Borobudur temple seen from Punthuk Setumbu.

Unforgettable Sunrise At Punthuk Setumbu

When traveling to Yogyakarta or Magelang, enjoying the Borobudur Temple is one of the best choice. But it does not always by visiting the temple or even climbing it. Actually there is another way to enjoy Borobudur temple differently. Also If you are curious to see the Borobudur Temple which is seemed like floating in the thin mist. That means you definitely have to visit to this hill named Punthuk Setumbu.

Punthuk Setumbu Hill is one of the hill which is quite high with great panorama view in the region of Borobudur. It is located in the village of Karangrejo, Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java (Punthuk Setumbu location on google maps). Although it is getting more popular, most of people still knew this hill as Nirvana Borobudur Sunrise Punthuk Setumbu. So if you are visiting Punthuk Setumbu by yourself, you have to look this name on the signs board. Actually this sign board will lead you to Setumbu.

To be able to watch the amazing sunrise phenomenon, you should come very early. The best time is coming around 05.30 in the morning. The journey from downtown of Yogyakarta can be taken approximately 2 hours drive. So you better get up early in the morning. I was getting up around 4 AM, and leave at 4.15 AM. I have packed my breakfast, so I don’t get hungry while waiting the sunrise at Punthuk Setumbu.

Unforgettable Sunrise At Punthuk Setumbu

This natural tourism destination is managed by local people who life near Borobudur. In the past, no body realize it’s potential, until some tourist start to know stunning natural attractions at Punthuk Setumbu. Local residents also have provided lodging near Punthuk Setumbu for travelers who won’t be late to see the sunrise. But, if you choose to stay at Yogyakarta,  you can stay at the Gallery Prawirotaman Hotel which can provides the cars and take their guests to destinations. Even if you leave early in the morning like me.

The sun rise slowly from the east and showered Borobudur temple with ray of light.
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The sun rise slowly from the east and showered Borobudur temple with ray of light.

To catch the top of the Punthuk Setumbu hill, I need to do a little bit trekking by foot. Just do a quick walk,  no need to ran an enjoy the fresh air around. With that pace, I can arrive to the top in less than 15 minutes. When I arrived, at the Punthuk Setumbu hill was already filled with local and foreign tourists. Just like my imagination, in the top of Setumbu we can see the view wider and very clearly.  Far in the east, Borobudur Temple seen like floating in the mist. Although in reality it just covered by some thin mist. Not only that I also can seen the giant mount of Merapi and Merbabu which are very huge.

Coming to Punthuk Setumbu, you should to bring the best lens. Or, you’ll be regret for not taking the best sunrise view from Punthuk Setumbu. Because the better lens you have, the better you’ll catch the picture of the Borobudur Temple which is look like floating in the mist and showered by the ray of light. Punthuk Setumbu view with mystical mist arise in the Borobudur Temple almost can not be described with words. The beauty can only be enjoyed when you seen directly in the silence morning that surrounds it.

Can you see where is Borobudur Temple?
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Can you see where is Borobudur Temple?

Fact About Punthuk Setumbu :

  • Punthuk Setumbu is open from 04.00 – 17.00.
  • Best time visiting Phuntuk Setumbu is during the sunrise around 05.00 – 07.00 AM.
  • Ticket price is IDR 15.000 for local tourist and IDR 30.000 for foreigner.

History of Bukit Punthuk Setumbu

Initially, Punthuk Setumbu was one of the hills included in the Menoreh Mountains cluster. This hill used to be a people’s farm. But after a photographer captures a sunrise photo with a view of Borobudur Temple that looks beautiful when covered in fog, even this hill is increasingly famous and eventually becomes one of the popular tourist attractions in Magelang and Jogja.

After arriving at the top you will find many other tourists from various countries who are waiting for the sun to rise, around half past six o’clock the sun will rise. It was then that we could see the natural beauty of Magelang Regency which was being shrouded in mist, slowly the Borobudur Temple began to be seen with a thin mist covering it.

The view of the sunrise on Punthuk Setumbu hill is really spoil the eyes of anyone who sees it, especially if the weather is sunny. Then you will get a very beautiful view of Borobudur Temple with the background of Mount Merbabu and Mount Merapi behind it.

Thin mist is covering landscapes around Setumbu too.
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Thin mist is covering landscapes around Setumbu too.

The summit of Punthuk Setumbu Hill is not extensive, but at the top there is a gazebo and chairs for tourists who want to rest, so it is advisable to come early so you don’t run out.

This cool tourist attraction is also often called by the name Borobudur Nirwana Sunrise Punthuk Setumbu, besides this Magelang tour is also very suitable for you lovers of landscape photography because of the natural beauty it offers.

After being satisfied to see the natural beauty of Magelang Regency from Punthuk Setumbu, please fill your stomach and relax first, then you can go to Bukit Rhema Chicken Church.

Amazing Sunrise Phenomenon at Punthuk Setumbu Hill
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Amazing Sunrise Phenomenon at Punthuk Setumbu Hill

This tourist spot is quite popular among tourists, especially young people, plus the Chicken Church has also been used for the location of Indonesian movie, AADC. This Chicken Church building is actually in the form of a Bird, now, in the uppermost area (in the head) we can see the surrounding natural scenery that looks green and beautiful, from here we can also see the Punthuk Setumbu hill earlier.

To go to the Chicken Church, there are two choices of pathways, first we return to the parking lot by passing the initial path to take the vehicle and then go to the Chicken Church location. Or we can trekking through the forest directly to the Chicken Church with a distance of about 1km.

