While keeping up with the times and undergoing modern developments, the region continues to provide a reminiscence of simpler times.
Less than an hour away from Cirebon, Kuningan is easy enough to reach but distant enough from the hustle and bustle to make it quaint. The tallest mountain in West Java, Mount Ciremai, appears to greet you as you arrive. Step off your ride and prepare yourself to be welcomed by the cool, fresh air.
To experience Kuningan, a number of historical, natural and spiritual attractions can be of approach. Cipari Archeological Park located at the foot of Mount Ciremai offers a slice of a prehistoric life from the megalithic era. This site was recognized when a sarcophagus was unearthed in the 70s, initiating further excavations. At a glance, the area looks neatly styled with linked pathways and spots of interests, including a small museum which holds found potteries, bronze tools, cooking utensils and many more. But the most impressive aspect of this place is the knowledgeable staff that would happily take you around and explain about everything while answering all of your questions.
Also at the foot of Mount Ciremai and located near the camping site is the Putri Waterfall. If you’d rather be spared of all the hiking, there’s a small pathway near the entrance of the area that will take you to the waterfall in under five minutes. The clear, fresh water and charming greenery can easily make anyone spend hours. Even if you don’t want to swim, you will at least want to take off your shoes and walk through the shallow water.
Moving on from the waterfall, Cave of Virgin Mary is a pilgrimage destination for the Catholics, but it also attracts visitors thanks to its serene atmosphere and lush foliage. There are many stops, each telling the story of Jesus, at which the pilgrims would pray. The path is set, but it’s not an easy hike leading up to the cave itself. There, the graceful statue of Virgin Mary stands surrounded by flowers. The place has visitors every day, but is particularly packed during Christian holidays.
Another spiritual site called Cibulan also happens to be families’ favorite, with a number of public bathing pools in which many children and adults enjoy swimming with a type of fish called the God Fish. Legend has it that these fish are used to be traitorous soldiers cursed into becoming fishes by Prabu Siliwangi. They continue to be considered sacred by the locals and no one would dare to kill the fish or take them out of the pools. There are also several attractions on site for the families, while the pilgrims mainly come to visit the small water springs named Seven Wells to conduct specific rituals.
You don’t need to stay long in Kuningan to enjoy a complete experience, but you never know if you end up getting tempted to stay longer, just to enjoy the place where time seems to stand still.
Photos by : Cita Arsita Farani, Horison Tirta Sanita