Dieng plateau holds thousands of natural charms and has a rich ancient heritage. Located 116 km northwest of Yogyakarta, one of the many activities that tourists usually participate in on the plateu, other than indulging in the splendor of ancient temples, is watching the sun rise. With temperatures averaging about 15 degrees Celsius during the day and falling to 10 degrees Celsius at night, the Dieng plateau resembles Peru or Tibet more than tropical Java. In June, July and August, the temperature can sometimes plummet to below zero at night.
Stunning panoramas are not the only attractions. Temples, with cultural and historic legacies, are also found in the area. According to legend, Dieng plateau located 26 kms north of Wonosobo and 2,093 meters above sea level. was named from the Javanese adi, meaning beautiful, and aeng, or impressive. But Hindus say Dieng is from the word Dihyang, meaning heaven, and cite the presence of temples in the area. The temples are still used as places of worship, evident from the remains of candles and flowers scattered in them.
Dieng, is located in Wonosobo and Banjarnegara regencies in Central Java. In the south, Perahu mountain is part of the Wonosobo area while Bandongan village at the foot of Sumbing mountain is in Magelang regency. The plateau is also surrounded by other mountains, including Bismoand Rogojembangan, in Banjarnegara.
The temples, one of the main tourist attractions, are popularly known as Pendawa Lima. The temples, found on the slope of the mountain, are also said to be major evidence of the dawning of civilization in Java. Besides temples, Dieng plateau craters also serve as a tourist attractions and provide geothermal energy although they emit a strong sulfur odor. Steam wafts from some of Dieng’s craters, such as Sikidang, Sileri and Condrodimuka.
Locals continue to depend on their livelihood from the agricultural sector, mainly in the cultivation of potatoes and cabbage. To the potato growers, Dieng is their dream land. They are ready to do anything to keep this land to themselves for potato growing. That’s why the forest has been cleared, trees felled, and the land turned into horticultural land for potato growing. The area looks like a wide green carpet, providing a great view, especially in the morning when it is covered by a light mist.
Some children in the area have unique tangled hair, said to be a blessingfrom God and sign of good fortune. The scientific explanation is the presence of a high percentage of chlorine in the area, the climate and genetic factors. The hair is only cut upon the request of the child and lucky visitors may witness the procession which precedes the auspicious event.
Other attractions are Lake Warna and Lake Balaikambang. Located side by side, they are different in color. Lake Warna’s water is green, while Lake Balaikambang is clear. A park between the ponds allows tourists to relax and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.
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