Blitar is a city in East Java.
This quiet town's main claim to fame is as the birth and burial place of Indonesia's founding father, Sukarno. Other main attractions for visitors are the very active volcano Mount Kelud, a scattering of Majapahit era Hindu temples and a couple of nice beaches.
Blitar is the capital town of a regency with the same name.
- Candi Penataran, (Leave Blitar on the road heading north towards Sumberwringin. After about 10 km you really cannot miss the temple.). This is the largest ancient Hindu temple in the East Java region. It dates from the early Majapahit period and texts clearly indicate that it was of considerable importance. Prime Minister Gajah Madah visited here 4 times for example. It is a large complex with 3 courtyards and in many ways strongly recalls a modern day Balinese temple. There are a number of interesting relics including a substantial wall relief depicting the Ramayana. Rp 6,000.
- Sukarno Museum, Jl Sultan Agung 59, Blitar, East Java (adjacetn to the grave site). This musuem and library is housed in the property where Sukarno lived as a young boy. Full of Sukarno memorabilia, papers, photographs etc and very much worth a visit in conjunction with a trip to the grave site.
- Sukarno's grave (Makam Bung Karno). This fits it well with a visit to Candi Penataran as it is on the same road mid-way between Blitar and the temple. Indonesia's first president and independence hero Sukarno has undergone a huge rehabilitation in the eyes of Indonesians since the downfall of the Soeharto dictatorship and his grave here is flamboyantly decorated and worth a quick stop after seeing Penataran.
- Tampakrejo Beach, (30 km due south from Blitar - just follow the only reasonably major road leading south from Blitar). This is an extensive and attractive 10 km stretch of white sand beach that is more often than not virtually deserted. It is not safe for swimming though.
- Hotel Tugu (Sri Lestari), Jl Merdeka 173,Blitar 66111, East Java, ☎ +62 342 801766 ([email protected]). The smart side of this hotel is very much along the lines of the other 2 splendid Tugu Hotels (Bali and Malang). Housed in an converted colonial building it is magnificently adorned with Javanese antiques. The adjoining property now seems to be part of the same hotel though - facilities and prices there are much lower. From Rp 250,000 to 2,000,000.