Seven Wonders of Indonesia

These seven wonders will show you how special this country.

1.       Lake Toba

Indonesia ever shook the world by eruptions of its three mountains, namely Toba, Tambora and Krakatau. Their volcanic ashes blocked sunlight and made day turn like night. Of these three mountains, Toba is the only mountain that almost disappeared and lost its mountainous shape. However it did not go without legacy. A world’s largest volcanic lake now lies in the area. Having length of 10,000 kilometres and width about 30 kilometres, Lake Toba is the main tourist attraction in North Sumatra and also the most famous lake in Indonesia. Going by boat and watching daily life of Batak people are popular activities here.

2.       Puncak Jaya

Jayawijaya range of mountains stretches from West Papua to Papua New Guinea with the highest peak in Sudirman range and it is called Puncak Jaya (4,884 metres above sea level). World named it Carstensz Pyramid, taken from a name of Dutch adventurer, John Carstensz, who first saw a snow-covered peak in the tropics. He spread the news in Europe in 1623, but no one believed in it. This all-year-round snow is Puncak Jaya’s crown, although the snow has shrunk due to global warming. If humans do not stop Earth destruction, snow in Puncak Jaya might disappear and become only fairy tale for grandchildren.

3.       Sangiran Site

In 1996, UNESCO listed Sangiran as World Site Heritage. This 48 square kilometre site keeps thousands of ancient fossils. 13,000 are already discovered and 3,000 fossils are displayed in Sangiran Museum. The surrounding area called “Sangiran dome” stores 65 percents of Indonesian’s hominid ancient fossils and the world’s 50 percent fossils aged more than two million years old.

Sangiran Site was discovered in 1934 by a palaeontologist Gustav Heinrich von Koenigswald who found Homo erectus’ fossils in Ngebung village. In ancient time, based on geological research, the site which is located 17 km away from Solo was expanse of sea. The Earth’s rotation and natural disasters transformed the area to a land rich of fossils including sea creatures.

4.       Borobudur Temple

The temple that is listed in UNESCO World Site Heritage was on list of Seven Wonders of the World. Located in Magelang, Central Java, Borobudur is one of the world’s largest Buddhist temples. The uniqueness of temple built by King Samaratungga is not only its 10-storey structure but also relief on its wall. The relief can be orderly read if visitors walk clockwise around the walls.

In the relief, Borobudur tells a famous legend, Ramayana, and describes human life at that time. The entire relief shows message of Buddha. Therefore this temple can be useful for people who want to learn Buddha. Another amazing fact is that Borobudur was built using interlock system, like Lego cubes without cement or glue.

5.       Komodo Dragon

Komodo is the world’s biggest lizard living in Komodo National Park, East Nusa Tenggara. In 1991 UNESCO acknowledged this park as Word Site Heritage and now it is competing in New7Wonders of Nature. Komodo is a well-equipped predator. It has smelling sense, can rund and swim. The main weapon is its saliva. Anyone who is bitten will possibly die if the cure is not given soon. Number of Komodo is now estimated about 2,700. One of the treats is cannibalism. Adult Komodo eats their offspring.

6.       Keraton Wolio Fortress

With total area of 22 hectares or equivalent area of 36 football fields, this fortress is the largest in the world. Its competitor, Marlbork Castle in Poland, has only area of 15 hectares. The architecture of Keraton (Palace) Wolio fortress is similar to an Arabic letter ‘dhal’. Its length is almost three kilometres and the walls are four metres tall. The walls’ thickness is about 1,5 to 2 metres. The thick wall was intentionally built to defend from enemies’ cannon.

Inside the fortress are twelve gates symbolising twelve cavities in human body. A human body actually has only ten cavities, including navel, but local people included pore and distinguished urine and sperm passages. Located in Bau-Bau, South-East Sulawesi, Keraton Wolio is a heritage of Buton Sultanate, built in 16th century by Sultan Buton III La Sangaji. There is a great mosque (Masigi Ogena) built by Sultan Buton XIX Sakiuddin Durul Alam in 17th century.

7.       I La Galigo

This is a manuscript containing epic of the Creation Myth from Bugis civilization and was written circa 13th to 15th century. Written version of the story was first preserved in 19th century while the previous versions were damaged due to weather and insect. Consequently there is no complete version of I La Galigo.

Many sources mentioned that manuscript of I La Galigo consists of 133 separated manuscripts in 31,500 pages. It is the longest literature work ever made by human, exceeds Ramayana or Mahabharata. The story started to be known internationally after being adapted in a drama theatre I La Galigo performed by Robert Wilson, an American director.

Note: A translated article from Garuda Indonesia’s magazine.

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