Culture and Art
Culture and Art
Watu Dodol Tourist Forest is a quite potential tourist destination
in Banyuwangi Regency of East Java. It is about 14 km from Banyuwangi.
This tourist forest is located within the protected forest at block
66B, RPH Selogiri, BKPH Ketapang Ketapang, KPH of North Banyuwangi,
at an altitude of 10 to 50 meters about the sea level. Administratively,
it is governed as part of Pasir Putih Village, Wongsorejo Sub-District,
This place is very precious. The combinations of hill, forest and beach make the beautiful scenery. Its beauty is more completed by a giant stone with a plant stands up in the middle of highway to Surabaya. The romantic panorama provides a good place for jogging track, cross-country as well as enjoying the beauty of Bali strait in distance.
The east direction of this tourist forest, and bordering the beach, a large boulder is standing 3 to 4 meters tall. A tree trunk is protruding from the south side of the boulder. At a glance, it seems that the branches are growing out of the solid rocks. While the larger boulder itself appears to rest on some other rocks. This is the characteristic that marks Watu Dodol Tourist Forest.
A few meters east of the boulder; there is a platform that resembles a place of worship. At certain days the floor of this platform will be full of flower offerings, even small change.
Across the road, in the west, there is a cement stairway that leads to the mountains. About 10 meters to the right of this footpath is an ancient grave. It is at this ancient grave that visitors often meditate.
From the ancient grave, if you keep on climbing to the left, you will arrive at a rocky mountain. You can see far out into the Bali Straits. That is why it would not be redundant if Watu Dodol Tourist Forest is claimed as the ideal place to enjoy the beauty of the straits that lead to the Island of The Gods.
On this mountain there is an observation cave left by the Japanese Soldiers from World War II. It is said that from this cave the Japanese Soldiers could watch freely the traffic of foreign vessels coming in and out of the Bali Strait from the north. Now the cave is hidden by the mountain and is covered up by bushes. From this Japanese cave, if you continue to the south, after about 500 meters you will arrive at three ways intersection. If you keep left and descend, you will arrive at a resting place, equipped with a children's playground and an umbrella shaped permanent building. For relaxation with the family this place does well. The air around is fresh and the place shaded off by the dense ketapang (almond) and other trees. And in the south, a spacious parking area is available.
And that's not all. East of Watu Dodol there is an umbrella shaped building that houses the restrooms and lockers for those wanting to change and bathe in the Bali Straits.
According to the local people, and believed up till today, there are many stories that relate to the large boulder and the ancient grave. When Banyuwangi (in the past was called Blambangan), ruled by Minak Jinggo, was attacked by the Majapahit soldiers, there are many Blambangan soldiers fled, some to the north tracing the beaches along the Bali strait.
One of Blambangan officers, who ran off, was carrying supplies in the form of Jadah (Dodol in Javanese, a sweet sticky rice cake). Because he was so tired, the jadah or dodol was unintentionally left behind on the beach, after resting out on his way to safety. The story goes that a solid standing boulder was formed out of the dodol left by the soldier. Even when the Japanese government widened the road, they did not succeed in blasting the boulder. Even the ship chains used to tumble it over broke off. Today, the boulder still appears strong, and is even preserved as a tourist destination.