Kamis, 20 Desember 2012

Journeyto Megalithic Gunung Padang - Part 1

scattered stone compared to Puma Punku ruins
map courtesy of Kompas
Its a magnificent old megalithic site dated back thousand year ago, so it was older than Egyptian pyramid or Stone Henge in England. It is called “Gunung Padang”, which means Mount Padang, in which Padang means Bright (Terang in Indonesian) or Enlighten.
My trip to survey Wardes (Village Net Cafe) @Cibeber near Gunung Padang leads me to visit this site out of couriousity on its ancient mystery.
driving thru tea plantations
According to some records, the first mention of Gunung Padang is from a Dutch report “Rapportern van de oudheid-kundigne Dienst (ROD) dated back 1914 by N.J. Krom, a Dutch historian which found this site covered with bush, similar to the discovery of Borobudur by  Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles in 1814 (English occupation of Jawa island)[1]
Borobudur at that time was also covered by land and bush since it was burried due to Mount Merapi eruption. Looking at the sourrounding full with tea plantation. The Dutch colonials first established tea plantations around the mountains in the eighteenth century, and a road was constructed to connect the plantation area to the capital (180 km or 112 miles to the northwest from Batavia to Paris van Java, nickname for the provincial capital of West Jawa, Bandung.
Then in 1979, three villagers Soma, Abidin and Endi report to the Local Office of Culture and Educations about their finding of thousands of piles scattered in an hill, later called Gunung Gajah. From this moment, the situs became known and registered as historical megalithic site  and people visited the site.
village@bottom of pyramid
Since March 2011 Ancient Catastrophic Research Team formed by the Special Presidential Staff  SB Yudhoyono studied the active earthquake fault stretching from Pelabuhan Ratu to Padalarang regency city and passing thru Gunung Padang. When the team studied the land structured underneath the site, they found no magma intrusion, then the team continued with the underneath complete land survey using geophysics methods such as geo electric, radar, magnet in the Gunung Padang sourrounding. 
entrance step to site
The finding confirmed that this mountain is  prehistorical man-made, not nature (November 2011 team lead by Dr Danny Hilman and received appreciation by Prof. Dr Oppenheimer.[2]
          From Carbon dating, C14 at Beta Miami Laboratorium, Florida, US found that the carbon found from the 5 meter to 12 meter drilling aged 14.500-25.000 years old, so it is much older than Piramid Giza in Egypt. 

steeper step@chichen itza, mexico

Confirmed by LSC C14 Carbon dating by Laboratium Batan, Indonesia using material paleosoil sample from 4 meter deep at the drill location found the age is 5,500 +/- 130 years. 
well@entrance Gunung Padang
Location on the material 8 m to 10 meter deeps show carbon dated as far as 11,000 + 150 years.
          Gunung Padang located 45 km from Cianjur town, between road connecting Cianjur to Sukabumi near district town Warung Kondang intersections follow the small road left 20 km toward the site, through villages small road until reaching tea plantations and follows the sign along the road.
starcase not so steep
Four kilometer before reaching the site, you will enter highland, valley and hill covered with tea plantation and small villages for the tea pickers. Beautiful mountanous scenery of tea plantations, valley and hills via  winding road before reaching the gate.
After passing the gate, there will be ticket and register booth for visiter in front of small warung (shop) and the last villages, before going up the stair to the sacred Gunung Padang site.
During our visit, it was slightly raining, thus we avoid the main staircase  that goes up around 100 meter (400 steps) to the first level/hall on  top of the gunung which are very steep, so we follow the sideway (detour) which is 350 meter longer but not as steep as the main staircase.
          On the half way to the top, we found the first unique stone inprint with the paw of a tiger. Later there are two more stone inprint with tiger paw. But strangely we dont find any human hand inprint ?
unique imprint lion claw@entrance GunungPadang
 Is this the creature that was here during the building of this site. Then we continue our climb thru the stairway which are filled with small trees, bush on the left and right of the stair and it was not straight, so we cannot see the end of our first journey. 
scenery from 1st terrace Gunung Padang
It was quite tiring although we have chosen the flatter stairway, since it was raining and probably a bit slippery if we chose the straight main stairway.
Then at the end of this first entrance staircase, finally we arrived in an open landscape and in front of us is the hill or gunung padang which are covered by scattered thousand of pilar or piles stones, looks like reinforced concrete, but it seems this stone are stronger than concrete pilar, since these stone has been in this place for thousand of years.
scenery/forest from top of piramid chichen itza
 I wore umbrella because it was raining during durian and rainy season (14 Desember 2012) in Indonesia.

....to be continued to Part 2.

[1]    Raffles Sir Thomas (1814), History of Java. Borobudur.
[2]    Tempo (2012) Laporan Utama , Situs Gunung Padang, Mimpi Nobel Gunung Emas, Staf Khusus Presiden membuat penelitian. Page 52-53, edition 2 September 2012. (Also available online  from http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situs_Gunung_Padang

1 komentar:

Rudi Rusdiah mengatakan...

From National Geography Special Report The New Age of Exploration. Report on Global Journey of modern human began migration from Africa 60,000 years ago.
The journey passed Indonesian island in two phases to Australia 50,000 years ago and from China/Taiwan 3,500 years go.
Thus the carbon dating of Gunung Padang site still corresponding with the NatGeo report on human migrations to Asia.
NatGeo (2012), Global Journey, page 48-49, edition January 2013, Celebrating 125 years of Exploration.