Gunung Padang Site, Megalithic Site in Cianjur

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There is an interesting tour in the Cianjur area, West Java that is worth Menong friends visiting, located about 20 km from the direction of Warung Kondang, Jalan Raya Cianjur – Sukabumi, West Java. The tourist spot is called the Gunung Padang Site, a Megalithic Site. Gunung Padang Expedition, a journey to reveal the past.


The trip takes about 2 hours because the roads are narrow and a bit rocky in some parts. During the rainy season the road becomes slippery and fog descends so that visibility is reduced. Nevertheless, like many places in the countryside, the beautiful scenery on both sides of the road is there to be enjoyed.
Megalithic Site in Cianjur

Megalithic Site in Cianjur

Prehistoric Sites

Megalithic Site in Cianjur
The prehistoric site of Gunung Padang is a special area that has been in the world's attention lately. Based on research conducted by the Ancient Catastrophic Disaster Team formed by the Presidential Special Staff Office for Social Assistance and Disasters, the age of the Gunung Padang site ranges from 109 centuries -wow fantastic huh-. The base of the Gunung Padang site itself is located at an altitude of 894 m above sea level (asl).
Megalithic Site in Cianjur

Currently the Gunung Padang site, the Megalithic site is managed in synergy by the Cianjur Regency government, the West Java Provincial Government and the Directorate General of Culture of the Ministry of Education and Culture. There are ten staff who act as Caretakers. The management of this site is also assisted by the Site Care Forum and the Tourism Mobilization Group which promotes the Gunung Padang expedition, a trip that deserves to be included as part of a tourist destination.

The entry ticket price is relatively cheap and the facilities are decent, such as clean public toilets, mosques, small stalls and a fairly large parking area. The site which is mentioned by several sources as the largest megalithic site in Southeast Asia is worth visiting.
Megalithic Site in Cianjur

Stepped Pyramid

Visiting Gunung Padang,  is like opening a history book. Like most of the oldest man-made structures, on the Gunung Padang site there is a terraced punden. The stepped pundek of Mount Padang consists of five terraces built in different sizes and made of thousands of stone blocks.

The terraced terrace itself is not a building, but steps that cut through the hillside, like a giant staircase. The main material is earth, the supporting material is stone, facing the vertical steps, passages lining the walkways, stairs, and vertical monoliths.
The arrangement of the stone blocks in the punden on the Gunung Padang site varies with transverse, longitudinal, standing and pegged patterns with locking and applied stones.

The type of rock on this site is andesite rock which is a type of volcanic igneous rock with an intermediate composition and specific texture which is generally found in areas with high volcanic activity such as Indonesia.

Andesite stone is widely used in megalithic buildings, temples and pyramids. Likewise, tools from prehistoric times used this material a lot, for example: sarcophagi, terraced vaults, stone mortars, stone tables, statues and others.

Andesite Natural Stone is a type of natural stone that has a fairly high level of hardness and is generally dark or black in color.
Megalithic Site in Cianjur
It is strongly suspected that when building this punden, the ancestors were very wise about the various forms of disaster that exist. Because the natural conditions at that time were not much different from the current natural conditions of West Java which are in fault lines prone to earthquakes, landslides and volcanoes.

This is proven by the discovery of a very well rounded layer of river sand-crust (epiclastic) about 1 meter thick. It seems that the clear plane seen through the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) has a depth of 3-5 meters on all terraces which is the boundary with the surface of the sand above it.

According to one member of the Ancient Catastrophic Team, Dr Pon Purajatnika who is an architect, this stretch of sand may have been intended as an earthquake shock absorber.

Punden terraces were erected to honor the ancestral graves. Before setting foot on the first terrace the pilgrims must purify themselves in the rock pool which is located at the foot of the stairs leading to the first terrace the pilgrims must purify themselves in the rock pool which is located at the south foot of the stairs.
Megalithic Site in Cianjur
Stone Pool

Expedition Route

There are two Gunung Padang expedition routes, the journey to the top of the site. The first route can be reached with a distance of 180 m via steep stairs. This route is not recommended for Menong friends who are not physically fit or weather conditions do not allow it. The Gunung Padang site, a megalithic site, is located on a broad plateau with steep inclines.
Megalithic Site in Cianjur
The second route is 340 m with stairs that are not too steep so it's easy to pass. When the fog is not falling, the fresh and cool air and views of the vegetable plantations on the right and left of the green and beautiful stairs can be an effective fatigue remedy.

The order of the terraces and the shape of the space contained in each terrace of Gunung Padang is oriented towards the mountain and follows the course of the moon and sun. It seems that the peak of the series of ritual ceremonies is carried out during the full moon.
Megalithic Site in Cianjur
ESP Bandung Documentation

Mount Padang can also be interpreted as Mount Gaze. The Gunung Padang site is a maqom or residence. On this site there are many menhirs and stones with many symbols including the symbols of phallus and yoni, cleaver (West Javanese weapon) and Tapak Maung (tiger).

Each stone has its own story. Previously on the fourth terrace there was a stone called kanuragan though. However, because it is often misused for polytheism and accidents occur, the stone is secured elsewhere by the management.
Megalithic Site in Cianjur

Tracing the Gunung Padang site, this megalithic site and its background trying to understand after centuries. It is truly an extraordinary thing for the ancestors to build this site with a philosophy full of meaning that is harmoniously combined. Our job is to take care of it by not littering, scribbling on the site or even taking any part of the site during a Gunung Padang expedition, the journey taken is not easy and it is the one who takes care of it that will be much more difficult if we don't care.

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