Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Sarangan Lake

Located at the feet of Mount Lawu, and representing a tourist destination of East Java that always attracts attention, that is Telaga Sarangan, which is never free from tourist visits.

Telaga (lake) Sarangan is located in the Sub-District of Plaosan, Regency of Magetan, about 1,600 metres above sea level. The climate around is quite cool and comfortable, hence appropriate for recreations. In day time the temperature is around 20 degrees Centrigrade, but at nights it lowers to 15 degrees Centrigrade.

As a tourist destination, Telaga Sarangan has been known since the Dutch time. Here the high ranking Dutch officials often spent their weekends. It is hence not surprising that around the lake, villas of European archiecture can still be found.

In the past, Telaga Sarangan was better known as Telaga Pasir (sand lake). Why? Because, during the dry season the water dried up, showing only a huge stretch of sand. On the other hand, during the rainy season, water would fill up the entire are of the lake. However, until today no definite records can be found of when the name Telaga Pasir changed into Telaga Sarangan. But, irrespective of that, Telaga Sarangan has remained natural and interesting to visit.

As one of the tourist destinations in East Java, Sarangan has been equipped with various facilities for the comfort of visitors. The facilities that are managed by the local government of Magetan, are among others; hotels; logements, restaurants, fruit and vegetables markets, and souvenir shops. Besides that, there are other facilities, like a parking space, musholla (small mosque) and guard station.

To circle along and enjoy the 75 hectares lake, tourist can use motorboats for Rp 7,500 per round trip. Apart from that, there are "water ducks" and horses that will readily take you to the other tourist destinations around Telaga Sarangan. Like the Tirtosari and Sarangsari waterfalls.
The Tirtosari waterfall is located 3 kilometres south- west of Telaga Sarangan. While Sarangsari waterfall is located 2 kilometres north- west of Telaga Sarangan. Both waterfalls are tourist destinations that are still natural and very attractive, because these are surrounded by protected forests, managed by the Perum Perhutani KPH Lawu DS.

At the edge of the protected forest, and exactly at the edge of Telaga Sarangan, the Perum Perhutani KPH Lawu DS has also built a wisma (bed and breakfast), equipped with hot water, television, and telephones. Rates are cheap according todomestic tourists standards, and as compared to the other hotels or wismas around the lake.

Besides that, there is a Taman Ria (fun park) for children, with a quite spacious playground. Meanwhile, for adults, apart from the comfortable environment of the protected forest, there is also an open air stage for cultural performances. And besides that 3.5 kilometres north- west of the lake, at the Mojosemi camping grounds, managed by the Perum Perhutani KPH Lawu DS. The cool and dense environment has created a location that is quite appropriate for nature lovers who are fond of camping, recreationing or researching.

3 kilometres before Telaga Sarangan, from magetan, is another natural lake, i.e.Telaga Wahyu. Itis 15 hectares in size, witha climate not much different from Telaga Sarangan, and definitely easily accesed by big or small vehicles.

At Telaga Wahyu touristscanrelax while fishing. At certain times also variousart and camping performances are held. Near the lake, tourists can find a natural water spring named Sumber Tamtu. It is said that the water from this spring has the virtue to make people stay young.
Travel Tips

It is not difficult to get to Telaga Sarangan, because all types of vehicles can directy access the location. If you use public transportation, board from the Bungurasih Surabaya Bus Terminal heading for Magetan. Fares are Rp 4,000 per person. From the Magetan Bus Terminal board an angkot (mini-bus) to Sarangan ata fare of Rp 1,500 per person.

To enter the Sarangan tourist location, a Rp 2,000 retribution will be charged for adults, and Rp 1000 for children. Meanwhile, if you would like to circle the lake on horseback the fare is Rp 15,000, or Rp 25,000 for a motorboat or "water duck".
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