[Must Visit] List of 9 World Heritage Sites in Indonesia – Update 2019

Findindonesia.com – UNESCO World Heritage Sites, from various sources, is interpreted as a special place (natural and cultural) which is considered by UNESCO to be very meaningful for the next generation of human life, so it needs to be preserved in this world.

In Indonesia from 1991 to 2019 there were 9 World Heritage Sites. The number of sites that have the opportunity to get World Heritage Sites recognition, the number will continue to grow. This is because Indonesia has a unique natural and cultural heritage, which number in the thousands.

Read also : 9 Indonesia Most Favorite Tourist Destinations for Asian Tourists

Okay, while waiting for the world heritage site to be decided, let’s look at 9 World Heritage Sites in Indonesia that you must visit when you go to Indonesia.

Cultural World Heritage Site 

1. Borobudur Temple (1991)
Borobudur temple_one of 9 World Heritage Sites in Indonesia. Image source: kemdikbud.com

Borobudur Temple, located in Magelang, Central Java, is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Located at an altitude of 265 meters above sea level, Borobudur Temple has an area of ​​2500 m2, with a total of 2,672 relief panels, 504 Buddha statues, and 72 perforated stupas in which there are Buddha statues sitting cross-legged around the main / largest stupa (as the main crown of the temple).

Built by Syailendra Dynasty in the 8th century, Borobudur Temple had disappeared because it was covered in volcanic ash from Mount Merapi, then discovered in 1814 by Thomas Stanford Raffles. Then designated as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1991.

Borobudur is one of Indonesia’s tourism pride. Perhaps because of its influence on the economic and tourism sectors, the Central Java province made Borobudur Temple the official logo of the province.

2. Prambanan  Temple Compounds (1991)
Prambanan temple_one of 9 World Heritage Sites in Indonesia. Image source: pixabay.com

Prambanan Temple is located in Prambanan District, Sleman, Yogyakarta Province. Built-in the 9th century by Rakai Pikatan, king of the Sanjaya Dynasty, Kingdom of Ancient Mataram. Prambanan Temple is a temple that was built to honor the deity in Hinduism namely Trimurti namely Brahmin, Vishnu, and Shiva.

Prambanan Temple, which has another name, Roro Jongrang Temple, consisted of 240 temples at the time of its founding, with 3 main temples namely 3 Trimurti Temples, Shiva Temples, Vishnu Temples, and Brahma Temples.

Although in the Prambanan complex there are 3 Trimurti temples, it seems that the Prambanan temple is more special to Lord Shiva. This can be seen from the Shiva temple which has a height of up to 47 meters, in the middle of the other temple complex. Other evidence, from the original name Prambanan, is Siwagrha, which means Shiva’s House.

As the largest and most beautiful Hindu temple in Indonesia, and one of the most beautiful temples in Southeast Asia, this temple was lost in ruins in the 16th century due to an earthquake. Discovered by CA. Lons was a Dutchman in 1733, then in 1930 restoration was carried out on the damaged part.

Because of its long history, the Prambanan temple by UNESCO was recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1991.

3. Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy (2012)
Jatiluwih rice terrace Tabanan Bali_one of 9 World Heritage Sites in Indonesia

The Cultural Landscape of Bali which implements the Subak system has been designated a World Heritage by UNESCO in 2012. The Subak system is a manifestation of the ancient philosophy of Tri Hita Karana.

Tri Hita Karana comes from 3 words namely tri, hita and karana. Tri means three, hita means welfare and karana means cause. So tri hita karana means three causes of welfare, i.e.

  1. Parahyangan is a harmonious relationship between humans and God.
  2. Pawongan is a harmonious relationship between humans and others.
  3. Palemahan is a harmonious relationship between humans and nature and the environment.

So far, people know Subak is only limited to the traditional irrigation or irrigation system born in Bali since the 11th century. In fact, Subak is more than that. The word “Subak”, which comes from the Balinese language, has a definition more than an irrigation system, namely as a Balinese living system itself.

How do Balinese live?

Of course, living together must be democratic (decisions are taken by deliberation), if there is a problem it is decided together fairly, so that it has a positive impact for others and for nature (for example to rice plants, so it does not experience water shortages).

Now back again, to the Subak system. The Subak has many interconnected elements including the forest where the water comes from, the terraced rice terraces, terraces connected to the water channel, to the village or temple which is the source of water.

So far it is known that Bali Subak has around 20,000 ha spread across 5 districts namely Buleleng, Bangli, Badung, Tabanan and Gianyar.

Examples of sites that are famous tourist sites in Bali that have a Subak system in them are: Ulun Danu Batur Temple (Kintamani, Bangli), Ulun Danu Beratan Temple (Bedugul, Tabanan), Subak Landscape of the Pakerisan Watershed (DAS) and Pura Tirta Empul (Tampaksiring, Gianyar), Taman Ayun Temple (Mengwi, Badung).

4. Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto (2019)
Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto_one of 9 World Heritage Sites in Indonesia. Image source: kemdikbud.go.id

Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto, located in the town of Sawahlunto, 95 km from the provincial capital of West Sumatra, Padang. It has just been designated a world heritage site by UNESCO in July 2019.

Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto excels in two categories of Universal Universal Value, namely in criteria ii and iv.

