Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Indoor Climbing

This is what an indoor climbing activity may look like, except that that figure at the top is not a human but a mannequin. It's part of the store decoration at Eiger Aventure Shop on Jalan Sumatera, Bandung.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Eiger Store Display

A few days ago I attended a photograpers' gathering at Eiger Adventure Store on Jalan Sumatera, Bandung, to listen to an Indonesian senior photojournalist sharing his experiences documenting the life of the Baduy tribe.

The Baduy people - who call themselves Kanekes people - is a tribe who live an exclusive life by refusing/resisting external influences, and thus progess and modernity like we know it, probably in the same way as the Amish people in the United States do. They live in an enclosed area in the western part of the Province of Banten in the west of Java Island.

The Eiger Anventure Store itself is the exclusive outlet of Eiger Adventure products. Eiger Aventure is a Bandung-based manufacturer of high quality adventure gears.

I like many things about this store: the unique architecture, the interior design, the displays, its knowledgeable store attendants, and of course the products, which I have been using for a long time.

Store display di Eiger Adventure Store di Jalan Sumatera, Bandung.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Praying Stone

This is one of the shapes of the stones that I found fascinating at the Stone Garden: A praying stone.

This stone is about 7 or 8 meters high, and -- to me -- it looks like a women wearing an hijab (head scarf) in the sitting positon of salat (Muslim prayer).

This post ends my stories about Bandung Geological History Tour that I have been posting in the past twelve posts (this one is the thirteenth). Tomorrow I'm going to start with another story.

Batu sembahnyang (shalat) di Taman Bebatuan (Stone Garden) di Gunung Masigit, Padalarang, Kabupaten Bandung Barat. Batu ini tingginya sekitar 6 atau 7 meter.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

At The Stone Garden of Gunung Masigit

It rained when we got to the Stone Garden at the top of Gunung Masigit, so we had to take a shelter in a makeshift hut that had apparently been left by some previous climbers and waited for the rain to stop.We began exploring the place when the rain finally stopped.

The stone garden is a magnificent place. It's a vast field scattered with stones of different sizes and fascinating shapes. The landscape is 'bizzare'. To me, being there is like being in a far away strange land.

Here are a some more photos I took there. The light is a bit diffused and warm because the sky was cloudy and it was almost sunset time.

Hujan turun ketika kami tiba di Taman Bebatuan (Stone Garden) di puncak Gunung Masigit. Kami harus berteduh sejenak di sebuah gubung yang ditinggalkan oleh pendaki-pendaki sebelumnya untuk menunggu hujan reda sebelum mulai menjelajahi keindahan tempat ini.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rain Clouds over the Rajamandala Mountain Range

As we climbed further up (see previous posts), dark, rain clouds began to form in the northwestern direction of the Rajamandala mountain range. It was a bit of disappointment because one of the purposes of our climb to the stone garden at the top of Gunung Masigit was to see the sunset, which our guides said would be marvelous.

This view is in the opposite direction of the view I posted in yesterday's picture.

Awan hujan yang kami lihat di atas pegunungan Rajamandala di Bandung Barat dalam perjalanan ke Taman Bebatuan (Stone Garden) di atas Gunung Masigit.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Valley of Limestone Factory

This is what we saw at about half-way through our climb. Below in the valley are areas of the Rajamandala mountain range that have been mined for their limestone with a limestone processing factory in the middle. Ugliness is creeping in and destroying Bandung's ancient geological heritage.

Pemandangann yang kami lihat di puncak pertama Gunung Masigit, kira-kira di tengah jalan antara Gua Pawon dan Taman Bebatuan (Stone Gardens). Banyak gunung kapur di daerah ini yang telah hancur ditambang. Beberapa puluh tahun ke depan, mungkin kita tak akan dapat lagi menyaksikan kemegahan karst Rajamandala seperti yang masih bisa kita saksikan sekarang.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Climbing Gunung Masigit

After the Pawon Cave (see previous two posts), our next destination is the Stone Gardens at the top of Gunung Masigit.

