Watu Dodol Tourist Forest is a quite
potential tourist destination in Banyuwangi Regency of East Java. It is
about 14 km from Banyuwangi. This tourist forest is located within the
protected forest at block 66B, RPH Selogiri, BKPH Ketapang Ketapang, KPH
of North Banyuwangi, at an altitude of 10 to 50 meters about the sea
level. Administratively, it is governed as part of Pasir Putih Village,
Wongsorejo Sub-District, Banyuwangi Regency.
This place is very precious. The combinations of hill, forest and
beach make the beautiful scenery. Its beauty is more completed by a
giant stone with a plant stands up in the middle of highway to Surabaya.
The romantic panorama provides a good place for jogging track,
cross-country as well as enjoying the beauty of Bali strait in distance.
The east direction of this tourist forest, and bordering the beach, a
large boulder is standing 3 to 4 meters tall. A tree trunk is
protruding from the south side of the boulder. At a glance, it seems
that the branches are growing out of the solid rocks. While the larger
boulder itself appears to rest on some other rocks. This is the
characteristic that marks Watu Dodol Tourist Forest.
A few meters east of the boulder; there is a platform that resembles a
place of worship. At certain days the floor of this platform will be
full of flower offerings, even small change.
Across the road, in the west, there is a cement stairway that leads to
the mountains. About 10 meters to the right of this footpath is an
ancient grave. It is at this ancient grave that visitors often meditate.
From the ancient grave, if you keep on climbing to the left, you will
arrive at a rocky mountain. You can see far out into the Bali Straits.
That is why it would not be redundant if Watu Dodol Tourist Forest is
claimed as the ideal place to enjoy the beauty of the straits that lead
to the Island of The Gods.
On this mountain there is an observation cave left by the Japanese
Soldiers from World War II. It is said that from this cave the Japanese
Soldiers could watch freely the traffic of foreign vessels coming in and
out of the Bali Strait from the north. Now the cave is hidden by the
mountain and is covered up by bushes. From this Japanese cave, if you
continue to the south, after about 500 meters you will arrive at three
ways intersection. If you keep left and descend, you will arrive at a
resting place, equipped with a children’s playground and an umbrella
shaped permanent building. For relaxation with the family this place
does well. The air around is fresh and the place shaded off by the dense
ketapang (almond) and other trees. And in the south, a spacious parking
area is available.
And that’s not all. East of Watu Dodol there is an umbrella shaped
building that houses the restrooms and lockers for those wanting to
change and bathe in the Bali Straits.
According to the local people, and believed up till today, there are
many stories that relate to the large boulder and the ancient grave.
When Banyuwangi (in the past was called Blambangan), ruled by Minak
Jinggo, was attacked by the Majapahit soldiers, there are many
Blambangan soldiers fled, some to the north tracing the beaches along
the Bali strait.
One of Blambangan officers, who ran off, was carrying supplies in the
form of Jadah (Dodol in Javanese, a sweet sticky rice cake). Because he
was so tired, the jadah or dodol was unintentionally left behind on the
beach, after resting out on his way to safety. The story goes that a
solid standing boulder was formed out of the dodol left by the soldier.
Even when the Japanese government widened the road, they did not succeed
in blasting the boulder. Even the ship chains used to tumble it over
broke off. Today, the boulder still appears strong, and is even
preserved as a tourist destination.
Supported by : JavaTourism, Lintang Buana Tours