// Penanggungan

Facts

Elevation: 1,653 m (5,423 ft) Prominence: 1,020 m
Ribu category: Google MarkerKurang Tinggi Province: Jawa Timur (East Java)
Google Earth: kml Other names:
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Photos

PenanggunganNext »
Gunung Penanggungan seen from the Porong mudflow (Nick Hughes, November 2013)Gunung Penanggungan seen from the Porong mudflow (Nick Hughes, November 2013)
Gunung Penanggungan seen from the Porong mudflow (Nick Hughes, November 2013)
Penanggungan as seen from a swimming pool near Trawas (Taken 1957, courtesy Dieter Menne)Penanggungan as seen from a swimming pool near Trawas (Taken 1957, courtesy Dieter Menne)
Penanggungan as seen from a swimming pool near Trawas (Taken 1957, courtesy Dieter Menne)
Penanggungan, as seen from Trawas (Daniel Quinn, March 2010)Penanggungan, as seen from Trawas (Daniel Quinn, March 2010)
Penanggungan, as seen from Trawas (Daniel Quinn, March 2010)
Penanggungan from the first hole at Taman Dayu golf club (Chris Whiting, November 2010)Penanggungan from the first hole at Taman Dayu golf club (Chris Whiting, November 2010)
Penanggungan from the first hole at Taman Dayu golf club (Chris Whiting, November 2010)

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Bagging It!

Penanggungan is a small now-dormant volcano situated just to the north of the huge Arjuno-Welirang range. It used to be called Gunung Pawitra because of the fog which often covers the peak so make sure you set out early to reach the top before the cloud rolls in! Accessibility is not a problem as it is only a short distance from the main road connecting Surabaya with the pleasant city of Malang. It is a particularly revered mountain and has many ancient Hindu temple sites on its slopes – as many as eighty according to Dutch archaeological investigations conducted in the 1930s. This whole area is a fascinating reminder of Java’s pre-Islam history and the Majapahit kingdom.

There are several approaches to the peak and they each have their advantages and disadvantages. Because of the abundance of accommodation in the mountain resorts of Trawas and Tretes, many people choose to start south or west of the peak and this is arguably where the best views of the mountain are to be found. A good budget place to stay is PPLH Environmental Education Centre, west of the mountain, where you can also find guides.

The best-known starting point for the hike is in the west at Candi Jolotundo, a temple built in approximately 977AD and one of the oldest and most sacred. The temple is a very popular place for Indonesians to visit and bathe and there is information and a small office booth where you will almost certainly be able to locate a guide for climbing. This is important because the trail is not always very clear and there are numerous farm tracks which can add to the confusion. The route from the north (see below) is shorter and clearer but the Jolotundo route passes many sites of great interest. Allow 4 hours to reach the top and 2 and a half to descend. Remember suncream for this trip because Penanggungan is an unusually unforested peak so there is very little shade to be found.

The trail from Jolotundo leads up through plantations and beyond various farm huts. As the trail leads onwards up the hillside, the prominent subsidiary peak Bekel comes into view to the left of the path. There are many farm trails here so if in doubt ask one of the friendly farmers for help. The route is subtly marked with red arrows (and red crosses to indicate the wrong way) painted on rocks and trees. After you have ascended beyond the farmland, the trail gets steeper and less clear. However, there are several ancient temples on the higher slopes, at intervals of approximately 200 metres, which more than make up for the overgrown path. These Hindu temples are very interesting monuments and, considering the steep, overgrown and narrow trail, probably not often visited.

They feature central stairways and terraced walkways with a few stone carvings. Each temple has a small grassy lawn infront of it which is neat and in good condition – evidence that local people do care for these relics. There are also old metal name-posts but sadly the names are no longer visible. The highest one is called Candi Sinta. If the weather is good, you should be able to see the jagged outline of Gunung Kelut/Kelud to the south. Despite its relatively low height, Kelut is one of Indonesia’s most ferocious volcanoes and its outline alone is enough to convince most people that it is a truly volatile place. Beyond the temples is a small cave. From here, the top of Penanggungan is clearly visible and it should take you only about another 30 minutes.

The grassy peak is a lovely spot to sit down for lunch. In fine conditions you should be able to see Arjuno, Liman, and perhaps Semeru and Argopuro. The shallow grassy bowl-like depression just below the peak is all that remains of the crater. The summit area is an almost symmetrical shape, and pretty much aligned to the cardinal points – probably one of the reasons why ancient people regarded this mountain as being of such great importance.

