Blitar- a low-key provincial city, makes a good base for visiting the spectacular active volcano of Gunung Kelud and the Panataran temple complex. This city is also the home of Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno.
Blitar City is a clean and very pleasant city of about 175,000 poeple surrounded by rich and beautiful country side…rice, sugar cane and pineapple. The city is 4 hours by car or bus, and almost straight south and a little west of Surabaya and to the South coast of Java and to the Indian Ocean.
Portrait of Presidents Kennedy and Sukarno in the Sukarno Museum in Blitar, East Java, Sukarno’s birthplace. Sukarno’s gravesite and monument are located near his boyhood home.
About 15 miles from Blitar City up is where you can find Gunung Kelud, a still smoking volcano. A volcano which in 1919 erupted and killed 5,000 people; and in 2007 this volcano sent smoke 1.5 miles into the air and created a new cone within the crater.
On the way back from Gunung Kelud you can stop at the village of Panataran to visit a complex of 12th Century Hindu temples. Apparently construction started in 1197 and continued for another 250 years. These complex of Hindu Temples perhaps not as famous as other ancient Budddist and Hindu temples in Java, these are the largest still intact temples from the Majapahit period and are said to be the finest example of East Javanese sculpturte and architecture. This site was re-discovered in 1825, by Raffles, the British Governor of Singapore.
Driving around the Blitar Regency country side you will be struck by how rice, with three harvests a year, is in all stages of maturity even in one small area. You will see fields being harvested and others full and lush, and others being planted, all very close together. The reason why it is done this way is to even out the work flow and to share the water as the new fields need to be flooded. You will see rice was drying on large plastic sheets in many streets and front yards. Occasionally you will ears of corn drying as well. You can find and enjoy the the scenery of coffee trees at a higher elevation as you climb toward the volcano. The scenery is quite beautiful with bountiful fields and mountains throughout the area.
If you plan to visit Blitar, you will enjoy more by staying at a house you can rent on daily basis, or staying in a homestay. The best choice is ‘House of Bengawan Solo’ or “Rumah Bengawan Solo”; a perfect homestay in Blitar, an ordinary regular home, three bedrooms (2 bedrooms with air conditioned), one family room, free Wi-Fi facility, cable tv, private bathrooms, kitchen family, garden and free parking garage. Only 5 minutes to Town Square and tourists area, neighborhood safe, close to a hospital , church and many street food vendor, and still surrounded and close to rice field.
“House of Bengawan Solo” is the best Blitar Homestay” is owned and managed by the owner and staff with excellent English Communication skills who will be a big help for foreigners to get around.
- Essentials: shampoo, bath soap.
Prices : Rp 600,000/night
The Space: One family room, 3 bedrooms (2 air conditioned), dining room, kitchen, common room, laptop workplace, garden and parking garage, mushalla (praying room)
Free wiFi, cable tv.
Contact information: belitar.com
WhatsApp/Phone/SMS: +62 812-3386-3798 (Mr. Budi), +62 857-3627-8545 (Ms. June/English spoken)