Well, if you choose trekking through the forest, to return to the parking lot, from the Chicken Church we can ride a motorcycle taxi. For those of you who bring children are not recommended for trekking through the forest, it would be better if you return to the parking lot and use a private vehicle.

Things Todo at Bukit Punthuk Setumbu

Many people standing and waiting the sunrise at Punthuk Setumbu
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Many people standing and waiting the sunrise at Punthuk Setumbu

1. Sunrise Seeing

Punthuk Setumbu Nirvana Sunrise, that’s what makes this hill famous. It is not something excessive, because the morning view on Punthuk Setumbu is truly breathtaking, breathtaking. If you arrive around 5 o’clock, a sea of ​​distant lights is a sight you can see.

As the morning arrived, the lights would die one by one and change with the colossal show of the universe. The sky will change color from dark, red, golden yellow, and end with clean blue. The sun will appear shy from the mountain ridge.

For example, the sun is covered in cloudy, you do not need to dissolve in disappointment. Fog that slowly rises and disappears will be a thrilling scene. Among the blankets of slowly fading mist and wet trees, the Borobudur Temple will show its splendor in the morning. Epic!

2. Trekking

To reach the top of Punthuk Setumbu hill, you have to trek along the macadam road from the parking lot. After the macadam road ends, trekking continues by passing the path and climbing stairs from the ground.

Wet dawn air, cold weather, and roads that are wet with dew will make this activity quite challenging. But all this fatigue will pay off when you arrive at the top of the hill. A sea of ​​mist full of magic will amaze you. A very clean morning air will deplete your lungs and make your body refreshed.

3. Photo Hunting

If you like photographing, then this place is one of the best spots to capture Borobudur Temple at dawn. If you come in the best seasons (June – August), you can capture the sun rising from behind Mount Merapi or Merbabu, sometimes even appearing right in the middle of the two mountains.

If the fog comes and the weather is cloudy, you can still take a picture of Borobudur or a village covered in a sea of ​​fog. White mist covering trees and villages will create an interesting layer like a layer cake.

Location, How to go to Bukit Punthuk Setumbu

Bukit Punthuk Setumbu is located in Karangrejo Village, Borobudur District, Magelang Regency, Central Java. Approximately 44 km from Yogyakarta, Punthuk Setumbu can be reached between 1 – 1.5 hours drive. The route to Punthuk Setumbu is very easy.

From the front of the Borobudur Temple Tourist Park, watch your vehicle go to Manohara Hotel, then continue straight towards the Menoneh Hills. Not far from the hotel there are directions that read Borobudur Nirvana Sunrise. Just follow the directions and drive about 10 minutes, then you will arrive at the Punthuk Setumbu parking area.

To the top of Punthuk Setumbu, 300 Meters more.
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To the top of Punthuk Setumbu, 300 Meters more.

Facilities at Punthuk Setumbu

Lodging, bathroom, parking lot, motorcycle taxi to peak, mosque, food stalls, gazebo, viewing booth (photo spot), camp ground and many more

Lodging Accommodation Near Setumbu

In the Punthuk Setumbu tourist area, there are lodgings in the form of residents’ houses that are rented, but if you do not want to stay at the inn. You can camp at the top of Punthuk Setumbu hill, but the area is not too wide, or you can also stay at hotels around tourist attractions, one of which is Manohara Hotel.

Tourist Attractions Near Bukit Punthuk Setumbu

This is one of perfect view from Punthuk Setumbu.
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This is one of perfect view from Punthuk Setumbu.

1. Borobudur temple

Borobudur is the grandest Buddhist temple in the world and is designated as one of the world heritage by UNESCO. This giant stone puzzle is the result of collaboration in engineering, architecture, and high-level art which is a world masterpiece. There are so many things you can see and do in this temple like walking pradaksina (around the temple in a clockwise direction), watching the beautiful reliefs carved on the walls, visiting the Samudraraksa Museum and the Karmawibangga Museum, to riding elephants around the temple area.

2. Mendut Temple

Mendut is the first temple from a series of three temples, Mendut – Pawon – Borobudur. In this temple there are 3 large Buddha statues carved from 1 stone. Next to Mendut Temple is Buddhist Monastery which is a school for prospective monks. If you come at night you can attend the Chanting ritual in the Buddhist Monastery. This ritual in the form of meditation with the accompaniment of singing can be followed by anyone, not necessarily people who are Buddhists.

3. Candi Pawon

Compared to Mendut and Borobudur temples, Pawon Temple has the smallest size. Formerly this temple was built as a place of burning or burning. No wonder on the walls of Pawon Temple there is a vent where the smoke comes out.

4. Purwosari Hill

Similar to Punthuk Setumbu, Purwosari Hills is also an alternative place to watch the sunrise with the background of Borobudur Temple. From this place you can also see the Chicken Church more clearly.

5. Klipoh Tourism Village

The village which is about 2 km from this temple is a pottery-producing village. In this place you can buy a variety of beautiful pottery and see the manufacturing process. Besides that you can also learn to make pottery and the results can be taken home.

6. Gereja Jago / Chicken Church

This building resembling a rooster is clearly visible from the summit of Bukit Punthuk Setumbu. The head was complete with spurs and his combs poked out between the trees covered in thin mist. Its unique shape resembles a chicken making this building known as the chicken church even though this place is not a church. This building used to be a prayer house, retreat place, and also a rehabilitation house. But now the building of the Chicken Church or Jago Church has not been occupied and has become an empty building.

Happy Adventure, Traveler!!
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