Gunung Masigit (literally: Mosque Mountain) is located right at the top of the Pawon Cave. To get to the Stone Gardens, we took this climbing route around the northwestern side of Gunung Masigit which begins at the base of the cave. The climbing route was quite steep, some parts of it could very well have more than 45 degree angle slant, I think. It was quite exhausting especially for those who are not accustomed to climbing or are not fit physically.

Fortunately the track was quite well-prepared. At the more steep parts, we found this assist rope that we can hold on to to help secure ourselves from falling back and give leverage to our climb.

The climb took more than an hour for us because some of us had to rest frequently along the way. But for those who are physically fit, it would normally take only about 45 minutes or less, according to our guides.

Note: I learned later that this was apparently not the only route to the stone garden. There's another route that is less strenuous that we can take from the other side of the mountain. And it was the one we took on our way back.

Pendakian ke Taman Bebatuan (Stone Garden) di Puncak Gunung Masigit dapat dilakukan melalui dua rute. Rute berangkat yang kami lalui, yang berawal dari dasar Gua Pawon, cukup terjal. Rute lain, yang kami lewati dalam perjalanan pulang, cukup landai dan jauh lebih mudah dilalui. Rute kedua ini terletak di sisi selatan Gunung Masigit.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pawon Man

I did not post yesterday because I had to work until late at night. By the time I got home I was too tired to even open my computer. But here's the continuation of the previous posts about the prehistoric Bandung tour.

As I said in the previous post, the Pawon Cave was home of the prehistoric residents of Bandung as evidenced by the discovery of human fossils there. The above photo is of the replica of one of the fossils found. It is placed in the exact location where the original fossil was excavated and found. The authentic fossil has been removed and is now stored in Bandung Archeological Office at Cileunyi in the east of Bandung.

Up until today, five prehistoric human skeletons have been found in the cave. The fist one was excavated in 2003. The rest was discovered in the subsequent excavations up until 2009. Studies that have been conducted on these skeletons estimate that are 7000 years old, and belonged to a group of humans that lived in the area from about 9,500 up unril 5,600 years ago. They also reveal that all of them died young, between the age of 17 to 35 years old, probably because of their diet.

The artifacts found alongside these skeletons and around the area indicate that they roamed far and wide and had practiced some form of trades. Many of the household stone tools they used were not made from materials available locally. They may have been brought in from Dago Pakar in the north of Bandung, where ample similar tools were discovered and believed to be made, and probably even from areas as far away as Garut in the east of Bandung where the stone of the type used to make the tools was found.

The posture of the skeleton, which resembles that of a fetus in the womb, also give clues about how these ancient human community treated their dead and what they might have believed.

Replika fosil manusia Pawon yang ditemukan di Gua Pawon dalam ekskavasi arkeologi yang dilakukan antara tahun 2003 sampai dengan tahun 2009. Fosil asli telah dipindahkan dan disimpan di Balai Arkeologi di Cileunyi, Bandung. Manusia Pawon diperkirakan hidup di kawasan ini 9500 hingga 5600 tahun yang lalu.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Inside the Pawon Cave

The first place that we visited after the lunch was Gua Pawon (Pawon Cave). Unlike the Sang Hyang Poek, the Pawon Cave is a large, multi-story, and multi-chamber cave with a naturally-occuring inside courtyard and garden. It's like a huge apartment of the ancient time. Indeed, it was. The discovery of household and hunting weapon artifacts and human skeleton fossils confirmed that this place was a dwelling place of the prehistoric Bandung Plateau residents some 10,000 years ago.

We entered the cave from what experts believe to be the kitchen located at the lower level of the cave after a short track and climb from our basecamp, which is only about a few hundrerd meters from the cave. 'The kitchen' is probably where the name of this cave is derived from. Pawon, the name of the cave, in Sundanese (the native language of the West Javanese people), means kitchen. Legend-wise, this cave is also believed to be the kitchen where the foods for the wedding of Sangkuriang were prepared.

From the kitchen -- the entrance -- we climbed further through a small 'alleyway' onto the second floor and another chamber that faces what looked like a courtyard garden. Here, our tour leader gave more explanations about the cave.

