One of the most sacred places in West Java is the ancient site at Gunung Nagara Padang, South of Ciwidey. I had the opportunity to spend new year at this secluded place. Ciwidey area offers a lot of amazing tourist destination but off the beaten track, protected by a lush forest, is a place of wonder also regarded as an important holistic destination for local spiritual practitioners.
We begin to hike towards the main entrance of the site around 6 AM. The light uphill walk takes about 45 minutes but since it had been raining a lot we had to walk carefully. The locals had to chain their bike tires in order to maintain grip and this prevent the motorbikes from slipping while driving through the muddy road.
The view is breathtaking as we’re hiking up … mountains, hills and valley goes on and on.
The walk up to the top takes about another 45 minutes to an hour depending on your pace hiking up. People usually come to this mountain on a personal quest to find their true being or Jati Diri. Some even stay for days and meditate in one of the many caves around the area. The journey inside the mountain is symbolical to a journey inside our mother’s womb…we purify ourselves, we learn about life, we challenge ourselves and we overcome our own darkness…in the end we are reborn, again from our mother’s womb. When I entered… I think of mother earth, my own mother, stay humble and don’t swear or use bad words.
Before we enter the site, we purify ourselves with water from Cikahuripan also known as the water of life. We drink and wash our hands and faces with this beautiful spring water full of energy and vibrations.
I still have so much to learn about this place. Each gigantic rock seem to have a symbolical meaning and purpose and always keep in mind that prayers, chants and offerings are not made for the rocks…it’s so easy to loose meaning and think we’re worshiping big rocks but that’s not the case. These giant megalithic rocks are symbolical to something that is more real that we can imagine. Sometimes I think this is a test towards our minds and perspective. We’re so used to perceive life as how we see it with our physical eyes that we fail to perceive life with our inner eyes or soul.
These rock are as big as a truck or a small house…it’s really breathtaking. This hanging rock is way bigger than a container truck ! It’s also a cave .
This black dog who greet us in the entrance gate seem to follow us as if to watch over us =)
Consider each step like meditation…walk at a good pace, breath life into you as you exhale all the anguish. Touch the rocks and feel their coolness and energy…ground yourself. Look up the canopy and feel the flickering sun touch life on earth…infinite thoughts.
We climbed some rock to the very top and was given the most astonishing view of the surrounding mountain, hills, valley, rivers and it goes on and on. We sent our gratitude to Jagad Raya ( universe ) and sang Surya ( sun) under the clear blue sky.
This mountain was part of a greater ancient volcano called Gunung Sunda that erupted about 10.000 years ago which was also part of another massive volcano called Gunung Sunda Purba that existed few million years ago.
This rock is called Batu Wayang because the shape resembles Wayang Gunungan from the famous Indonesian shadow puppet known as wayang kulit. Wayang Gunungan depicts life in our world.
This underground cave was the meditation spot of our former president Soekarno.
I was told this whole mountain was an ancient temple but not the kind that has relief carvings or shapes we see in historical parks…instead they are giant rock boulders that are located in specific spots or seem to be placed there, some have markings unfamiliar to our eyes, all have meaning and purpose.
Traditional communities still come to this mountain to perform rituals and celebrations to send gratitude to the universe with beautiful offerings consisting of flowers, fruits, fragrant incense. Traditional music and dances occur to celebrate art as an expressive form of our senses in gratitude, beauty and grace.