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Gua Tabuhan Is a Lively Unique Cave
In the cave, Nyi (Mrs) Kamiyem and Ki (Mr) Padmo sit on a big stone. Nyi Kamiyem will sing a song and Ki Padmo will beat the drum. Joining them are people called wiyogo which are drummers and other gamelan musicians.
What makes this unique is that they mix gamelan with the sounds of nature. The visitors dance, forgetting all problems.
Many tourists go to this cave. Maybe you are interested in going there too but you don't know where it is. Gua Tabuhan is located near Pacitan in East Java. It is situated in a lime hill called Tapan, in Tabuhan, Wareng village. The route is easy. Along the road there is beautiful tropical scenery to enjoy rice fields, coconut palms and birds.
East of the cave peddlers sell souvenirs. The drink and food peddlers are on the north side. People sell agates on the cave terraces. Somehow, it is like a fair.
It is said that the cave is the only place where nature produces sounds like the music of gamelan. Nyi Kamiyem, a well-known pesinden (traditional Javanese singer) from the village of Gabuhan, who often sings in the cave, does not doubt anything.
Gua Tabuhan did not use to welcome visitors. According to Kartowiryo (90), village elder, Gua Tabuhan used to be a hiding place for robbers. It was believed to be a sacred place. No one dared go inside. However, Wedana (chief of a district) Kertodiprojo, went to the cave to find out what was wrong. He found out that the cave was inhabited by the annoying evil spirits. The people chased the spirits away.
The cave is dark, so people need lights, and a local guide will lead the way. Sometimes visitors bump their heads against the sharp rocks on the ceiling.
Inside the cave there is a plain big stone which is believed to be the prayer mat of Pangeran Diponegoro, one of the Indonesian heroes who fought against the Dutch. It is said that Pangeran Diponegoro used to seclude himself in the cave. Some people now use the place for meditation.
There is a stream in the cave, in the east corner, which can only be seen outside. However, it can be heard from inside.
Besides the cave, Watukarang, a beach nearby, is good to visit. By the way, do you want different souvenirs? You can find them in Donorodjo village where agate craftsman work. So, have a nice journey.
Taken from Hello English Magazine, January, 1996
1. What do you call people who join Nyi Kamiyem and Ki Padmo in the cave?
2. Where is Gua Tabuhan located?
3. What can you see along the road to Gua Tabuhan?
4. Where can you find peddlers selling souvenirs?
5. What is Nyi Kamiyem?
6. How old is Ki Kartowiryo?
7. What did Kertodiprojo find out inside the cave?
8. What do people need when they enter the cave?
9. What did Pangeran Diponegoro use as a prayer mat to perform prayer in the cave?
10. Can you see the stream inside the cave?