Here is 'the door' (the opening) in the second floor of the cave that leads to the courtyard garden.

And the courtyard garden seen from a chamber believed to be the main hall or the common room of the ancient cave dwellers.

There's also a big window in this chamber from which we can see the beautiful green valley underneath. I suppose our ancestors loved a room with a view too. :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Explanation about Karst

After the lunch (see yesterday's post), we relaxed a bit and listened to our tour leader give the explanations (and let us ask questions) about how karst is formed so that we may appreciate better what we'd explore and see in the next phase of our Bandung geological history tour.

Setelah botram (lihat posting kemarin), kami beristirahat sejenak untuk mendengarkan pemandu wisata kami memberikan penjelasan mengenai karst agar kami bisa lebih mengapresiasi kawasan karst yang akan kami jelajahi dan lihat setelah itu.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Botram Lunch

From the Saguling area, where we visited the cave of Sang Hyang Poek and the underwater cavern of Sang Hyang Tikoro, we continued our trip to the Rajamandala Karst in the west of Padalarang, about 25 kilometers to the west of Bandung.

The trip from Saguling to Gununng Masigit Village, the 'base camp' from which we would start our exploration of the Rajamandala Karst, took about 45 minutes. It's about lunch time when we got there. And here's how our luch was prepared:

The Sundanese people (the idigenous people of West Java) call it botram. I don't know what the most appropriate English translation would be because, depending on what the context is, it can be described as a friendly gathering diner, a picnic, or a potluck. I'd describe it as a communal eating where everybody would eat foods (usually simple ones) prepared on a single platform like the whole banana leaf you see in the above picture.

Our botram lunch that day consisted of nasi liwet (rice coocked with spices and salt fish/anchovy), fried chicken, tempeh and tofu, lapapan (fresh vegetables) and sambal (fresh chilli sauce). As you can see from the above picture, everybody ate the same foods spread over the banana leaf using their hand.

Dari daerah Saguling di mana kami mengunjungi Gua Sang Hyang Poek dan Sang Hyang Tikoro, perjalan kami lanjutkan ke kawasan Karst Rajamandala di sebelah barat Padalarang. Sebelum memulai eksplorasi kawasan tersebut kami botram makan siang dengan menu nasi liwet, tempe goreng, tahu goreng, ayam goreng, lalapan dan sambel.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Entrance to And Exit from Sang Hyang Poek

I suppose should have posted these photos before the one I posted yesterday in the sequence of this series. Anyway, I just want to show how the entrance to and the exit from Sang Hyang Poek cave look like:

This is the entrance to the cave. Quite small. We have to bend a bit to get inside. But the rooms inside are quite big. We can walk upright inside.

Pintu masuk ke gua Sang Hyang Poek cukup kecil. Kita harus agak membungkuk untuk masuk ke dalamnya. Namun ruangan di dalam gua cukup luas. Kita bisa berjalan tegak di dalamnya.

I've shown you the exit from inside in yesterday's post. This is what it looks like from the outside.

Pemandangan di luar pintu keluar gua Sang Hyang Poek cukup indah. Gua terletak di dalam tebing di sebelah kiri, dan di depan gua terdapat bebatuan besar dan, tentu saja, anak sungai Citarum dengan air yang cukup bening dan menyegarkan.

The stream (the Citarum tributary) in front of the cave is quite cool and refreshing, some of us took the time to enjoy it.

There are a lot of boulders in this river. Many of them are bigger that a buffalo.

From this place, we walked back to where we came from and Sang Hyang Tikoro, a legendary underwater cave, which is located near the Saguling Hydroelectric Dam.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sanghyang Poek, The Cave

This is the continuation of my post yesterday and the day before.

Sanghyang Poek, the cave, was not as far away as I had thought it would be from Saguling Dam. After walking for only about 15 minutes, we arrived at the mouth of the cave. We walked inside and with the help of our torchlight explored it.

