Dieng Plateau, or simply known as Dieng by the locals, refers to a marshy plateau located 2093 above sea level between Banjarnegara and Wonosobo district in Central Java. This plateau is particularly famous among the archaeological world as the place where the oldest Hindu Temples in Java were discovered. The name ‘Dieng’ comes from Di-Hyang (above of the Gods), and it is thought that this was once the site of a temple-city of priests. Today, this site is a must visit for the archaeological enthusiasts and those that want to explore Central java beyond the regular Yogyakarta and Solo. To appreciate Dieng, it’s best to stay in Dieng village, although Wonosobo has better facilities and more popular as the main gateway. Alternately, many Yogyakarta travel companies also offer tours to Dieng.
1. The Dieng Temples
It has been said that there were originally stood over 400 temples, built between the 8th and 9th century but now only 8 remains. Clustered together on the central plain is the Arjuna Complex consist of Shiva temples, which like other Dieng temples, have been named after the heroes of the wayang stories of the Mahabharata Epic – Arjuna, Puntadewa, Srikandi, Sembrada and Semar. These temples are linked by raised walkways, because most of this land is waterlogged, but you can see the remains of ancient underground tunnels which once drained the flatlands. Located further south are the Candi Gatutkaca, Candi Bima, Candi Dwarawati.
2. Telaga Warna & Telaga Pengilon
These two telaga or lakes are located close to each other, only divided by plains running down between them and are the next must visit attraction for anyone visiting Dieng. Telaga Warna is a beautiful lake with turquoise hues caused by the bubbling sulfur deposits around its shores, while Telaga Pengilon is a clear lake which is named after the Javanese word for ‘mirror’ because of its calm and clear surface, resembling a mirror. Aside from the amazingly beautiful surrounding forest and hills, these lakes are also where you can find the endemic bebek mliwis or the Pacific Black Duck, a breed that isn’t too common in the island.
3. Bukit Sidengkeng (Petak Sembilan)
a view of Telaga Warna and Telaga Pengilon from Bukit Sidengkeng
For the photographers, this will be your favorite place as it will give you the best view of the two lakes mentioned above, and also a sweeping view of its surrounding view, including the majestic Sindoro Mountain. To reach this place, you will need to walk from Petak Sembilan tourist area (Wana Wisata Petak Sembilan) in between the acacia trees that are predominant in the area. Even for beginners, the hike would only take about 20 minutes.