Cirebon has a fascinating untold history that not everybody knows.


Talking about Cirebon, it is not always come up with batik mega mendung. Cirebon has a fascinating untold history that not everybody knows. The cave of Sunyaragi (Goa Sunyaragi) is the most iconic of Cirebon's tourism. Sunyaragi cave located in the Sunyaragi Village, Kesambi, Cirebon, is the most favorite destination in Cirebon, especially during peak season. They have sophisticated architecture that is interesting to learn. 

The Sunyaragi cave is a cultural site in Cirebon sprawling over fifteen hectares. The cave has artificial waterfalls and beautiful gardens where one can see statues of the Garuda, the Virgin Sunti, and majestic elephants. Taman Sari Gua Sunyaragi cave is a small part of the Pakungwati Palace (now Kasepuhan Palace).


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Yohana Maya Lalita (@yohanalalita)

Taman Sari Gua Sunyaragi used to be a water palace for the Sultans of Cirebon. This part of the Javanese island was formerly enveloped by many lakes (in ancient times, Lake Jati used to flow in this area), ponds, swimming pools, and magnificent waterfalls. 

Sunyaragi” in the Javanese language means “in a silent form”. This place used to be a spiritual escape where the Sultans would come to meditate in the serene surroundings.

The history behind Sunyaragi Cave

There are two schools of thought regarding the establishment of the cave. According to the Carub Kanda version, the Sunyaragi cave was passed down to the generations of the palace. This version of Taman Sari was constructed because Pesanggrahan Giri Nur Sapta Rengga was converted into a royal burial. 

According to the second school of thought, the Caruban Nagar version, Sunyaragi was founded by Prince Kararangen, great-grandson of Sunan Gunung Jati.

The caves have been restored several times. The first time it was restored was in the year 1852, after the Dutch attacked in 1787. The Dutch colonial government carried out the second restoration in 1937. It was last renovated by the Directorate of History and Antiquity Protection and Development and the Directorate General of Culture from 1976 to 1984.

The architecture style can be judged from the structural makeup and motifs on the cave. The designs show classic Indonesian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and European influences. 

One can also see Hindu architectural styles in the Bale Kambang building, the Mande Beling building, the shape of the gates, and in sculptures of elephants, the eagle-headed man with a snake wrangling around him. 

The building walls and complexes are carved peach blossoms, sunflowers, and lotus flowers that highlight the Chinese architectural styles. Since Sunyaragi was under the rule of a Sultan, Middle Eastern and Islamic influences are seen at various places. There are signs of the Qibla at multiple locations, particularly near the prayer area. 

The rooms or structures are also very similar to those meant for performing ablution. Also, Dutch Colonial styles stand out through the windows, rotating staircases, and through the shape of the Pesanggrahan building. The caves are bathed in spirituality and religious sanctity because many sacred symbols and expressions depict the same. The form of the Jinem Ward is similar to that of the Holy Kaaba. The Balela Hajj Statue resembles the statue of Lord Vishnu.

Tips when visiting Sunyaragi Cave

When visiting Goa Sunyaragi, prepare a hat or umbrella as your head protector from direct sunlight. The entrance ticket for visitors is Rp 10,000/person. There is a guide service available, and the additional fee is Rp 50.000/guide.

Sunyaragi area consists of several caves. Some of them are very small and cramped with minimal lighting. Do prepare a flashlight for your convenience. Beware of your footsteps. Some caves have slippery stairs. Mind your head as well due to its low ceiling.


#THE S MEDIA #Media Milenial #cirebon #goa sunyaragi