulous Gunung Bongkok a mile or so beyond. In clear weather, Gede-Pangrango and Ciremai are both visible.

Gunung Parang is Indonesian for ‘Machete Mountain’ and to reach the absolute highest point (915m, rarely – if ever – visited) you would definitely need a few machetes! The jungle is so dense that it is totally impossible to reach – it is presumed that nobody has been there in many decades. The finest viewpoint, however, is definitely the steep grassy peak to the north so it’s no great loss to not make it to the very highest point.

There are hotels in both Purwakarta and Jatiluhur. It is definitely worth visiting the reservoir for a stroll, to take a few pictures of Parang’s striking shape from a distance and enjoy freshly caught fish. Sadly the over-priced accommodation is in a huge, bland complex set back from the water’s edge and is somewhat lacking in atmosphere. There are frequent angkots heading into both Purwakarta and Cikampek where you can catch a bus back to Jakarta (usually Kampung Rambutan bus terminal).

A fantastic day out from Jakarta – just remember to set out early to beat the mid-day sun!

Bagging information by Daniel Quinn

Practicalities

Getting there From Jakarta, take the toll road from Jakarta to Bandung and exit at Purwakarta. The are frequent buses to Purwakarta from Jakarta’s Kampung Rambutan bus terminal. From there, take an angkot to Plered and an ojek from Plered to the foot of the mountain.
Accommodation The nearest hotels are in Purwakarta and Jatiluhur.
Permits None required but take a photocopy of your passport photo page just incase. Sign the visitor book before climbing. You may have to pay Rp15,000 or so.
Water sources Very limited and weather dependent – so take sufficient supplies with you.
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Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm): bandung

Location

Origins and Meaning

Literally ‘machete mountain’ in Indonesian. This is obviously due to its appearance – the sheer, vertical andesite cliffs appearing as the blade of a knife.

Trip Reports and Comments

13 entries for “Parang”

  1. avatar

    Does anybody know anything about the rock climbin on Tebing Parang?

    Posted by Paul J | October 2, 2011, 21:47
    • avatar

      There’s definitely a lot of climbing on Parang. Unfortunately the last time I was there was 1988 (did a 2 week siege of the west wall to establish the first route on that side). But there are more quality routes on the other side. Try checking in with Indonesian climbing orgs (ie. skygers) for more info….

      Posted by Innosanto Nagara | February 1, 2012, 00:45
  2. avatar

    We just climbed Gunung Parang yesterday and had a great hike. Left Jakarta at 5.30am and started the hike at 9am. As we asked directions along the way, we picked up a couple of local guys as guides – which was a good thing as one girl in our 7-person group needed a lot of helping getting down on the steep, slippery path.

    It took us 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to the grassy summit and had a great time getting there! What a fun trail to go up. Going down was slower than going up – mostly due to the fact that we were in no rush and really wanted to take our time.

    We had to pay a fee of Rp 15,000 per person at the Post at the trail head. No one else has mentioned this yet – did anyone else get shown an official looking letter stating this fee?

    Overall, great hike and highly recommended, though it’s a short hike considering all the driving involved. Note that, while the road was rough, we had rented a 11 seater Golden Bird mini bus from Blue Bird which got us all the way there (although the driver made a few huffing noises along the way when the road got rough).

    Posted by Drew Whitmarsh | July 17, 2011, 11:57
  3. avatar

    re car access to Pasanggrahan. We came from Jakarta and took the Jatiluhur toll road exit. From here you can head up the old road toward Plered and Bandung. After Sukatani and about 2km before the Plered turnoff there is a road to the right signed to Gunung Kecapi Andesite Quarry. Follow this road for about 15km through the villages of Sukamaju, Tajursindang and Sindanglaya to get to Pasanggrahan (it’s on map D4 in the Falk Jakarta Street Atlas). This road is mostly well-surfaced and an easy second/third gear drive in our Kijang. Only the last two km into Pasanggrahan is a bit rough and mostly first gear.

    re the walk. We walked without a guide and routefinding was pretty easy once you have found the start point behind the kantor desa. Just bear right when you reach the rock face. We started at 8.30 at an easygoing pace and reached the north summit at 10.30. Not too hot and shaded all the way except for the final push up to the grassy knoll. The trail was dry, so with good shoes and two free hands there were no real difficulties. Gede and Pangrango were visible but Ciremai lost in the haze. 90 minutes to descend.

    Thanks Dan for the info- the views are truly spectacular considering how short this hike is!