Criterion ii: the existence of important exchanges in human values ​​throughout time or within the scope of cultural areas in the development of architecture and technology, monumental arts, urban planning and landscape design.

The fact that at the Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto, there is an exchange of information and technology between the West (Europe) and East Asia (local wisdom) in coal mining activities in West Sumatra at the end of the 19th century.

Criterion iv: about extraordinary examples of building types, architectural works and combinations of technology or landscapes that illustrate important stages in human history.

In this criterion, Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto is a perfect example for a mining activity, related to a combination of technology, and mining urban planning.

5. Sangiran Early Man Site  (1996)
Sangiran early man site_one of 9 World Heritage Sites in Indonesia. Image source: kompas.com

Sangiran is the name of one of the archeological sites in Indonesia which are located in 2 districts in Central Java province, namely in Sragen and Karanganyar. It was at this Sangiran that the first ancient human fossil was discovered in 1936, by a Dutch researcher, Von Koenigswald.

Although mostly known as an ancient human site, in Sangiran many pre-historic objects such as stone and bone tools, and ancient animal fossils are also found.

Now the site, which has an area of ​​59.21 square kilometers, is managed by the Sangiran Ancient Human Site Conservation Center (BPSMP), under the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud).

Well, for those of you who are curious to find out how the first ancient human trail, you can visit the Sangiran Museum located in Kalijambe, Sragen Regency, Central Java (17 km from the city of Surakarta).

Natural World Heritage Site 

6. Komodo National Park (1991)
Komodo Nasional Park_one of 9 World Heritage Sites in Indonesia. Image source: padarnews.com

Komodo National Park is located in the province of East Nusa Tenggara, precisely in the westernmost part of the island of Flores. To reach the Komodo National Park foreign tourists can enter through Labuan Bajo, on the island of Flores.

The Komodo National Park consists of 3 large islands namely Komodo Island, Padar Island, Rinca Island and 26 smaller islands. Komodo National Park is a habitat for rare animals, giant lizards namely Komodo Dragons.

There are at least 5700 Komodo dragons living in the Komodo National Park today. Because of this, the Komodo National Park has designated a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1991.

7. Lorentz National Park (1999)
Cenderawasih bird in Lorentz National Park Papua Indonesia_one of 9 World Heritage Sites in Indonesia. Image source: republika.co.id

Lorentz National Park which has an area of ​​2,350,000 ha was designated a World Heritage Site in 1999. Lorentz National Park is located in the administrative region of Papua Province, precisely in Wamena which is the capital of Jayawijaya Regency.

The name of the National Park, Lorentz, is taken from the name of the Dutch explorer Hendrikus Albertus Lorentz who in 1909 led an expedition to Papua.

There are several reasons why Lorentz National Park was designated a world heritage site :

  • Has the most complete biodiversity in the Asia Pacific (has as many as 34 types of vegetation including swamp forest, riverside forest, sago forest, peat forest, coral sand beach, rain forest, flat land/slope, rain forest on hills, kerangas forest, forest mountains, grasslands, and moss).
  • One of the regions in the tropics that has glaciers precisely in Puncak Jaya
  • Has exotic animals including 123 species of mammals, one of which is tree kangaroos and 630 species of birds such as Kasuari, Cockatoo and Cendrawasih (known as paradise birds).
8. Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (2004)
Sumatran tiger in Kerinci Seblat National Park_one of 9 World Heritage Sites in Indonesia. Image source: pedomanbengkulu.com

Like its name, the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra is on the island of Sumatra. Has an area of ​​2.5 million hectares. The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra consists of 3 different national parks namely Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (Lampung), Gunung Leuser National Park (Aceh and North Sumatra), and Kerinci Seblat National Park (West Sumatra, Bengkulu, Jambi and South Sumatra).

  • Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park was created specifically as a conservation and protection site for Sumatran rhinos, Sumatran elephants and Sumatran tigers, whose numbers continue to decrease and are threatened with extinction.
  • Gunung Leuser National Park is a habitat for Sumatran orangutans, gibbons, sun bears, Sumatran rhinos, Sumatran elephants and Sumatran tigers.
  • Kerinci Seblat National Park, the largest national park in Sumatra, which protects some rare flora or fauna such as the Rafflesia Arnoldi Flower, Hornbill, Sumatran tigers.

The existence of the 3 parks above must be maintained so that the protected flora and fauna are not extinct. Therefore UNESCO in 2004 recognized the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra as a world heritage sites.

9. Ujung Kulon National Park (1991)
Rhino with 1 horn in the Ujung Kulon National Park_one of 9 World Heritage Sites in Indonesia. Image source: rri.co.id

Ujung Kulon National Park is a national park located at the western end of the island of Java, precisely in Pandeglang district, Banten province. Ujung Kulon National Park, currently known as the only habitat for endangered, endangered species, the Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus).

Javan Rhino has 1 horn, now its condition is very critical (Critically Endangered / CR). According to the Ujung Kulon National Park Office, in 2017 the population is estimated to be 67. The Javan Rhino is on the verge of extinction.

Ujung Kulon was designated as a National Park by the Minister of Forestry in 1980, because of its important role in preserving nature, especially the Javan Rhino from extinction, the Ujung Kulon National Park was designated as one of the world heritage sites by UNESCO in 1991.

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