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Madakaripura Waterfall Bromo Gajah Mada’s Last Sanctuary

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Madakaripura Waterfall Probolinggo
A Green Lush Trees Surrounding The Waterfall. Img: Flickr/IsenMajennt

Madakaripura Waterfall in Probolinggo, East Java, calls explorers with its mystical vibe and tropical enchantment. It is still a part of the nearby Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. At 620 meters above sea level, the waterfall reaches 200 meters tall. Therefore, it is the highest waterfall in Java and the second highest in Indonesia.

Its long and complex name is actually a combination of three different words. Mada is from Mahapatih Gajah Mada’s name, the honored military general from the ancient time. Kari is a legacy or heritage. While Pura is the Hindu’s house of worship. The mix of the three means the final place to rest of Mahapatih Gajah Mada.

It is easy to see why he was attracted. Madakaripura is secluded yet peaceful. Rows of the mountain surround it. Creating mute massive walls that cradle anything inside. The waterfall is in between the infinite azure sky above and dense vegetation.

madakaripura waterfall
The 7 meters deep pool right below the water stream. Img: Heni Habibah

It takes back the mind to the time when Gajah Mada spent his last days. The King of Majapahit gave him Madakaripura as an appreciative token for uniting Indonesia.

Splish-Splash!

Getting wet in Madakaripura waterfall and its surrounding ponds is such a worthy reward. It is hard to resist, especially after walking the dirt rocky path for 30 minutes. The distance between the entrance and the waterfall is about 1.5 kilometers. So, yes, make a big splash in this natural watery amusement park to celebrate.

On the way to Madakaripura waterfall, vacationers will come across two sky-high solid cliffs. There is a petite creek flowing in the middle below, flanked by the cliffs. Just go through the cliff “gates” to find the grand waterfall behind. Its layers of water wet the rocky slopes as the water creates a pool below.

madakaripura valley
Madakaripura the highest waterfall in East Java. Img: Flickr/HolidayPhotos

The pool is seven meters deep and the currents go on, transformed into a river. Physically, it looks nothing like most waterfalls in general thanks to its circular upper canyon. The sides of the canyon above are almost perfectly round with a 25-meter diameter.

The waterfall doesn’t completely cover the canyon’s walls. It only runs down on one side. It hides a pleasant surprise too; a secret cave right behind the waterfall itself. Natives believe that it was where Gajah Mada prayed and meditated before he passed away.

Take Nothing but Pictures

Thanks to its rare contour, photographers cannot help but snapping pictures of the waterfall. It’s emerald translucent water sparkles on the sides of the steep slopes. The water’s vivid color matches the bleak brown surface of the canyon. If the water drops come in contact with the sunray, a rainbow will curl up.

wooden bridge to get to the fall
A modest wooden bridge to get to the waterfall. Img: AL 245 JUNIOR

Velvety green moss blankets parts of the canyon’s walls, giving it a wild touch. The track leading to this gorgeous wonder deserves some space in the photo album too. Tendrils of the climbing plants stretch down and dangle loosely. Caressing the visitors’ heads.

The wavy backs of the surrounding hills go up and down like a serpent. A man-made small bridge with gray stone walls adds a rustic element to the area.

Trekking

Getting to Madakaripura Waterfall requires everyone to devote some of his/her time to trekking. It is not an easy walk in the park though it is very adventurous. Tourists have to walk the half-concrete and half-dirt path, even cross a creek. The creek, of course, is full of rocks and boulders of various sizes.

trail to madakaripura waterfall
The concrete trail to get to Madakaripura valley. Img: Dwi Widiyo

The current can be very strong sometimes, especially when it rains—stay alert. The terrain leading to the waterfall is not comfortably flat; it is ascending. It tenses the muscles on the calves and thighs and tests them to the limit.

Moss covering the rocks makes the path slippery—grab on the trees for a grip. Unlike other trekking, this one will make all limbs move, and not just the feet.

Befriend the Silence

After doing all those activities, try to give the body a break. Listen carefully to the echoing silence and let the mind drift away. The sound of water drops dripping into the ponds sends everyone to the zen zone. Let more drops of water land on the skin and face—it is refreshing anyway. Crystal clear greenish water might startle the toes, but it is more relaxing than freezing.

See: Surabaya International Airport Guide & Public Transport

Madakaripura Waterfall Opening Hours

Madakaripura Waterfall is open every day from 8 AM to 4 PM. Due to safety reasons, it is closed for public during the wet season. The current can be very strong and dangerous, also it is prone to landslides.

Madakaripura Waterfall Opening Hours
Monday – Sunday08:00 – 16:00 WIB

Nearby See: The Little Niagara, Tumpak Sewu Waterfall

Madakaripura Waterfall Entrance Fee

The admission ticket for foreign tourists is Rp36.000, a cheap price to please the eyes.

Madakaripura Waterfall Entrance Fee
ForeignRp36.000

Read: Sunrise and Climbing Stair To The Edge of Bromo Crater

Facilities

Even though it provides public restrooms and parking areas, those are not well-maintained. The restrooms are very filthy and smell horrendous, while the parking area looks unsafe. The parking lot is out in the open with some shady trees as the roof. The officials charge Rp3.000 for one motorcycle (parking ticket), one car costs Rp10.000.

There are so-called guides sitting around the parking area and near the entrance. Those “guides” however are so pushy, they force visitors to use their service. They will also charge an insanely high price for that, at least Rp 100,000. If vacationers really need a guide, better make a deal for the fee first.

See: Indonesian SIM Card Package & Price

How To Get To Madakaripura Waterfall

Explorers who drive their own vehicle here can start from East Java’s capital, Surabaya. The route will be Surabaya – Sidoarjo – Porong – Pasuruan – Probolinggo – Tongas – Lumbang – Madakaripura. It may take approximately three hours of driving, depends on the traffic. It will be a scenic journey along the way though; no need to complain.

As for the backpackers who travel on a limited budget. Public transportation will fit the bill. From Probolinggo’s Banyuangga Bus Terminal, get on a bus heading to Tongas or Lumbang. Ask the driver to stop at Tongas intersection. And take a public van to Lumbang Market. From the market, get a motorcycle taxi motorcycle to the entrance of Madakaripura Waterfall.

Madakaripura Waterfall Address

The exquisite waterfall is located right at Jalan Raya Lumbang, Tersono Village, Lumbang, Probolinggo district, East Java 67255.

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