I took two days off after a work event in Solo and went around with my university-trip buddy Aneen, who is a Solo resident. Her husband was out of town until Jan. 26, so she was more than happy to drive me around the city and beyond.
We went to Cetho and Sukuh Temples on Day 1, and the next day we went to Ketep Pass, a lookout ground where we can see six mountain peaks: Merapi, Merbabu, Sindoro, Sumbing, Telomoyo and Andong. Let's start with the trip to the temples, shall we?
Located in Karanganyar, Cetho temple is one of several temples built on the western slope of Mt. Lawu in the fifteenth century. By this time, Javanese religion and art had diverged from Indian precepts that had been so influential on temples styles during the 8-10th century.
This area was the last significant area of temple building in Java before the island's courts were converted to Islam in the 16th century. The temples' distinctiveness and the lack of records of Javanese ceremonies and beliefs of the era make it difficult for historians to interpret the significance of these antiquities.
Cetho is a Javanese word, meaning visible. It gets its name because people can see the view of Solo from this 11-terrace temple, which stands at around 1400 meters above the sea level.
Here are some photos of Cetho temple and its surrounding environment.
We need to don a piece of checkered fabric around the waist before entering the temples. A small donation for the fabric guard is expected.
The view that greets the visitors upon entering the gate
One of the turtle statues
Proceeding to the next terrace
Details on a wooden kentongan (drum)
View from the 11th terrace. This looks like a Hindu temple in Bali, isn't it?
The greenery around the temple
Red moss on the tree
Kethek temple, a small temple inside the complex of Cetho temple. It kinda looks like an Aztec/Maya ruins
Sukuh temple is a 15th-century Javanese-Hindu temple located on the western slope of Mount Lawu (elevation 910 meters). Sukuh temple has a distinctive thematic reliefs from other candi where life before birth and sexual education are its main theme. Its main monument is a simple pyramid structure with reliefs and statues in front of it, including three tortoises with flattened shells and a male figure grasping his penis.
I love this elephant bas-relief
Forgive the narcissism. I tried to copy the files from my camera's SD card, but it didn't work. These photos were taken by Aneen's smartphone. I tried not to post the selfies, though :).