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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Garotan Bendung Village

Publish 21-08-2010 12:35:07 by Admin
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A. Overview

Strains of Keroncong Campursari music are cheering for some men who are manufacturing iron to become art objects is a usual scene in Gerotan Bendung, a tourism village in Gunungkidul Regency that is famous for its iron handicrafts. Many of the villagers are blacksmiths. They make iron handicrafts using metal casting technique.

Visiting Gunungkidul for a vacation, we do not necessarily go to see the natural panting of white sand shorelines such as Kukup, Krakal, Sundak, and so on. Neither do we necessarily go for some exquisite local food like fried locust and tiwul. Out of those things, Gunungkidul has another tourism potential, i.e. tourism village.

There are at least four tourism villages in Gunungkidul, i.e. Bobung Pupat, Mojo, Wonosadi, and also Garotan Bendung. The four villages offer different specialties. Bobung Village is famous for its wooden mask and batik woodcraft; Mojo is for its ornamented white stone handicraft; Wonosadi is for its green forest, rich flora-fauna and big stones believed to come from Merapi eruption in ancient time; and Garotan Bendung is known for, as said above, its iron-cast handicrafts.

Garotan Bendung Village has been famous for producing antique colonial-style lamps, which are very beautiful to say the least, and other furniture such as benches, decorative items, and so on. They are known to be quality products.

Almost every house in this village is a workshop, if not, the owner must be a peasant. Knowing this potential, the regional government of Gunungkidul decided to have their hands on making Garotan (a hamlet), which lies administratively in Bendung Village, a tourism village. In 2001, the government finally established Garotan as a tourism village with specialty in craftsmanship and handicrafts.

The village, which actually has rich natural resources with its green and leafy surroundings, turned to be a real tourism village as the government in cooperation with the local people built facilities and infrastructures such as inns, souvenir stores, and package tours. Aside from that, tourists can also enjoy some traditional art performances like jathilan, campursari, and many others.

B. Features

The village is famous as the center of iron-cast handicrafts with antique lamps, benches, and many other items as its products. Especially for antique lamps, we know that many people are busy hunting for them and find them very expensive. In Gerotan, which has both Javanese antique lamps and Colonial-style ones, can produce antique lamps with good quality yet affordable.

Besides all that, tourists can still enjoy the natural countryside scene which is included in the package tour, which is by planting rice seeds, taking care of cows, taking a short-course of making local food or making handicrafts, and taking part in a collective work together with the villagers. The green surrounding, fresh air, and leafy trees will make you feel like a real villager.

C. Location

Garotan Bendung Tourism Village is situated in Semin District, Gunungkidul Regency, about 25 km to the north of Wonosari Town, or about 60 km to the east of Yogyakarta City.

D. Access

Garotan Village is easy to reach, by motorcycle or car as the road has been renovated and in good condition. Taking a public transportation, you can go there by Yogyakarta-Wonosari bus from Giwangan Bus Station, Yogyakarta, and get off at Wonosari Bus Station. From there, you can continue your trip by cab (usually the green ones) for Semin District. You may go there by motorcycle taxi as well from the bus station, taking 30 minutes as Garotan is 25 km from there. The cost for motorcycle taxi is Rp 20,000—Rp 25,000.

The village itself actually offers transportation service for tourists. Just call the village information center on 081578847597 and talk to Mr. Qomarudin, S.Pd. for it.

E. Ticket

There is no admission charge for tourist.

F. Accommodations and Other Facilities

Tourist can order the village products or buy them right away from the craftsmen. There are a number of souvenir kiosks also at Gerotan Bendung. The prices are considered low because there is no distribution cost as the blacksmiths sell their products by themselves.

The regional government of Gunungkidul Regency in cooperation with the people also set up some inns, such as some 15 room inns, 7 unit guesthouses that can accommodate up to 35 people with a rent of Rp 65,000 each person (BLD), and 2 meeting rooms that can contain 150 people rented for Rp 100,000.

Other facilities offered in Gerotan Bendung are 4 unit lavatories, an information center that is open 08.00-16.00 West Indonesian Standard Time, souvenir and snack kiosks that sell various special food of Gunungkidul like singkong, gaplek, tiwul, sayur lombok ijo, sego abang, and many soft drinks. There are also two wide parking lots in different places that have capacity for 60 cars, 200 motorcycles, and 3 buses.

Facilities and infrastructures will seem a little bit wasteful for a tourism village without the folk art performance. For that, the regional government of Gunungkidul Regency and the local people hold some art performance in a routine basis as an attraction for tourists. The folk art performances usually feature campursari, puppet show, jathilan, karawitan, and tayub.

Tourists can take the package tour offered to watch and learn folk art (jathilan, campursari, karawitan, puppetry, and tayub), see the making of the antique lamps, take care of cows, and take part in the agricultural activities.

Tunggul Tauladan

Translation: Reza Daffi


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