Granny Anny is on the run…

and Granny is trying to tell a story…

Archive for July 2010

Candi Singosari

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So finally we were on the way to our final destination, the Candi Singosari.  Of course, since we were driving on the secondary road, there were more than one occasions that we saw the traditional way of transportation.  This time we saw a Cikar, a buffaloes-drawn carriage.  Usually Cikar is used to carry heavy loads such as bricks, crops, etc.  The horse carriage, Dokar, is usually used to transport people.

So here we were in the Candi Singosari.  This temple was said to be built by King Kertanegara, the last king of Singhasari Kingdom.  This temple was found in the mid 1800s by the Dutch.  It was said there were at least seven temples in the surrounding site.  However, only this temple survived the time.

Inside the temple was this structure.  It was said that water would come out of this structure.

This is the view to the top of the temple from the inside of the temple.

This is Arca Resi Agastya, one of the remaining statues inside the temple.  There were other statues that were taken to Leidan, Nedherlands.  It was speculated that this particular statue was left here because of its damaged condition.

We found this humongous caterpillar in the temple’s garden. He is rather cute, isn’t he?  He is full of freckles.  I can imagine that he would have been a big butterfly with his rather large body.

These were remnants of the statues among the scattered and damaged temples.

So, these were my little blurbs of what we saw last year.  Maybe it will bring out your curiosity and you might want to visit it in person too.    Until next time!


Written by Anny

July 18, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Cobek dan Ulek ulek (Mortar and Pestle)

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Then, our next destination was the Candi Jago in Singosari.  During our drive there, we drove through an industrial area.  I don’t remember the name of the area, but it is known for its Cobek and Ulek-ulek, or Mortar and Pestle production.  There are several materials that can be used to make mortar and pestle.  Wood, clay, or volcanic rock.  This particular area specializes in using basalt volcanic rock.

Even though I said it is an industrial area, usually the production is just done in someone’s backyard, not in a factory.  We stopped at someone’s house and asked if we could observe how it was done.  The person below allowed us to take pictures of him while he was working.  Do you see the pile of stones in front of him?  Those are pestles in crude shape.

His only tools were just a hammer and a tooth chisel.  It took him about 5 minutes to create a crude mortar, and he did not use any other tools.  He knew exactly where to put the point of the chisel and hammered away.

At the end, these mortars were piled and ready to be polished.  Since the guy continued to make mortars, we decided to move on and drive some more.

On the way, we saw a variety products out of the volcanic rock.  Pots for the plants…

We saw this poor monkey in his crude shape cage.  Notice that he was also chained so he could not wander around.

Another version of the traditional tool.  I think this might be a flour mill.

Then we found another house that was busy with mortar production.  This site contains a lot of the polished mortar and pestles.  This woman was washing the mortars to loosen any dirt sticking to the mortars.

The few bigger objects on the right hand side of the pictures are also mortars for bigger grains, i.e. corn, rice, nuts.  It is called Lumpang rather than Cobek.  Usually the pestle would be made out of wood instead of the usual volcanic rock.  You can check on this site to see what the pestle looks like.

Then this woman inspected the mortars and patched any holes or imperfection she saw with some sort of paste.  The mortars then would be dried out and ready to be sent to the market to be sold.

While we were watching how the women worked on the mortars, this older lady came to sell some krupuk or fried rice crackers.  This is how most of the older generation dressed.  The shirt is called kebaya and usually worn with a sarong.  We ended up buying two packs of her krupuk and gave them to the driver to take home.

Written by Anny

July 18, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Arca Dwarapala, the gate keeper…

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So after we visited the Bath, we drove back to the main road, and off to another secondary road in Singosari.  On our way to find the Arca Dwarapala, we encountered a  fully occupied Dokar, a horse drawn carriage.   The driver even smiled at us when we took his picture from the car.

Then in about five minutes car ride, we saw these massive, impressive two gate keepers from the past.  The Arca Dwarapala.   Arca means statue and Dwarapala (Sanskrit) means gate keeper.  It was said that these two statues guarded the gates to the Singhasari Kingdom.

The driver told us that at one point, one of the statues had sunk into the earth, and had to be dug up.  From our observation, indeed, the land was somewhat slanted and the house nearby indicated some foundation settlement.

Each of the Arca measures about 3.7 meters in height and they were made out of volcanic rock.  It is hard for me to imagine how many people were recruited to move these two huge volcanic rocks and how many years it took to carve these statues.  Wonder of wonders…

Written by Anny

July 18, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Pemandian Watu Gede, a Singosari Kingdom’s ancient bath

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So, I decided to do a travel blog as well.  It won’t have a lot of posts like my food blog, I think.  But, when I travel somewhere occasionally, I’ll be sure to post pictures and a little blurb (don’t take it literally, you know what I mean :P).

I had meant to start blogging about my recent travels to Indonesia, Hongkong and Guang Zhou first.  But, since I just wrote about the Indonesian yellow chicken soup, Soto, in my food blog, which referred to the mortar and pestle in my travel blog, I decided that I would blog about Singosari first.  Why Singosari?  Well, because, I am the writer!  ha ha… It’s because the story would lead us to the mortar and pestle…

It happened last year.  I was so ignorant as an Indonesian.  All my life when I lived there, I never ventured outside my mom’s wall.  I did not know that just 10 minutes away from my mom’s, there were many historical places that are worth visiting.  Thanks to my adventurous hubby, we decided to drive around Singosari and check things out.

So we went deep inside the jungle… err.. what was jungle before.  First we hit the Pemandian Watu Gede, or in English, that would be Big Stone Bath (pardon my translation – it would be translated as what the words mean.)  Pemandian means bath place; Watu (Javanese) means stone; and Gede (Javanese) means big.

The man who manned the bath mentioned that this bath was a place for the princess(es) of Singosari Kingdom to take their baths.  The bath was also opened for the ladies in the Royalty.  This was strictly ladies’ bath place.  Men were prohibited from entering the area.  Any man who got caught entering this bath or the vicinity, would be punished by beheading.   The evidence was the three big stones sitting on the root of the ancient tree, to the left of the pool.

The big stone in the middle is where they would have beheaded any man got caught in this area.  The stone to the right has several deep indentations.  This is the stone where they sharpened the knife or sword they used for beheading.   Interesting eh?  I would think that if they beheaded a man right there, the blood would have tainted the pool?

The pool itself measures about 10 x 20 meters.  The water is supplied by an artesian well underneath the ancient tree to the left of the bath.  The majority of the water flow from the artesian well is now diverted to provide water supply for the rest of the residents in Singosari and surrounding towns.

This is where the artesian water comes out of the ground.

The pool was engineered so that there were water spouts around the pool. You can see from the picture below, the remnants of where the water spout had been.

Also, they used to have small statues surrounding the pool.  I believe it was a Garuda sitting on top of a monkey’s head, where the water come out of the monkey’s nostrils (according to the man who manned the place.  I cannot confirm this, and only found one blog that mentioned about the Garuda).

What was left there now was a disfigured statue on the left hand side of the pool. You can barely see the Garuda figure.  However, you can see the lower part was some sort of animal head, with the definite nostrils.  I was told that the rest of the statues were put in the Trowulan museum in Mojokerto for safe keeping.

So, that’s my little blurb about the Pemandian Watu Gede.   What do you think?

Written by Anny

July 11, 2010 at 7:10 pm