Central java offers several other temples for travelers, among them are Cetho and Sukuh temples. A trip to visit Ceto and Sukuh temples will take a day, if you are planning to visit Java and have one day to spare, then you need to go to these temples.
Both temples sit in Karanganyar, the eastern part of Central Java, it takes around 3 hours from Yogyakarta city or 1 hour from Solo. Based on the research of scientists and archaeologists, these temples were built around the 14th or 15th century and believed built during the last Hindu Majapahit Empire before the conversion to Islam.
1. Cetho Temple
Ceto sits on the northwest slopes of Mount Lawu, it is administratively located in Ceto, Gumeng Village, Jenawi District, Karanganyar Regency. It is a Hindu temple, it offers a unique shape and architecture that looks like Balinese architecture. We can see the resemblance between this temple and Balinese architecture because basically, they have a historical connection.
From the temple, tourists can see clearly in various directions, We can view Karanganyar and Solo city from the top in the west and green hills stretching with Mount Lawu Background in the south.
Don’t be surprised to find this location crowded because the temple is still active for Hindus to perform religious activities and rituals.
2. Sukuh Temple
Sukuh is located on the western slope of Mount Lawu with 910 meters (2,990 ft)) of elevation. It is administratively located in Berjo Village, Argoyoso district, Karanganyar Regency. Sukuh has a different architectural shape, this one has a unique shape that looks more like the temple from the Mayan or Incas civilizations.
Sukuh temple offers distinctive thematic reliefs with sexual education as the main theme. It comes with a pyramid structure with reliefs and statues in front of it. It has several tortoises with flattened shells and also a male figure grasping his penis. The temple once had a homogeneous phallic statue, which is now safely shown at the National Museum, Jakarta.
HOW TO GET TO The Temples
The best way to get to these temples is by using a private car, we can rent one in the nearest points like Yogyakarta or Solo. A private car offers comfort and flexibility for travelers.
As for public transportation, you will need to use several transportations from train, bus, and motorcycle.
Start from Yogyakarta
From Tugu / Lempuyangan Railway Station, we can take Prambanan Express to go to Solo Balapan Railway Station. From there, we need to take a walk to Surakarta bus station and take a public bus to Tawangmangu. We can ask the driver to stop at Ceto temple, then you can take a motorcycle (ojek) to Ceto Temple.
Sukuh is close to Ceto, it takes no extra route to get to the temple. You can also ask your Ojek driver to bring you there.
Don’t Miss The tea Plantation After The Temples
We will pass thru beautiful landscapes like the Tea Plantation of Mount Lawu before reaching those temples. Be sure to stop and enjoy views of the beautiful tea plantation and magnificent Lawu mountain.