Sanghyang Poek is not that big a cave. It's more or less U-shaped. You enter from one mouth and exit at another opening. What you see inside is quite interesting though, especially if you walk with someone who knows a lot about the geological history of the place. It was quite dark inside and none of the pictures I did manage to take inside seem to come out right. So here's a picture that I took at the end of our exploration.

Gua Sanghyang Poek tidak terlalu jauh letaknya dari PLTA Saguling. Setelah berjalan kurang lebih 15 menit, kami sampai di mulut gua. Gua berbentuk U ini tidak terlalu besar dan bisa ditelusuri dari pintu masuk yang satu dan keluar dari pintu masuk yang lain. Suasana di dalam gua ini gelap dan cukup pengap. Kita memerlukan lampu senter untuk menelusurinya. Penelusuran gua akan lebih menarik kalau kita didampingi oleh seorang pemandu yang mengerti betul sejarah geologi tempat ini. Jika tidak, bentuk-bentuk batuan di dalamnya mungkin tidak akan terlalu menarik bagi kebanyakan orang.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Track to Sang Hyang Poek

This is the continuation of my post yesterday.

From our departure point at Saguling Hydroelectric Dam, we walked south-southwest along the bank of the old (the original) Citarum River before it was diverted and dammed, past some fields and bushes like in the above photo. Our destination was Sang Hyang Poek, an ancient limestone cave which used to be situated underwater and was part of the Citarum flow but now lies above the water because the large part of the Citarum water has been diverted to feed the dam.

Sang Hyang Poek (sometimes also written Sanghyang Poek) is a Sundanese name which literally means the god of darkness. The name was probably given to describe the darkness inside the cave.

Along the way, we could see some towering limestone cliff on our leftside (see photo below). This limestone and the shells and fish fossils found in it indicate that this place used to be located under the sea. And indeed it was many thousand years ago.

To be continued tomorrow.

Ini kelanjutan dari posting kemarin. Dari PLTA Saguling, perjalanan kami dilanjutkan ke arah selatan menelusuri tepian aliran sungai Citarum lama (sebelum dialihkan dan dibendung untuk projek PLTA Saguling). Sepanjang perjalanan kita dapat melihat tebing kapur yang menjulang tinggi di sisi kiri. Tebing kapur ini dan fosil-fosil yang ditemukan di dalamnya menunjukkan bahwa daerah ini riuan tahun yang lalu terletak di bawah laut.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Prehistoric Bandung Geological Tour

Sometime ago I joined a tour of prehistoric Bandung organized by our friends at Mahanagari. The tour took and let us explore various geographical locations of interests, particularly those in the west of city, where we can learn first hand of the geological evidence about the Bandung plateau in prehistoric time. The tour began at Saguling, a hydroelectric power generation dam located on the Citarum River in West Bandung Regency.

At the start of the tour, our guide (see the picture) showed us a reconstructed map of the prehistoric Bandung and explained to us that some 10,000 years ago, Bandung plateau was a lake.

To be continued tomorrow.

Beberapa waktu yang lalu saya mengikuti tur Bandung purba yang diadakan oleh kawan-kawan kami dari Mahanagari. Tur dimulai dari PLTA Saguing yang membendung sungai Citarum di daerah Saguling, Kabupaten Bandung Barat. Di awal tur, pamandu kami memperlihatkan peta dan menjelaskan kepada kami peta dan menjelaskan kepada kami bahwa sekitar 10.000 tahun yang lalu, dataran tinggi Bandung adalah sebuah danau.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Geological Fact Walk And Interactive Multimedia Exhibits at Bandung Museum of Geology

Bandung Museum of Geology does not only collect, catalogue, and exhibit fossils and other geological artifacts. Since the completion of its renovation in August 2000, the museum has also set up modern, interactive and multimedia exhibits in the whole second floor where visitors can interactively explore, experience, and learn different aspects of geology, particularly about those that are most relevant to them. On the floor of this part of the museum they can also find factual sltickers like these that let them learn some important geological facts while they are walking about the room.

