Beautiful and powerful Madakaripura waterfall is one of the waterfalls in the area of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. It’s the biggest waterfall in East Java. The water has cascades from the dense forest above. You need to go 20 minutes and climb the cliffs before you can see the main waterfall. But the stunning glory of rumbling water going down from the cliff is worth the effort for sure!
To be precise, the Madakaripura is a set of seven waterfalls, the biggest cascade of which falls from a height of 200 m. The bottom part of waterfall is no longer flowing streams of water, it turns into a mist of cold prickly rapid splashes.
This waterfall is not typical for Southeast Asia. Usually they are small and are not impressive, mostly they look like natural SPA than miracles of nature. But Madakaripura is really majestic and ruthless. The gorge around highlights the power of falling water. The place looks mysterious and dangerous, and it is so.
Madakaripura is not only a beautiful place, but also a historical one. A legend of this falls is connected with the name of Gadjah Mada, who was a prime minister of the largest Javanese empire Majapahit. In 1355 Vuruk Khayyam an emperor of Majapahit gave lands in the area to the prime minister. Gadjah Mada refused revenues from these lands until he unite all Indonesia lands under Majapahit flag.
Madakaripura is also called as “the last residence of Gadjah Mada“. According to a legend, the 60-year-old prime minister dissolved in the air near a waterfall. He has not been found by the emperor or by anyone else.
It’s believed that swimming in the Madakaripura falls give health, strength and youth.
Road to the Main Cascade
To get to the canyon with a 200-meter waterfall you have to walk about a kilometer along a mountain river, and then another 500 meters along the river under other four waterfalls. Yes, that’s right, the one and only road goes through rocks under cold waterfalls. So prepare raincoats, camera protection and comfortable shoes which are going to be totally wet. It’s better to roll up your pants and jeans because the depth of the river can be up to the knee.
Local people offer everything you may need on parking: umbrellas, raincoats, slippers and guide service. The road itself is quite safe, so you don’t really need a guide, but locals don’t like those who refuse to pay. So it’s your choice: saved money or good relationships. Like usual in Indonesia, the guide will not tell you stories, but he will help to cross the river and insure in dangerous areas. The price is negotiable; usually it’s about 50,000 rupees per person or about 100,000 rupees for a guide.
You can find warungs on the parking lot and after the bridge where “dry path” ends. A toilet is available only on the parking lot.
Best Time to Visit
It’s better to visit Madakaripura falls in the morning, because in the afternoon rains passed in the mountains can turn the small mountain river into a roaring stream, and trees can fall down from the 200-meters height to the pool of the main waterfall. You can see stumps of fallen trees all around.