Trowulan: Pride of Java
Once I uploaded this photo on my Facebook album, my friend from Taiwan asked “Where in the world? Is that Cambodia?” what do you think where it is? Oh come on this is Indonesia, my country. If you across East Java in Indonesia I recommend you to drop by at this place, Trowulan in Mojokerto Regency. Since this place one of the UNESCO World Heritage lists, even in the Tentative List but still worth to visit. Mostly people come to East Java will visit the amazing mount Bromo in Probolinggo, yeah Mt. Bromo is the highlighted East Java tourism and internationally well known among travelers and backpackers. Or Ijen crater in Bondowoso, and Malang city for East Java escape.
Trowulan as missing agenda has important historical for this nation. In this village you can find an archaeological site from former Majapahit Empire, total approximately of this ancient site about 100 square kilometers surrounding the village. For further information about this history you can read on this Wikipedia page.
I’ve been here many times and I have favorite route, and I draw you a map.
I always start the tour in the early morning from Maha Vihara Majapahit, it’s a Buddhist temple with big sleeping Buddha. This place is not part of the Majapahit Empire, however still worth to visit, since this place is located at the same place (Trowulan).
Big Sleeping Buddha
After that, continue to the Brahu temple, this temple is the tallest temple in East Java. Majapahit Empire is a Hindu kingdom, but Brahu using Buddhist architectural style.
[pullquote]saving habitually has been made since ancient times[/pullquote]Continue my journey to the Pusat Informasi Majapahit (Majapahit Information Center) or museum. Many superb pottery from the ancient times on mirror display. And some ceramic from China, these explain Majapahit at that time had been doing trading with China. At the back of the museum you can see magnificently sculpture depict of the Hindu Gods. Fun fact: you can see piggy bank pottery at this museum, saving habitually has been made since ancient times. Of course, piggy bank are now much sweeter than piggy bank in ancient times.
Piggy bank at the museum (taken from Wikipedia)
Just across the main street in front of the museum, you’ll see Segaran Pond (Kolam Segaran). A large pool with size 800 x 500 meters. The brick structure originated from 14-15th century. The actual function of the pool is unknown, but now is functioned by local as fishing pond and recreational. Old folks said this pool functioned as recreational of the royal guest. To show how rich and wealth the kingdom, they eat using gold and silver tools, after finish the banquette they throw the meal tools to the pond. But not found any gold or silver inside pond. Maybe after the guest is leaving the pond, they collecting the tools and reuse for the next guest 🙂
Kolam Segaran (Segaran Pond)
Before continuing the journey, take local culinary for lunch near pond. ‘Sambal Wader’ was of my favorite meal while I’m visiting this area. Little fish fried and crispy with chilli sauce made from shrimp paste. If you spicy addict you’ll instantly love this food.
Take I little break before heading to Bajang Ratu. Built from the mid-14th century, according to the historian this building dedicated to King Jayanegara during his death.
From the Bajang Ratu head to Candi Tikus or Tikus Temple, tikus means ‘rat’, the name given to the discovery, during the excavation this site to be a rat-breeding enclosure. This place as a bathing pool for royal family. At the middle of the pool you can see Mount Mahameru model. Hindu belief this mount as a holy mount.
Candi Tikus/Rat Temple
Now heading to the last destination, Wringin Lawang, this building suggested as the entrance gate to the capital city of the Majapahit era. This site located little bit far from the other sites.
HOW TO GET THERE:
- From Surabaya you can take bus direction to Yogyakarta and stop at the Trowulan intersection. Take a walk and head the museum (1.5 hours ride).
- From Yogyakarta take bus direction to the Surabaya and stop at the Trowulan intersection. Take a walk and head the museum (6 hours ride).
There is no public transportation to getting around the site. No bike or motor rental. You can go to the Trowulan terminal and rent an Angkot plus the driver for whole journey and pay around 8-10 dollar. Or you can walk and hitch hike from site to site, since one site to another not quite far.
INFO & TIPS:
Admission fee for the museum is 5.000 IDR (foreigner) and no fix admission fee to the other sites, you can fill the guestbook and give some donation for site conservation. During your tour I suggest you to bring water, since the weather is very hot and humid.