Citarum is the longest river in the western part of Java. This river flows 300 kilometers away from Southeast Bandung to the Java Sea in Ujung Karawang. Citarum is infamous for being one of the most polluted rivers in the world.
Citarum might not be the nicest river in the world, but it has a very nice ‘mother’. The upstream of this legendary river is a nice man-made lake called Situ Cisanti. This lake is a nice place to relax and even have several springs with a wonderful history.
This small lake is located on the highland of southern Bandung. The official address is Tarumajaya Village, Kertasari District, Bandung Regency. This lake is approximately 50 kilometers away from Downtown Bandung. You can reach it in a bit more than two hours’ drive from the city. The road is challenging, especially when you are about to reach the lake, but the scenery is wonderful.
There are seven springs that feed this small lake. The springs are Citarum, Cikoleberes, Cikahuripan, Cihaniwung, Cisadane, Cikawudukan, and Cisanti springs. The springs here are dammed to be a five hectares man-made lake. The overall area of the Cisanti Lake is seven hectares, all under the management of Perhutani, a state-owned company that works in the forestry sector.
Located on a highland, the lake is surrounded by many hills/mountains. There are Wayang Mountain, Malabar Mountain, Bedil Mountain, and Rakutak Mountain nearby. They create a wonderful panorama in the lake.
There are several myths that surround this lake. One of the springs is believed to be visited by Dipati Ukur, a legendary figure in Bandung from the 17th century. He was one of the leaders when locals attack Dutch Colonial headquarters in Batavia. In one of his heritage area, there is a sacred spring that cannot be visited freely.
Another spring is believed to be the bathing place of King Siliwangi, the legendary king in Pasundan. Many people visit this spring to cleanse their body and soul, similar to Melukat Ceremony in Bali. You need a permit from the caretaker to bathe in this spring. You also have to behave properly during your visit.
The easiest way to go to Situ Cisanti is by driving a private vehicle. But you have to make sure that your car or motorcycle is in great condition because the road to this place can be really challenging. You also need to bring your own food and drinks since there are few warungs here, and they only serve instant foods like noodles.
You probably also need warm clothes because the air in this lake can be quite cold in the afternoon. The entrance fee is very cheap, only IDR12,000 per person. You can enjoy this place from morning till afternoon. Don’t forget to bring your camera because there are many instagenic spots in this lake.
Situ Cisanti is the zero point of Citarum River. Unlike its polluted river, Cisanti Lake is as clean as it gets, with wonderful view all around. Spending a day in this cool lake will surely refresh your body and mind.