Cagar Alam Geologi Karangsambung

Karangsambung is a small village in kecamatan (subdistrict) Karangsambung, kabupaten (regency) Kebumen, Central Java, Indonesia. It is located about 19-20 km north of Kebumen city. Totally, kecamatan Karangsambung itself covers 12 villages and kabupaten Kebumen contains of 5 subdistricts.

Desa (village) Karangsambung is crossed by Luk Ulo’s river which it flows from the north to the south until Indian’s ocean. The head of desa Karangsambung is called “Glondong”. One of interesting points for me is many people in desa Karangsambung and its surrounding like smoking of cigarette which mixed with incense.

On November 2006, the government has decided that some areas in Kebumen regency and its neighborhood such as Banjarnegara and Wonosobo regencies, have been appointed as cagar alam geologi (geological natural conservation) which it covers an area of about 22.157 hectare. According to Chusni Ansori, a permanently LIPI’s geologist in Karangsambung, there are about 30 points are being under the protection now. Nowadays, this protected area is named “Cagar Alam Geologi Karangsambung (CAGK)”, and its largest part resided in Kebumen area. Currently, the governmental institution to whom liable for management and guarding this CAGK, is Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (LIPI) (the Indonesian Academy of Sciences) which its branch exist in desa Karangsambung. In addition, the government has designated that CAGK was one of the geo-tourism’s destination in Central Java. But, the currently head of LIPI’s branch office in Karangsambung , Mr.Triharsono, told to me three days before the 2009 President’s vote in Indonesia that one of the problems was being facing by this institution was the illegal mining like in the area of Parang’s hill. Before Mr.Triharsono, the former heads of LIPI’s branch office in Karangsambung were Munasri , Kamtono, Daryanto, Toto F.Sumantri (has passed away on January 2009), Tasrif and Agus Darma.

In the context of geology, Karangsambung and its surrounding area have a complicated geological phenomenon. There are six formations exposed that are (from old to young): Melange complex, Karangsambung, Totogan, Waturanda, Panosogan and Halang formations. They were considered as a pre-Tertiary to Tertiary rock. Melange complex formation as the oldest rock in Java also exposed in Ciletuh (West Java) and Bayat (Central Java). In addition, the clue of deep marine, olistostrome and turbidite sedimentary deposits and varied metamorphic rock from low to high grade can be found in this area. Many Indonesian earth scientists had carried out a detail study in this area amongst them were Tjia Hong Djin (1966), Sukendar Asikin (1974), Made Emmy Suparka (1988), Agus Harsolumakso (1996), Suyatno Yuwono (1997), Dian Hadiyansyah (2005) and Chusni Ansori (2008). Most of them agreed that Karangsambung was situated on the subduction zone between India-Australian and Eurasian plates about 117-60 million years ago.

Therefore, since 1960s Karangsambung and its surrounding area have been arranged for geological field camp of geological students, particularly, from Institute of Technology Bandung (ITB). The students study and practice the basic geological mapping during 30-40 days. The campus itself is located in the representative office of LIPI in desa Karangsambung. Previously, the Karangsambung’s campus had three barracks for students (A, B and C) and one hall for teaching. Nowadays, the Karangsambung’s campus has two asrama (dormitory) for students that are asrama Waturanda and Totogan and asrama Panosogan for lecturers. Teaching, breakfast and dinner are performed at a multistoried hall namely Aula Karangsambung.

In term of social and cultural aspect, Karangsambung as a small village is also interesting. Lok Ulo’s river has a very important for the peoples who live adjacent to it. They use river for many purpose: taking a bath, washing, for defecating, economical activity like exploiting sand and gravel and even gold dust instead of agriculture as the main subsistence. Many small river, so called “kalen or kali” like kali Jebug and kali Gending as tributary of Lok Ulo river, have similar function especially as a natural toilet as well as for taking a bath and washing in the dry season when the water is very lacking and the Lok Ulo’s water level drops. Consequently, the peoples can easily across the river by motorcycle or by foot. But, don’t count on rainy season, because the Lok Ulo’s river is overflowed.

