Cold will immediately bite your skin as you enter the area of Dieng plateau. This highland is the one of most iconic natural beauty in Central Java that offers a European-like chilling weather. Daily temperature in Dieng is considerable low as it’s located at the altitude of 2000 meters. During the day, the temperature is fresh between 12 to 20o C and will drop to 5o C at nights. Freezing weather surprisingly comes in the summer that sometimes the temperature even reaches –4o C, just similar to that of Europe in winter.
History says that Dieng is actually a heaven. It turns out that this place was the castle of gods and goddess when Hindu dominated Java. The story apparently inspired people to call the highland Dieng which is taken from Sanskrit “Di” (place) and “Hyang” (the god of creator). Thus, Dieng literally means the abode of gods.
During Sanjaya dynasty, people under its power built at least four temple complexes on Dieng as the worship place for Trimurti (Siwa, Wisnu and Brahma). All the complexes loom away from each other with every compound comprising several small castles except in Bima temple. The temples are not as glorious as Borobudur and Prambanan in term of architecture, but Dieng temple complex has very important historical value as it’s the frontier of Hindu temple in Java.
Regardless of the local belief, Dieng is indeed a fairyland that is frequently synonymous with splendid scenery. Dieng mostly looks like a place up above the sky especially its highest area. This fresh-weathered retreat boasts a list of nature wonders ranging from green meadow to vibrant lakes and wide-open steaming craters.
Dieng comprises of 620 Ha land which is divided into two areas – east (included in Wonosobo regency) and west (a part of Banjarnegara regency). Both sides offer charms that slightly differ from one another. The eastern part is dominated mostly by active craters spewing sulfurous smoke including Candradimuka and Sikidang crater. As for the opposite side, it’s more soothing with several colorful lakes such as the lakes of Telaga Warna and Menjer. An extended rolling fields stretching from the east end to the west blend those two contrasting areas into a stunning panorama.
The existence of “Anak Gembel” makes Dieng more interesting for visitors. The kids seem unusual as they feature dreadlock hair, but people consider them as a blessing from gods. The hair occurs in random native Dieng kids regardless their family background or lineage. However, it’s still debatable how Bob Marley’s signature hairstyle grows on one kid’s head while not in the others. “Anak Gembel” are special as they are the parameter of the level of the Dieng people’s prosperity. The more the phenomenon happens, the better the people’s economic level is.
The unique kids lead to an existence of a ritual called Ruwatan, a ceremony to cut the rope-like hair. This ritual frequently needs a lot of cash as parents should grant every wish of their special children before cutting the hair. If not, the dreadlocks will grow again and they must hold another costly ceremony. Ruwatan gives a chance to tourists to learn one form of ancient Javanese culture that is native to Dieng.
Dieng Plateau is enjoying its popularity this last several years. People come to this place mostly to enjoy its panoramic beauty, but if we spare time to walk around the local’s housing, there are a lot of cultural and historical interests for you to explore.