Dieng is a plateau between volcanoes at an altitude of 2300 meters. The landscape is very special. The geysers and sulfur springs and sometimes mist make the landscape almost supernatural. The climate is cool due to the altitude. In July and August there may even be night frost. Dieng means “house of the gods”.
Sikidang is a volcanic crater with bubbling mud, steam and geysers and the smell of sulfur. You can get a homemade snack or buy a souvenir from the many stalls you find overhere. There are also “selfie spots” where you can take nice pictures.
The story goes that the name “Sikidang” is derived from the word “kidang” a type of deer. The crater behaves the same as a deer: it jumps from one end to the other and constantly moves.
Another story explains the name in a different way. Shinta Dewi lived in the area centuries ago and many men proposed to her. However, she demanded such a high dowry that no one was successful. When finally Prince Kidang Garungan was able to pay the price, Shinta accepted his proposal. When she found out that he had a deer’s head, she was shocked and regretted accepting his offer. Shinta Dewi then (to avoid marrying him) asked him to dig a lake for her in one night. When Shinta found out that he would succeed, she had him buried alive. The earth still moves where he got buried.
The Arjuna Temples
The Arjuna complex consists of 5 temples that are dedicated to Shiva and are indicated by five of the Wayang doll game characters: Arjuna, Puntadewa, Srikandi, Sembadra and Semar. They are the oldest Hindu temples in Java and date from the 7th or 8th century. In the past, this temple complex consisted of more than 400 temples.
In 1814 the temples were rediscovered by an English soldier. The temples were partially covered by the water of a lake. In 1856 the lake was drained to admire the temples again.
Telega Warna is a sulfur lake surrounded by hiking trails where you can walk with or without a guide. Due to the sulfur, the water has a special color. Depending on the light and the concentration of the sulfur, the water is turquoise, green and yellow. In some places it bubbles. Its high sulfur content makes it more toxic. It looks beautiful, but swimming or even paddling is impossible.
In the forest on the edge of the lake you can take a nice walk with beautiful views over the lake. Here you will also find caves. In one of these caves, Australian Prime Minister Whitlam held talks with Suharto about the future of Timor in 1974. The Suharto-Whitlam House can also be found in Dieng, as a reminder of the meeting of these leaders in 1974.