    Posted by John Hargreaves | June 19, 2011, 12:30
  4. avatar

    Just back from a camping trip to Parang. Quite an experience! 3 of us, of whom 1 had to descend straightaway in order to get back down before nightfall. It’s tough enough hiking up the steep trail to the narrow summit ridge in normal conditions, but with huge backpacks it was totally exhausting. It took us just over 2 hours to reach the lovely grassy peak with 360 degree views – easily one the best views in West Java. Muryanto headed straight back down to Pasangrahan and reached the village in just 50 minutes!
    I had forgotten just how bouldery and narrow the grassy area is – which means sleeping in a very awkward position with 500 metre cliff faces just a couple of metres away in all directions! Still, the views were pretty spectacular. Darkness fell and we went into our tents – within an hour or so a storm began, with thunder and lightning very close by. Pretty terrifying – especially as a first experience of camping in Indonesia for my companion! My tent more or less collapsed in the gusts of wind and I was reduced to soaking up the rainwater with my sleeping bag. When morning came, we were just happy to have survived!
    After taking photos of the phenomenal panorama of peaks and the immense Jatiluhur reservoir, we attempted to head towards the true highest peak of Parang (which is covered in dense jungle) but the density was just too much though we got to within about 100 metres of the highest point.
    Given how exhausted we were, the long-planned ascent of Bongkok has been postponed until later in the year.

    Posted by Dan | April 11, 2011, 08:37
  5. avatar

    wow that’s my grandmother’s village in there ^^

    Posted by dika | March 23, 2011, 10:41
  6. avatar

    No I don’t remember seeing a trail to the right it was heavily forested. Maybe some offshoots from the trail but they ended after 5-10m or so. FYI the pile of stones on the grassy peak is a ‘makam’ or grave of a spiritual protector of Parang from a long time ago – sort of a Mbah Maridjan equivalent for the area (!).

    Posted by Paul L | November 25, 2010, 23:43
  7. avatar

    Menarik sekali. Had he been around today, I wonder if Mbah Parang would have been a Kuku Bima type of chap….

    Posted by Dan | November 26, 2010, 01:22
  8. avatar

    Just did this trip the other day – thanks for the accurate info! I followed the ‘getting there’ section carefully and was there with no problems. On a Sunday, departing from Kampung Rambutan at 7am, I started the climb at 10am, on the ridge by 11.30, the grassy summit by 12.00, and finally all the way down by 2. All with breaks included. A great trip out from Jakarta, highly recommended! The trail is still pretty fresh and we went the night after a rainstorm so needless to say I was slipping all over the place (!)..watch your step.

    Posted by Paul L | November 23, 2010, 04:50
    • avatar

      Good stuff – I’m going to try Parang’s nextdoor neighbour Bongkok next month. Another cracker by the looks of it. Don’t suppose you noticed a trail on Parang to the highest point (turning right on the ridge instead of left to the grassy peak)? I may well go back and have a look but can’t remember if there is even a trail heading right…

      Posted by Dan | November 24, 2010, 03:33
  9. avatar

    Well done Mr. Daniel.
    I really appreciate you taking the initiative to research and explore that mountain.
    I agree that it has a mystical feel to it. It seems like something out of science fiction novel when you pass by it on the toll road.
    Looks like a great way to spend a day out of Jakarta and make it back in the same day! well done

    Posted by Zac | July 26, 2010, 20:40
    • avatar

      Dear Freinds,
      We plan to hike Prang on 12 February. We will go from Jakarta. Can any one kindly share some tips, as what items, gears etc we should take with us. Also if you have any map or detailed route from Jakarta to the place. We have rough idea how to get there, but it will be good to have a map or more specific information.
      Thank you in advance.
      Best Wishes.
      Muhammad Asif, Jakarta

      Posted by Muhammad Asif | February 9, 2011, 10:13
      • avatar

        The above information is pretty accurate. If you’re taking public buses then getting out at Purwakarta and taking a microlet to Plered and ojek to Parang is simple enough. You’ll be at Parang from Kampung Rambutan in about 3 hours. If you’re taking a car you might need to ask for directions. Don’t take anything but a Kijang or 4×4 because the road from Plered to Parang can be rough, steep + bumpy. For gear then normal hiking material is OK. Watch out because it is very steep and can be slippery if it rained the previous night. Straightforward 3 hour hike up and down at good, relaxed pace. Enjoy!

        Posted by Paul L | February 9, 2011, 14:41

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