teradesa.com What comes to mind first when you hear the name Pacitan? Most will probably quickly answer SBY, which is only natural since the city is the birthplace of Indonesia’s 6th president. But in the eyes of nature lovers, the first thing that will come to mind is caves. That’s right, Pacitan is also known as the city of 1001 caves, and one of the most famous is the Goa Gong Pacitan tourist spot.
Pacitan is an area in East Java surrounded by limestone mountains, which makes the land in this area dry and infertile. The soil on the surface of Pacitan is indeed arid and has few nutrients, but the grace of the Almighty lies not above the surface, but below the surface of the soil.
Pacitan is blessed with enchanting underground beauty in the form of limestone caves adorned with stalactites and stalagmites. The most famous and most beautiful cave is Gong Cave.
The beauty of Gong Cave is unmatched by other caves on Java Island, some even say that Gong Cave is the most beautiful cave in Southeast Asia.
Entering Gong Cave, you will be greeted by beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations. Assisted by sufficient lighting you can go deeper and down the 256-meter long cave passage.
At the end of the passage, you will find the reason why Gong Cave is called the most beautiful cave in Southeast Asia. A chamber that forms a monster dome 100m long, 15 to 40 meters wide and between 20-30 meters high will leave you amazed.
Stalactites and stalagmites of various shapes and sizes adorn the entire chamber. Some of them are even named to immortalize their beauty such as Selo Jengger Bumi, Selo Pakuan Bomo, Selo Bantaran Angin, Selo Citro Cipto Agung, Selo Adi Citro Buwono, and so on.
To explore all the passages and the inside of the cave, you will need about 2 hours. But the long time will not be felt and tiring because you will continue to feel amazed at the beauty presented by Gong Cave.
You don’t need to worry when exploring this cave, because the local government has added infrastructure in the cave such as stairs, safety fences, lighting and fans to facilitate exploration (although you still have to be careful).
Inside Gong Cave there are several rooms. These rooms are the Angel Spring Room, Angel Room, Crystal and Marble Room, Hermitage Room and Batu Gong Room.
One of the rooms in the cave was once used as a music concert venue that was broadcast live in four countries in order to promote the potential of Gua Gong.
In addition to the beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites that adorn the cave, there are also springs that, according to local residents, have magical healing powers for those who believe in them.
The springs include Sendang Jampi Rogo, Sendang Panguripan, Sendang Relung Jiwo, Sendang Kamulyan and Sendang Relung Nisto.
Mystery and History of Goa Gong Pacitan
According to stories from local residents, Goa Gong was discovered around the 1930s. Due to the prolonged dry season, Pacitan experienced drought and it was very difficult to obtain water.
To overcome this condition, 2 residents named Mbah Noyo Semito and Mbah Joyo looked for springs that could be used to meet their needs.
Finally, they found a hole and took the initiative to explore it. Carrying only a torch, they entered the hole and explored the passages inside. The hole they entered turned out to be very deep, Mbah Noyo and Mbah Joyo spent as many as seven torches until they found a spring.
After resting and bathing in the spring, they returned home while carrying water and bringing good news to the residents. From then on, residents flocked to utilize the springs in the cave.
The name Gua Gong itself is taken from the mystery that once enveloped and haunted the surrounding community. People around the cave revealed that at night they often hear the sound of a gong (one of the gamelan musical instruments) coming from inside the cave.
There are also those who say that in one of the rooms of the cave there is a stone that when beaten will emit a sound that echoes like the sound of a gong.
But scientifically, the sound that appears can be explained. The sound that sounds like a gong is produced by water droplets falling on the stalactites or stalagmites in the cave.
Coupled with the echo reflected by the rock formations in the cave, the sound produced is actually quite pleasant to enjoy.
Location of Gong Cave
Administratively, Gong Cave is located in Pule Hamlet, Bomo Village, Punung District, Pacitan Regency, East Java.
The cave is about 37 km from Pacitan city center to the west (Wonogiri direction).
Road Route to Location
To reach Gong Cave, visitors can take 3 routes from cities around Pacitan, namely Ponorogo, Wonogiri and Trenggalek.
The first route is for those coming from Yogyakarta. The route taken is Yogyakarta to Gunung Kidul. From Gunung Kidul, the journey continues towards Wonogiri (Pracimantoro) and continues to Pacitan. Directions to Gong Cave can be found before entering Pacitan City.
The second route is from Solo. From Solo, drive your vehicle towards Wonogiri (Baturetno), continuing until Pacitan. Similar to the trip from Yogyakarta, you will find the directions to Gong Cave on the right before entering Pacitan.
The third route is for those coming from Surabaya and surrounding areas. From Surabaya, the journey is directed towards Nganjuk until Madiun. From here continue to Ponorogo and on to Pacitan. To reach Gong Cave, continue your journey out of Pacitan towards Wonogiri. You can find the road sign to Gong Cave on the left side of the road.
Apart from Madiun, those coming from Surabaya can also use the route via Kediri and Trenggalek. This route does take longer, but before entering Pacitan you will pass the road with the beauty of the beach on the left side of the road.
The beautiful coastal scenery is similar to what you feel when heading to Denpasar from the city of Negara in Bali.
For those who want to visit using public transportation, there is no need to worry because there are public buses and travel services that serve trips to Pacitan.
Gong Cave Entrance Ticket Price
To explore and enjoy the beauty of Gong Cave, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Only by spending Rp. 5,000 per person, you can freely explore the charm of Gong Cave.
Other expenses may include renting a flashlight (IDR 5,000) for additional lighting in the cave, or hiring a guide if necessary (IDR 30,000).
In addition, you only have to pay for parking fees.
As a well-known and visited tourist attraction, Gong Cave provides adequate facilities.
Large parking lots, prayer rooms, toilets can be easily found in this area. Stalls selling food and drinks as well as typical souvenirs are also widely spread in the Gua Gong tourist area.