Quietly, hidden within the forested slopes of Lawu Mountain. Candi Sukuh or tourists know as Sukuh Temple portrays a pyramid-Esque architecture resemble of a mesoamerican temple. Its architecture belongs to an enigmatic Hindu temple. But it looks a lot different than other Hindu temples in Java.
Glimpse a different scene on the way to Lawu highland. The scenery of rice fields gradually transitions into tea plantations among the steep valleys. The air and pleasantly cool temperature shall immediately greet visitors. What an escapement and a world away from the tropical heat of lowland Java.
The stand-offish construction of Candi Sukuh is beautifully proportioned in a humble sized-site of one hectare. Unlike most Hindu-Buddhist temples that have a large square shrine. Its central structure is a step pyramid. That comes along with stairs leading up the center to the top.
The haphazardly large truncated turtles are one of the few decorations. Yet it enhances the bizarre intriguing nuance of this exotic temple.
Candi Sukuh Entrance Fee
The temple charges an inexpensive price for entrance fee. There is no difference fee for weekdays and weekends. And it cost only Rp25.000 for the ticket. At this time, the only accepted payment method is by cashless card. Such as e-money, brizzi, flazz BCA. The prepaid card is available at small minimarkets like Indomaret and Alfamart for Rp20.000-Rp50.000.
In brief, the card can be used to pay for bus rides such as Trans Jogja, and Trans Solo. And customers can add credit anytime too at the nearest mini-market.
|Candi Sukuh Entrance Fee|
|Weekend & Weekday||Rp25.000|
|Sarong Rent Donation||Rp5.000|
Candi Sukuh Opening Hours
The temple welcomes tourists every day from 7 AM to 6 PM. While planning to get here make sure to check nearby temples Candi Cetho. Tourists could also relax and enjoy the water stream at Jumog waterfall not far from the temple site.
|Sukuh Temple Opening Hours|
|Monday – Sunday||07:00 – 18:00|
Candi Sukuh, Excentric Symbol
The relief across Sukuh Temple displays uncommon themes among Hindu-Buddhist temples in Indonesia. While most reliefs in other temples recite the God and Goddess. Or else the story of Hindu-Buddhist Kingdoms and their civilization. Here, people will find very little of it at Candi Sukuh.
Instead, visitors will find the lingga and yoni. The common symbol represents male and female sexual organs. In the reserved and culturally conservative country of Indonesia, these findings seem very stand-offish, if not eccentric in the eyes of many.
The relief is not without a story. The locals’ belief tells that the relief does the duty of cleansing. It will strain people’s minds and hearts with evil thoughts. That is why relief is implanted at the entrance. So whoever enters the temple would have to step over it and get a “cleanse”.
The now fence area of the relief has somewhat turned into a wishing waterhole. Where people often toss the coins and belief that it will grant their wishes. While in here, don’t miss the wishing well. Be a part of probably a hundred believers and toss it. And fingers crossed let’s hope it’s granted.
Grebek Sukuh Celebration
In the fourth week of April, the villagers around Candi Sukuh would gather. Celebrating the prosperity that they have gained over the past year. The celebration is known as Grebek Sukuh.
Coming in April, get a chance to participate in the festivity. Where villagers gather the best harvest of the year and turn them into piles of offerings, called gunungan.
The vegetables in the offering represent gratitude for prosperity. Thus, some part of the best should be present to the Gods and Goddesses. The celebration begins with the sound of mortar, being beaten. And the rhythm of it continues during the entire rite.
The harvest offering is not the only thing present to the deity. The village people orchestra traditional dancers to perk the celebration. While the village chief delivers the offering and pray on the temple terrace.
Then they will pass a candle for everyone to offer their prayer. The end of the ceremony is the most awaited part. Where everyone will fight their way to get their share of the offer. The humble offering has once again become the source of prosperity for the people.
For a humble site such as Candi Sukuh this cultural site holds notable events across the year. Annually, Candi Sukuh holds a two days festival known as Srawung Seni Candi. It marks and commemorates the changing of the year. Start on New Year’s Eve and lasts until the first day of New Year.
The festiveness of last year’s festival for instance. It gathers not only local cultural activists. But also a well-known cultural-art performer across Indonesia. The list includes International artists such as Claire Loussouarn from France, Tetsuro Koyano from Japan, and Sha Sha Higby from Canada.
On the first day morning, the event starts with plant distribution. In the afternoon, participants can join a yoga session. Right afterward follow with a night vigil known as tirakatan in the evening.
It doesn’t stop there. Because the next day tourists can participate in a ceremonial rite in the temple that begins at 9 AM. Where locals chant prayers in the tranquility of the morning. The main celebration takes place at the Garuda Stage, which resides next to the temple complex.
Tourists can enjoy the parade and traditional dance performances and play. Srawung Seni Candi is the best opportunity for tourists to experience a mystical and tranquil night. While celebrating the welcoming of a new year.
Facilities like a parking area, toilet, and washing room are available on the premises. Small stalls and food vendors are available outside the temple and serve hot beverages such as coffee, and tea. Have some traditional snacks to go along with them. And enjoy the serene scenery and atmosphere of Lawu Mountain.
Some cottages, hotels, and villas are available for visitors who wish to spend the night near Ngargoyoso and Tawangmangu area. The price starts at approximately US$17.50 per night. While most of the places are fully furnished but not all of them come with a meal package. Visitors may have to bring their own.
How To Get To Candi Sukuh
Sukuh Temple is only about 50 km from Solo, 1.5 hour ride by car. For convenience, visitors better rent a car or motorcycle to get to Candi Sukuh. Starting off from Solo, the route is Jl. Raya Solo-Tawangmangu – Jl. Lawu – Jl. Karangpandan-Ngargoyoso – Jl. Sukuh Temple.
Visitors can walk from the entrance gate to the temple. The track is slightly uphill about 1 kilometer long. But there are also some motorcycles available to rent to get to the entrance gate.
Address & Location
Sukuh Temple located in Jl. Candi Sukuh, Berjo village, Ngargoyoso, Karanganyar regency, Central Java 57793.