Stone Garden Citatah is a prehistoric park famous with its rock formation. Limestone hills cover the area, along with hundreds of other smaller karst rocks. Fossils found here indicate that the formation of these rocks happened approximately 30 million years ago during the Miocene era.
The rock formation covers a 2 hectares area on Padalarang plateau, Cipatat Village, Padalarang, West Bandung regency. At 900 m above the sea level, it’s hard to imagine that Stone Garden Citatah was once a part of the Australasian ocean. When the sea dried, the hard sedimentary rock formation then turned into a land area.
Along with the geological change, early human started to arrive. Remains of them can be found on caves nearby, with the most popular one at Pawon Cave. Stone Garden Citatah is one of the earliest Neolithic settlements in Java. Before the discovery of the fossils and skeletons.
Stone Garden Citatah was already badly mined by locals for limestones and sands. Now the government puts more regulation on mining activities here. It can’t be said that it’s really effective since there are still a lot of mines here. But at least the effort is a good start to preserve this important prehistoric ground.
Explore The Stone Garden
Exploring Stone Garden Citatah is easy terrain-wise. The slopes are not challenging and the hilltops are not so high. The enemy is the sun and the heat, which can be unforgiving at midday. So prepare a hat or an umbrella, and make sure to carry enough water.
Trees cannot grow in this calcareous soil, therefore shade will be hard to find. There isn’t the best way to explore this area. Visitors can walk between the prehistoric rocks and enjoy their naturally arranged artistic formation. Afterward, try to climb the highest rock called Puncak Panyawangan.
The summit can only accommodate 4-5 people, so there will be a queue. From here, enjoy a 360 degree of unobstructed view of the Geopark. The stones blend well with the open sky. On spaces where there are no rocks, green grass covers the red soil. Mount Masigit can be seen in the background along with villages and farms.
From the top of the rock, visitors can also see the mining activities at the limestone mines nearby. Sometimes the noise can be too loud. Prehistoric human started to arrive in this area as mere hunters and gatherers.
Now seeing black smokes coming from the factories’ chimneys nearby, it’s contemplative to think how far human have advanced since those ancient times, for the better or worse.
Stone Garden Citatah Extreme Activities
Sightseeing and idyllic strolls between the rocks are not the only activities visitors can do here. For more excitement, Indiana camp at Stone Garden Citatah will offer visitors some thrilling experiences. Try to relax at a hammock between two high rocks or sit on a chair strapped at the edge of the cliff.
Other challenging rides including a birds nest on the tip of a rock, a zip line (flying fox) and a climbing wall for rock climbing. Price for every ride starts from Rp,15,000.
Wild West Experience
Indiana camp also offers an experience called “The Indian Experience”. Taking inspiration from American old west, visitors can pretend to be a character in a western movie. Pretend to be an Indian warrior or a cowboy.
Complete with the cowboy hats, traditional clothing, and weapon as props, ride a horse across the stone garden. The stones serve as a much smaller version of Arizona’s Red Rocks, where early American settlers and Indians used to live during the frontier era.
Pawon Cave is located in the north part of Stone Garden Citatah. It can be reached with only a 30 minutes walk from the stone garden area. To enter the cave, visitors have to pay a separate ticket. The ticket is cheap at Rp5000. The cave itself is not a beautiful cave with breathtaking stalactites and stalagmite.
But the landscape isn’t the focus when visiting here. As one of the earliest human settlements in Java Island, the cave is more important as a historical site than a natural wonder. The cave made a headline first time in the year 2000 for the discovery of ancient human skeletons at this cave.
The cave is small with a length of 38 meters, so the exploration won’t take a long time. Gated and fenced, old human skeletons are still being excavated from the ground. Examine these prehistoric remains that are dated back as old as from 9500 years ago.
Learn how human live, hunt, and eat during the ancient times by studying the artifacts that can also be found here. Some of the artifacts excavated here are wooden tools, pottery, and stone weapons such as a spearhead.
Stone Garden Citatah Opening Hours
Stone Garden Citatah’s ticket Office opens from 06.00 AM – 18.00 PM. It opens every day including at most of National Holiday.
|Stone Garden Citatah Opening Hours|
|Every day||06:00 – 18:00|
Stone Garden Citatah Entrance Fee
Tickets for adults is Rp15,000 per person. Meanwhile, tickets for children is Rp 5000. A parking ticket is 3000 for motorcycles and 5000 for cars. Best time to visit is early in the morning and late afternoon because the sun will not be too hot during those two times.
|Stone Garden Citatah Entrance Fee|
|Pawon Cave Entrance Fee|
|Adult & Children||Rp5.000|
Stone Garden Citatah Facilities
Facilities at Stone Garden Citatah is very basic. In front of the entrance gate, there is a parking space. Rows of food stalls stand right and left the pathway after the entrance gate. There are toilet facilities with the basic condition. Across the stone garden area, gazebos are built to provide shade for visitors.
How To Get To Stone Garden Citatah
There is no reliable public transport to reach the site. The journey to the stone garden takes approximately 1 hour from Bandung downtown. To get to Stone Garden, first, enter the Padalarang – Cielunyi highway. Take the exit toward Padalarang-Cianjur-Sukabumi and at the roundabout, take the second exit onto Parahyangan Raya street.
Use the left lane to turn left onto Nasional III road. Continue to Gunung Masigit road and it will lead directly to the destination. The road is quite bumpy and there are several sharp turns. There are also many big mining vehicles coming and going to the factories and mines near the stone garden. Be careful when driving around this area.