Exploring Cibodas Botanical Garden, below Gede-Pangrango

Panorama of Cibodas Botanical Garden. (Photo: Kartika Indah)

IO – Indonesia has several botanical gardens with dense trees and beautiful panoramas; one is Cibodas Botanical Garden, on Jalan Kebun Raya Cibodas, Sindanglaya, Cimacan, Cipanas, Cianjur, West Java. `The Garden is at the foot of Mount Gede and Mount Pangrango, at an altitude of approximately 1,300 1,425 meters above sea level, spread over an area of 84.99 hectares. That’s why the air is cool, with an average temperature of 20.06 degrees Celsius.

Cibodas Botanical Garden is approximately 100 kilometers from Jakarta and approximately 80 kilometers from Bandung. As a family tour, not only can we enjoy the beautiful panoramic views at the foot of Mount Gede-Pangrango, but at Cibodas Botanical Garden we can learn about diverse types of plants, both those native to Indonesia and flora from abroad.

Cibodas Botanical Garden was founded as Bergtuin te Tjiboad which means “Cibodas Mountain Garden” on April 11, 1852, by Johannes Ellias Teijsmann, curator of the Bogor Botanical Gardens. Initially, the Cibodas Botanical Garden was used as a place for acclimatization of plant species from abroad which had high economic value and scientific importance, such as the quinine tree, but the location was found not suitable. Today it is devoted to a collection of tropical wet upland plants, such as ferns.

Developing into a part of the Bogor Botanical Gardens, as “Balai Kebun Cibodas”, it was only in 2003 that the status of the Cibodas Botanical Garden became independent, as the Technical Implementing Unit of the Cibodas Botanical Garden Plant Conservation Center under the Cibodas Botanical Conservation Center under the Bogor Botanical Garden Plant Conservation Center, within the LIPI institution.

Interesting Spot

Cibodas Botanical Garden has a collection of hundreds of trees, both old and young. There are 5,831 examples of plants from 1,206 species that live in Cibodas Botanical Garden, including Kupa landak (Brazilian grape), African lily, areca palm, pachira tree, rhododendron, persimmon trees, trumpet flowers, coralberry, melastoma affine, Rhodomyrtus tomentosa, white wood tree, pitcher plants, palm, kondang trees, Curtis flowers, corpse flowers, olives, lianas and others.

Several interesting spots include a great panorama for taking selfies or wefies. To get around Cibodas Botanical Garden, we can take a private vehicle; there is a parking lot when visiting each spot. When entering the area, we will see large trees which impart a peaceful atmosphere. Not far from the main entrance, you will find a small river that crosses the road. From the waterway, you can see a small waterfall with steps.

Many visitors pause in this area, just to take pictures or stand in the water crossing the road. Continue the journey to the Green House, Lumut Garden, Liana Garden, Sakura Garden, Rhododendron Garden, Medicine Garden, Fern Garden, Large Pond and Waterfall.

Rumah Kaca (Green House) is located behind two large wooden houses which are often used as shooting locations and guest houses. The plant collection at Cibodas Botanical Garden in a greenhouse consists of cacti, orchids, and succulents. The goal is to maintain room temperature conditions to suit their natural habitat, such as cacti from the desert. There are 98 types of cacti, 262 types of orchids, and 71 types of succulents. Also, there are nursery greenhouses to reproduce plants.

Furthermore, there is the Lumut Park, which was officially opened on April 11, 2006, on the 154th anniversary of the Cibodas Botanical Garden. The Park covers an area of 1,500 square meters and has a collection of 134 species; it is designed as a moss habitat in nature, namely on tree trunks, soil, rocks, and certain media. The next interesting spot is 1,200 square meter Liana Park, consisting of lianas, plants that climb on other plants to get to sunlight. Lianas may come from Aceh, Bengkulu, Jambi, Lampung, West Java, Central Java, or Central Sulawesi. As many as 4050 percent of the liana plant functions as traditional medicine, such as Kadsura.

Don’t miss Sakura Garden when it blooms! The beautiful Sakura flowers will bloom twice a year, around January-February and July-August. When blooming the flowers can last up to 4 days. Sakura Park with an area of 6,647 square meters has been in the Cibodas Botanical Garden since December 2007. There are seven types of cherry blossoms in the Cibodas Botanical Garden, including ones from Java, Papua, and the Himalayas.

In addition, the Rhododendron Garden was inaugurated in 2002 and has an area of 5,000 square meters. There are three types of Rhododendrons or known as Azaleas, from Java, Papua, and Japan. One of the Azalea plants, now the icon of the Cibodas Botanical Garden is the Javanese Azalea with orange flowers, which was first seen in Cibodas on January 30, 2005.

In the Fern Garden, 101 types of ferns come from various regions in Indonesia. Some of the ferns are used as raw materials for traditional medicine, such as the fine hairs on kidang or Dicksoniaceae and paku simpai. In Cibodas Botanical Garden there is also a Medicinal Park which has an area of 3,000 square meters. The garden has about 164 types of medicinal plants originating from several regions, including gotu kola or antanan.

Picnic and Horse Riding

Don’t miss enjoying the beauty of the large pool in the middle of a large expanse of green grass. The location is not far from the Green House. Around this beautiful pool, horses will take you around the large pool while enjoying the natural beauty of the mountains. You can rent a horse to get around for around IDR 50,000. Many activities are carried out at the edge of this pool. You can also have a picnic, spreading out a mat while enjoying a meal. The contours of the land around this large pond make the atmosphere pleasant, especially with the beautiful backdrop of Mount Gede-Pangrango.

Arucaria Avenue and Cibodas Waterfall are also interesting places to visit. In Cibodas there is Cibogo Waterfall and Ciismun Waterfall. Cibogo Waterfall is located 250 meters from the main entrance, adjacent to the waterway and Sakura Garden. Cibogo Waterfall has a heavy water discharge and is 15-18 meters high, water cascading into a small pool.

Ciismun Waterfall is located 1.1 kilometers from the main entrance, and the waterfall is higher. Ciismun Waterfall is located at an altitude of 1,275 masl and flows between two large hills, namely Bukit Gunung Batu (agropolitan) and Bukit Cibodas. Ciismun Waterfall has a water height of about 25 meters, with a footpath 5 meters wide.

If you want to enjoy the atmosphere of the Gede-Pangrango mountains, you can also stay at Cibodas Botanical Garden, because there are several choices of guesthouses that can be rented. Cibodas Botanical Garden also has a 3-hectare camping ground. Meanwhile in Cibodas Botanical Garden, also visit the Ornamental Plant Gallery which has a variety of beautiful ornamental plants. To enter the Cibodas Botanical Garden area, you have to buy a ticket of IDR 16,500 per person for domestic tourists. Cibodas Botanical Garden is open from 08.00 16.00 WIB. (Kartika Indah)