Museum Geologi Bandung sekarang juga telah dilengkapi dengan ruang pamer multimedia modern yang terletak di lantai dua. Di sini pengunjung dapat menjelajah, mengalami, dan belajar hal-hal yang berkaitan dengan geologi secara interaktif. Pada lantai ruang pamer ini mereka juga bisa menemukan stiker-stiker yang berisi tentang fakta-fakta geologis yang penting diketahui, sehingga sambil berjalan-jalan mereka juga bisa menambah pengetahuan mereka.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

1.7 Million Years Giant Turtle

This is another fossil collection of Bandung Museum of Geology: A 1.7 million years giant turtle (Megalochelys cf. sivalensis, also, formerly named Geochelone atlas). From this fossil, we know that the living turtle would have been 1.5 meter tall and 2 meter long. The fossil was excavated from the Glagah River area in Bumiayu, Central Java, Indonesia.

Fosil kura-kura raksasa koleksi Museum Geologi Bandung. Fosil ini ditemukan di daerah kali Glagah, Bumiayu, Jawa Tengah dan berusia sekitar 1,7 juta tahun. Pada masa hidupnya, kura-kura ini tingginya 1,5 meter dan panjangnya sekitar 2 meter (kira-kira sebesar dan setinggi kerbau)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Stegodon Trigonocephalus Fossil at Bandung Museum of Geology

This is another collection of Indonesia's ancient vertebrate fossil at Bandung Museum of Geology: Stegodon Trigonocephalus (ancient alephant). Stegodon Trigonocephalus roamed large parts of Asia during the Pleocene and Pleistocene Epoch about 11.6 until about 4.1 million years ago. It locally survived until the Holocene Epoch in the Indonesian archipelago.

Fosil gajah purba (Stegodon trigonocephalus) koleksi Museum Geologi Bandung. Gajak purba hidup di sebagian besar Asia pada kala Pleosin dan Pleistosin sekitar 11,6 hingga 4,1 juta tahun yang lalu. Namun di kepulauan Indonesia, gajah ini bertahan hingga kala Holosin.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Javanese Hippopotamus Fossil at Bandung Museum of Geology

Most of us would think that hippopotamus is the endemic animal of the African continent. Not so, apparently. A long, long time ago, during the Pliocene Epoch (Age), hippopotamus also roamed the island of Java as is evidenced by the discovery of this fossil.

This fossil of Javanese Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus Simplex or Hexaprotodon sivajananicus) is one of Indonesia's vertebrate fossil collection stored and displayed at Bandung Museum of Geology (see yesterday's post). This fossil along with many others were excavated from the Trinil area of Bengawan Solo (the Solo River) in Central Java in the early 20th Century.

Fosil Kudanil Jawa (Hippopotamus simplex atau Hexaprotodon sivajavanicus) koleksi Museum Geologi Bandung. Fosil ini ditemukan di daerah Trinil di tepian sungai Bengawan Solo pada awal abad ke-20. Kudanil pernah hidup di pulau Jawa pada Kala Pliosin (kira-kira 5 hingga 1 juta tahun yang lalu).

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bandung Museum of Geology

Photo: The front facade of Bandung Geological Museum on 57 Diponegoro Street.

The establishment of Bandung Geological Museum is closely linked to geological research in Indonesia which began in 1850. The current building, however, was not constructed until 1928. It was first meant to be a geological laboratory in which rock and mineral samples and fossils collected from different parts of the Indonesian archipelago were to be studied and stored. The museum itself was officially established on 16 May 1929 to coincide with the Fourth Asia Pacific Geology Congress held in Bandung that year.

The Art Deco style building was designed by the architect Menalda van Schowenburg.

I am going to share with you what I know about the museum in the next few posts.

Gedung Museum Geologi di Bandung yang terletak di Jalan Diponegori No. 57 mulai dibangun pada tahun 1928 dan diresmikan sebagai museum pada tanggal 16 Mei 1929 bertepatan dengan diadakannya Kongres Geologi Asia Pasifik IV di Bandung. Gedung berarsitektur Art Deco ini dirancang oleh arsitek Menalda van Schowenburg.