|Elevation:||329 m (1,079 ft)||Prominence:||329 m|
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This peak is the highest point of the island of Panaitan off the remote south-western coast of Java in Ujung Kulon National Park. Gunung Raksa is not a Ribu, standing at a paltry 329m above sea level. It is included, however, because of the quality of the climb and jungle, archaeological interest, and the mountain’s unique location on Panaitan Island. On the summit there is an early statue of the Hindu god Ganesha and the lingam symbol of shiva. The Ganesha statue is reportedly one of the oldest in Indonesia, possibly dating to 100 AD. There is also an historic colonial survey marker. Panaitan Island has outstanding wildlife and jungle. Expect to see rusa deer, kancil (mouse deer), monkeys, python, and a wide variety of birdlife. Raksa is the highest point on Panaitan Island and is easily identified visually from the sea.
The starting point for the climb is Citambuyung, a small cove on the coastline southeast of the peak. There is a derelict shelter beside a small stream, which marks the beginning of the route. Route finding to the summit is aided somewhat by numbered red and white markers and by blazes carved into tree trunks. However, the mountain receives few ascents and the jungle grows back quickly over the trail – especially on the lower parts of the route, which follows the stream for approximately 1 kilometre. A golok (machete) is essential to cut rattan and other botanical obstacles. Parties should be confident in navigation and route-finding. If the path has been cleared recently, it should take around 2 hours to reach the summit. Encroachment by dense jungle slowed one recent party, who took over three hours to reach the top and ‘discover’ the statues.
This walk is in a pristine environment that rates as one of Java’s greatest ecological treasures. There is no litter on the trail – keep it that way!
Bagging information provided by James Waite.
Nominated as a Spesial by James Waite.
|Getting there||To reach Panaitan Island, boats can be chartered out of Carita, Labuan, Tanjung Lesung or Sumur. A speedboat from Carita can reach Panaitan’s Legon Butun pier in under three hours. A traditional Indonesian fishing launch would take much longer.|
|Accommodation||No official accommodation on Panaitan island itself, but there are plenty of places to camp – most notably at Legon Butun beach next to the ranger’s offices. Some people prefer to sleep onboard their boat.|
|Permits||Your charter operator should arrange permits to enter the National Park and include it in the total price.|
|Water sources||Take sufficient supplies with you – there are no shops on Panaitan. There are a few streams on the hike itself.|
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Origins and Meaning
Guardian Mountain. Raksa (also reksa) means “guardian” so Gunung Raksa may once have been seen as the sacred guardian of the surrounding area. (George Quinn, 2011)