Desa Karangsambung has small bus station and pasar tradisional (traditional market). This market has a specific schedule in a week, so called hari pasaran (market’s day), that is, Monday, Thursday and Saturday. According to Mr.Iwan (bus driver), this market is also called as “pasar kandut”. It means peoples from dukuh or kampung or dusun located on the surrounding area of Karangsambung will bring their own like goat, chicken, fruits and so on to this market for sale or for barter with other goods. In hari pasaran, the market is very crowded. Many ojeg (motorcycle taxi), delman (two-wheeled carriage drawn by one horse) and car are parked on shoulder of the small road.

People in Karangsambung has a special ceremony in every syuro (Javanese calendar; it is equal to muharram in Islamic calender), so called “ruwatan” (keeping away from bad luck) or “merdi desa” (be grateful to nature). This culture typically exists in agricultural community. In this ceremony, they will do wayang’s performance and slaughtering a black male goat with a white-colored on his belly. This kind of goat is called “kambing kendit”. Then, head along with his four legs will be buried around the intersection, in the vicinity of bus station and traditional market. It looks like that the place around the intersection is the central of village since the past. If we go eastward, we will reach a former glondongan (the workplace of village’s head). In the past time, the house and the office of the village’s head were same. But, it is no longer now. Toward the west we can go to dukuh Pesanggrahan which situated adjacent to Lok Ulo river. According to pak (=Mr) Mislam (LIPI’s security), there was an old cemetery in dukuh Pesanggrahan. Peoples named as “makam eyang Krama Wecana”. He was considered as the founder of dukuh Dakah. I supposed that Pesanggrahan (means rest’s place) might be one of the oldest dukuh in desa Karangsambung. The oldest mosque, Darussalam, is also situated in dukuh Pesanggrahan.

In Karangsambung area, there are 2 main graveyards that are Pentulu and Cendono. The former is situated near by LIPI’s campus at elevation of about +60 m asl and the later in dukuh Watutumpang. The general direction of the grave both in Pentulu and Cendono are about north-east, so it means those are moslem’s cemetery. The origin’s name of Watutumpang was reflected to the existence of rock’s piles located next to kali Jebug and on its peak there was mangir’s tree. According to pak Mislam, this pile of rocks was known as punden or kuburan kramat (holy grave). Previously, many people visited this place for “nyekar”. It means if they want to successful in life: business, career, wealthy, and so on, they have to pray in front of punden and they usually put like flower and burned incense on the rock or the grave.

The nyekar’s habit is still been done until now for example at another punden situated on gunung (mountain) Paras about +300 m asl. Its position is S 07° 32′ 20.9″ and E 109° 41′ 07.6″. There are 2 grave-like stones as a representative of 2 persons: ki Hajar Welaran and Kolopaking. These stones had been covered by tile since 1985. Pak Mislam argued about the existence of two persons. He said that ki Hajar Welaran and Kolopaking was supposed as one person. Another person, pak Rodin, mantan kepala urusan pembangunan (a former head of development affair), told to me when I met him at rumah makan (small restaurant) Lestari Muda in Karangsambung at the same day when I met Mr. Triharsono, that one of the grave-like stones might be a kind of geodetic triangulation and the other belonged to ki Hajar Welaran rather than Kolopaking to whom has a burial in Sipako. Anyhow, almost all of peoples in Karangsambung were rather unsure whether it was a real grave or just a symbolized grave. Nevertheless, this place often visits until now by devotional visitor mostly from outside. They usually come on every kliwon Friday night and syuro’s month. Kliwon is one of the day’s names in Javanese day calendar. It is interesting to know why kliwon Friday night and syuro’s month have a special meaning for Javanese?

About the two cemeteries, Cendono is the most interesting for me because most of the graves reside in small house without door. In every house, we can find more than one grave. This cemetery is remarked by the existence of wungu’s tree. According to pak Sukiman, the owner of wedang jahe’s café nearby the graveyard, the wungu’s tree has a purple-colored flower and it always appears when rainy season come. Moreover, he said that this graveyard named as Cendana, a name of tree had ever existed here.