Return the same way to Jolotundo, or alternatively traverse the peak by descending down a clear trail to the north. After only two hours you will reach very attractive farmed woodland above a small – and very rural – village known as Talago (phonetically). From here, a rocky but tarmacked road snakes its way eastwards towards Sidoarjo and the main Malang-Surabaya road. Finding an ojek (motorcycle taxi) to take you back to the main road should not be too difficult.

If you prefer to ascend from the north it is recommended that you seek a guide at nearby Jedong temple.

Bagging information by Daniel Quinn.

Practicalities

Getting there Lots of public transport available between Surabaya and Tretes. You may need an ojek to the starting point.
Accommodation Plenty in Trawas and Tretes, or PPLH Environmental Education Centre, west of the mountain.
Permits None required but take a photocopy of your passport photo page just incase.
Water sources Unknown – take sufficient supplies with you.
Recommended Hotel:
Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm): surabaya

Location

Origins and Meaning

(not clear). In Old Javanese tanggung means “to bear a burden, to take on a burden” so pananggungan might mean “the place where the world is supported” (compare Gunung Sanggabuana). The Penanggungan Plateau has been a sacred place from distant times (there are significant pre-Islamic ruins to be seen there today), so it is possible that the name of the place reflects its ancient function – a place where ascetics and kings “took on the burdens of the world” by connecting with the deities of the sites. (George Quinn, 2011)

Links and References

Wikipedia English
Wikipedia Indonesia

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Trip Reports and Comments

4 entries for “Penanggungan”

  1. avatar

    Actually no I didn’t – as a result I am quite literally a redneck today. This is a great ‘little’ mountain – Tim Hannigan wrote a good article about his Penanggungan trek last year in the Jakarta Globe, see http://thejakartaglobe.com/culture/a-pilgrim-on-the-holy-slopes-of-gunung-penanggungan/333875
    The Indiana Jones mention is appropriate!

    Posted by Dan | March 29, 2010, 01:20
  2. avatar

    thanks for the info dan i hope u put some sun screen on your head.keep it up.

    Posted by chris whiting | March 28, 2010, 22:53
  3. avatar

    Climbed this on the weekend and was well rewarded with great views of kelut,semeru,arjuno,weilirang.
    I hired a guide at the pplh environmental centre for Rp 300,000 and set off at 12.30am up the candi jolotundo route.As explained above there are some great little ruins of temples on the way up. Maybe I am just unfit but I found it tough going as the route is quite steep and quite overgrown (except for the temple areas). But after stumbling for 4 hours I reached the summit just in time for the sunrise. The last hour up was particularly tough because when you look up you see what you think is the top, but when you reach that point you get to see another top and so on. The clouds rolled in very quickly once the sun came up so I set off down a south route that goes to trawas.I did this route because my guide said the north route is to steep to do in the wet season. From the summit looking directly south towards weilirang you will see the track which is a old creek bed i guess. the first third of the route is very steep and rocky( I cant imagine how steep the north route is) so is quite slow going. then the next third you will be wishing there were rocks to hang on to because its steep and muddy.In the dry season this wont be a problem but in the wet season you will feel like you are skiing. The last third is just walking on farm tracks .This is where you would get lost if you didnt have a guide.The end point for this route is on the main road at a intersection where there is a sign to( pplh 9km) It took 3 hours down .
    all in all a tough trek in wet weather but worth it for the views at the top.

    Posted by chris whiting | November 10, 2010, 00:01
  4. avatar

    We did the traverse, Candi Jolotundo (about 550 m) – summit – Trawas (about 700 m). Details for reaching the Trawas trail head are: Pos Perizinan, Ubaya (short for ‘University of Surabaya’), Desa Tamiajeng, Trawas.
    The Trawas trail to the summit would be extremely slippery during rain/wet season, and should be avoided at these times.
    Penanggungan is a wonderful, spiritual mountain with its many temples/shrines. To add to Dan’s description above:
    Following the reign of Hayam Wuruk (d 1389), the Majapahit dynasty experienced slow political decline due to internal conflict exasperated by the maritime campaigns of the famous Chinese admiral Cheng Ho (early 1400s). During this period, traditional Hindu cults declined in favour of the more archaic worship of the Lord of the Mountains. While the cult of Shiva was associated with kinship, fertility and creativity, the cult of the Lord of the Mountains was associated with liberation of the soul. Superstition and familial salvation cults gained in popularity and the building of small familial shrines was encouraged. The slopes of Gunung Penanggungan were covered with numerous ritual sites. The temples on Penanggungan became the centre of worship in East Java, as Besakih is the mother temple in Bali. (From Munoz, Early Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malay Peninsula.)
    Contributed by: Nick Hughes, September 2013

    Posted by Nick Hughes | September 22, 2013, 22:31

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