The Ancient Umbul Temple Hot Spring, Magelang

Another heritage site of Magelang is Candi Umbul or Umbul Temple which is an ancient hot spring bathing pool believed to have been built around the 9th century. A number of stone ruins around the pool depict various reliefs of plants, animals, as well as the relief of the Borobudur Temple. The pool is filled with water from a nearby spring and is still used for bathing, to this very day.

So, when you are on holiday in Yogya or Semarang, why not spend some time in Magelang and bathe in its enticing natural beauty.

Candi Umbul derived from 2 words. Candi means temple and Umbul means bubble. Thermal and spring under the ground created the bubble. This is one of the reasons that water pool was warm. The water also containing sulphur in low level but remain benefiting for skin.

The Umbul temple complex has two rectangular bathing areas; a larger upper pool (measuring 7.15 by 12.5 metres) and a smaller lower pool (measuring 7 by 8.5 metres). The warm, green-tinted water, which is derived from a spring, flows from the large pool into the smaller one through a 2-metre long water duct.

Around the pools is a garden, as well as various stones, including some in the shape of ‘lingga’ and yoni. In 1876, the Dutch scholar R.H.T. Friederich proposed that there may have been two temples at the site, although no bases have been discovered. His proposal of two temples is supported by similarities in the carving of the stones and reliefs, suggesting that they were not part of the same temple. An original wall lies some 20 metres east of the bathing pool.  Various artefacts have been found at Umbul, including religious sculptures. Statues found include two of Ganesha, two of Durga, and one of Agastya. In a 1923 inventory, N.J. Krom wrote that a garuda with a human body had been found as well.

Location

Umbul is located in Kartoharjo, Grabag, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia, at the bottom of a valley and surrounded by hills, approximately 550m above sea level. It is one of eleven temples in the area around the Elo River.

Famous as the launching point for visits to the sacred 8th-century Borobudur Temple, Magelang is located in a scenic location, between Mount Merbabu and Mount Sumbing in Central Java. With a rich history as a military base, during Indonesia’s independence movement against the Dutch government, Magelang has more to offer as you travel further into the heart of Central Java.

Magelang can be reached by bus or taxi from several major airports in Central Java, such as Adi Sucipto International Airport in Yogyakarta, Adi Sumarmo International Airport in Solo Surakarta and Achmad Yani International Airport in Semarang.

It may not be as popular as the better-known Yogyakarta, but Magelang’s lively Chinatown, busy markets, green parks and surrounding landscape of lush hills, hot springs and volcanoes make it a varied and interesting place to visit.

For more information and reservation write booking@topindonesiaholidays.com

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