Cikaung waterfalls support life in silence

Cikaung waterfall supports life in silence
One of the two Cikaung waterfalls in Bantar Karet Village, Nanggung District, Bogor Regency, West Java Province, Indonesia. Water from the Cikaung waterfalls flows into valleys and is used by local people for their daily needs, including irrigating rice fields and plantations. (Indonesia Window)

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The atmosphere of silence and cold air are increasingly felt when the Explore Indonesia Window team touched down a small pebbled road leading to Cikaung Waterfalls in Bantar Karet Village, Nanggung District, Bogor Regency in West Java Province.

The uphill road which is only covered by sharp gravels made our car panting, especially after traveling about 94.8 kilometers from Jakarta or about two hours and 27 minutes driving. Meanwhile, people inside the car were raged forth and back.

Not long after our car was creeping along the pebbled road, two waterfalls were visible even though we were still about 500 meters away.

It was like entering another world as we slowly approached the Cikaung waterfalls.

The dense forest and cliffs in front of us seemed to hug us tightly, while preventing us from being able to touch the two waterfalls that flow through the rocky gaps which were formed approximately in the Miocene Era (23-5 million years ago).

For a moment we thought there were no fellows in this beautiful scenery area.

Yet, a board with a Sundanese phrase saying “Wilujeng Sumping”(welcome) which greeted us a few hundred meters from the waterfalls is a sign that the Cikaung Waterfalls have become a tourist site.

Paddy fields stretching on the slightly sloping contour also convinced us that the Cikaung area is not completely untouched as the waterfalls cascading from two cliffs with the waters flowing through natural channels filled with boulders and pebbles have been sustaining the lives of thousands of villagers who live mainly from cultivating paddy fields and other plants.

While enjoying the gorgeous Cikaung Waterfalls, we met a young man named Rohim who was working on a paddy field not far from the waterfalls.

The stems of green rice and waters flowing through the rice fields cultivated by Rohim show that Bantar Karet Village has abundant waters which are available near their houses.

“This paddy fields are irrigated by the waters from the waterfalls above which continue to flow into the fields in other villages,” Rohim said, who worked on rice fields owned by a local resident who is called Haji Sama.

The harmony over the years between nature and the thousands of people living in Bantar Karet Village, especially those who inhabited the area around the Cikaung Waterfalls, made this area part of the Pongkor National Geopark which was established by the government in November 2018.

Cikaung waterfall supports life in silence
A creek channels water from the Cikaung waterfalls to the villagers. (Indonesia Window)
Cikaung waterfall supports life in silence
Bantar Karet Village in Nanggung District, Bogor Regency, West Java Province, Indonesia is seen from a distance in a valley surrounded by dynamic morphology which was formed over tens of millions of years ago. (Indonesia Window)
Cikaung waterfall supports life in silence
Rohim (left), a farmer in Bantar Karet Village, Nanggung District, Bogor Regency, West Java Province, Indonesia was talking to an Explore Indonesia Window crew member (right) on the edge of a paddy field which for years had been irrigated by water coming from Cikaung waterfalls. (Indonesia Window)

Pongkor Geopark

The Cikaung Waterfalls are only a small part of Pongkor National Geopark covering an area of 132,493 hectares, consisting of 15 districts namely Nanggung, Cigudeg, Tenjo, Tenjolaya, Leuwiliang, Leuwisadeng, Ciampea, Ciseeng, Jasinga, Pamijahan, Parung, Rumpin, Sukajaya, Tamansari, and Cibungbulang.

In these 15 districts, there are 172 villages whose population naturally interact with geological diversity, and even rely on biodiversity while preserving the nature that supports their lives for generations.

The morphology of the tranquil Pongkor Geopark was created as the result of tectonic dynamics from the Early Miocene to the Quaternary Era (23 million – 600 thousand years ago).

Over millions of years ago, the Pongkor area was lifted up by super-strong earth forces, while volcanoes spewed lava forming mineral-rich rocks, including gold deposits which are now mined by a state-owned company, PT Aneka Tambang.

The gold deposits are known by world’s miners as Pongkor Type gold deposits.

These mineral-rich rocks are another natural “gift” for human kind.

A verse in Al Quran says, “Then which of the favors of your Lord will you deny?”

Reporting by Explore Indonesia Window

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