Leaving misty Mount Bromo behind and descending into the Probolinggo Regency, one will find a magnificent sight secluded inside the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park: this is the enchanting Madakaripura Waterfall. Believed to be the final meditation place of military Commander-in-Chief, Gajah Mada, of the great Javanese kingdom of Majapahit in East Java, the towering waterfall is affectionately nicknamed the Eternal Waterfall, as its waters never cease to pour down an endless rain of blessings on those fortunate enough to walk beneath it. Located not too far from Mount Bromo near the village of Sapih, in the Lombang district, Madakaripura Waterfall is about 3 hours drive from the capital of East Java, Surabaya.
The magnificent waterfall lies hidden towards the end of a deep valley in the foothills of the Tengger mountain range. To achieve this, visitors must trek about 20 minutes crossing rivers and a rocky path, set among beautiful sceneries on the way, before reaching the entrance. Here a statue of Majapahits great Commander, Gajah Mada, in the seated position of deep meditation, welcomes visitors before they continue further on foot. The atmosphere of natural grandeur radiates around as the waterfall comes into view. As the rumbling sounds of the water grow louder, a spell with water curtains covers the way, which won’t only please the eyes, but additionally freshen body and soul.
Here, nature graciously pours her endless refreshing presents, making getting wet quite inevitable. While it might be best to be ready with raincoats or umbrellas, stalls along the trekking path will offer umbrella rentals and plastic bags to defend valuables, like cameras. The road ends in a surreal tube like valley where the staggering 200 meters gallant waterfall highlights the scene. Decorated with a cave on the wall that was believed to be the exact location where Commander in Chief Gajah Mada performed his last meditation, Madakaripura Waterfall is even dubbed as the tallest waterfall in Java and the second tallest waterfall in Indonesia after Segura Gura waterfall at Lake Toba, North Sumatra.
While the sheer height of the waterfall is already a marvel, the ambiance around the area is something which should be experienced first hand to be believed. Encompassed by exceptionally high walls, the fall sinks into the almost mystic natural chamber. Inside the 200 meters chamber, the reflected sunlight shining through onto the wet green moss on the rocky wall accompanied by the ever-rumbling sounds of water creates a spectacle unlikely found elsewhere. Decorated with huge boulders, endlessly falling water, and sparkling moss, one only needs to gaze up to the distant sky and dip oneself in the spellbinding beauty of nature. While An exciting scene can be captured on camera, a real feeling of being in probably the most outstanding places on earth can only be felt by being there.
According to ancient Javanese fourteenth-century epic poem, Negarakretagama, Madakaripura was a piece of land given to Commander Gajah Mada by the Majapahit King Hayam Wuruk. Gajah Mada himself is the most celebrated military commander in the history of the great Javanese Majapahit Kingdom that thrived between 1293 to 1500 AD. Its commander is recognized as the central figure who succeeded in unifying the entire Indonesian Archipelago then under the enormous Majapahit empire under his famous oath the Sumpah Palapa. It’s said that the origin of his overwhelming power and capabilities lie inside the cave of the Madakaripura Waterfall, where Gajah Mada frequently came to meditate. The great commander finally chose the place as his last place for mediation before he was believed to have been -what ancient Javanese thought- Muksha, – or vanished spiritually and physically from the face of the earth, rather than just dying physically.
In honor of this legacy, many individuals still visit the Falls to meditate or perform rituals, especially on the eve of 1 Suro, the Javanese New Year. As a place that’s historically significant, culturally sacred, and naturally spellbinding, Madakaripura is just a necessity, whenever you visit East Java.
Its close proximity to Mount Bromo means that there are plenty of accommodation options around Mount Bromo that can also serve as staging point to the Madakaripura Waterfall. You can refer to our to stay and find a hotel in Mount Bromo to see the accommodation options around Mount Bromo. Other accommodations available within the regency of Probolinggo are:
Bromo Home Stay
Jl. Ngadisari Probolinggo
Phone : +62 335 541022
Cemorolawang, Ngadisari Probolinggo
Phone +62-335 541019
Jl. Panglima Sudirman, Kraksaan
Phone +62-335 841257
Ds. Ngepung – Sukapura – Probolinggo
Phone +62-335 581193
Jl. Raya Paiton Probolinggo
Phone +62-335 843020
Jl. Raya Dringu 55 Probolinggo
Phone +62-335 425357
The best way to get to Madakaripura Waterfall is to rent a car from Surabaya or Malang, or include it in the tour package along with Mount Bromo. From Surabaya, capital of East Java, the trip will take a little over three hours, by taking the intercity route to Sidoarjo-Porong-Pasuruan-Probolinggo. Upon reaching Tongas, there will be a sign directing to both Mount Bromo and Madakaripura Waterfall to the right. The intersection is marked by a small monument in the center of the road. Follow the road for about 20-30 minutes until you reach another sign pointing to Madakaripura Waterfall to the right. From there the road is a bit narrow, but the view will be most pleasing. Follow the road until you reach the entrance to the Madakaripura Waterfall.