Giriloka Vihara in Kulon Progo Regency, Yogyakarta
Indonesia’s tourism pride is definitely the natural tourist sites including beaches and highlands. However, tourists should not overlook the presence of several religious tourist spots including Giriloka Vihara. The location is in Gunungkelir Village and it belongs to Girimulyo Sub-District of Kulon Progo. In a nutshell, the vihara becomes the worshipping place for the local Buddhists who live nearby. The fact is more than 300 hundreds Buddhists living in that area! Still, these days, tourists take advantage of the vihara to spend a vacation either alone or with families. Most of them come to the site in order to conduct photography, exploration, and sightseeing actually.
The good thing is Giriloka Vihara is located on a fertile land at the hilly area. No wonder, tourists may feel rejuvenated and comfortable once arriving at the location. On the horizon, a beautiful green landscape can be seen clearly. Not to mention everyone would be impressed by the mountainous view up there. What about the vihara? It is built on an area of 200 meters per square! It is said the building has been there since the 1980s. A charitable person named Ahmad Dasuki gave his land to the Indonesian local government for building the vihara at the time and opens for the public since then. Before that, in the 1974s, the vihara was owned by the Buddhists and it didn’t open for public especially tourists.
Exploring Giriloka Vihara
The question is what tourists can do in Giriloka Vihara. Well, it can be as simple as to learn the history. According to the locals and the keeper, the vihara belongs to the Buddhists of Theravada School. If tourists come at the right times, which are every Wednesday and Saturday night, they may meet those worshippers directly! At those times, the Buddhists conduct a regular ritual called Puja Bakti Sob after all. Thus, no one should miss the chance to watch the event directly later.
Aside from those times, it is also recommended to come to Giriloka Vihara during big days like Vesak or Waisak. Every Sunday, in fact, the vihara holds a Buddhist course regularly. Moreover, tourists are allowed to join it! Here is the next tip. If they come with a local guide, they can also learn the history of the vihara. It is said the building has been there since the 1970s. However, it didn’t open for tourists until 1980s. No wonder, the vihara is considered a historical site!
Once getting inside the vihara, tourists may see the statue of Buddha right away. Even though tourists are allowed to enter the building, they must not cause disturbance inside. After all, the vihara is a sacred place used for praying. As for photography, everyone is allowed to take photos as long as they get the consent of the keeper first.
- Kedung Pedut Waterfall
- Giri Surya Vihara
- Sungai Mudal
How to Get There
For those coming from Adisucipto International Airport, a trip to Giriloka Vihara may take around 1 hour and 14 minutes as the distance is 45.8 km. This trip becomes faster if they take Godean Street, though. The first thing to do is to get to Girimulyo Sub-District. Next, tourists can simply head to Gunungkelir Village and conduct a short trekking to the vihara. The location is on the hilly area, after all.
Where to Stay
- King’s Hotel
- Kusuma Hotel