Gua Maria Gantang: A Place for Religious Tourism in the North of Jogja

the virgin mary statue in gua maria gantang in muntilan in the north of jogja
The Virgin Mary Statue in Gua Maria Gantang

Hello readers! I hope your day is cool and you are in good health!  Today I am so excited because I will share something I never did before in any of my previous posts. Our topic today is religious tourism. Are you looking for a place for religious tourism while staying in Jogja? This time I’ll take you to the north of Jogja to a prayer garden.

The prayer garden I’d like to share with you is Taman Doa Maria Ratuning Katentreman lan Karaharjan. People here also like to call this place Gua Maria Gantang (Virgin Mary cave of Gantang).  This prayer garden is in Gantang village, Sawangan sub-district in Muntilan. Muntilan itself is about 25 km north of Jogja and it is a district part of Magelang Regency. It was inaugurated in 2017 by Archbishop of Semarang, Mgr Robertus Rubiyatmoko.

stairs on the main entrance of gua maria gantang in gantang sawangan muntilan in the north of jogja
The entrance of Taman Doa Maria Ratuning Katentreman lan Karaharjan
The name “Maria Ratuning Katentreman lan Karaharjan” is taken from the Javanese language which means Mary the Queen of Peace and Salvation. The creator of this statue –a-Merapi-artist—Ismanto liked to call this work of art as Mbok Tentrem. “Mbok” is a Javanese phrase comes from the word “simbok” which means mother whereas the word “tentrem” means peace.

Mbok Tentrem is a 10-meters-height statue. This statue’s height symbolizes things that are related to the Catholic religion. First symbolism can be seen from its 3-meters-height of foundation which represents Trinity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The second one is in the height of the Virgin Mary statue. The 7-meters statue represents sacraments in Catholicism. The third one is in the total 10-meter-height which symbolizes Ten Commandments. The last symbolism is in the pose of the Virgin Mary stands on a dragon’s head. This pose is meant to remind people that being with the Virgin Mary will help them defeat the cruel dragon in their life.

the 10 meters height of the Virgin Mary statue made by a Merapi artist in Gua Maria Gantang in Gantang Sawangan Muntilan in the north of Jogja
Mbok Tentrem
I arrived at Taman Doa Maria Ratuning Katentreman lan Karaharjan early in the morning. The way to this prayer garden was appealing to me. For someone who lives in the center of the city, the view of rice fields was not something I saw in my daily life. It was like green carpets everywhere. Lovely! I could enjoy the fresh air as well though it was rather chilly.

My visit to Gua Maria Gantang began with seeing the statue of Mbok Tentrem. I took time to contemplate and prayed there though I am not a Catholic. This prayer garden was quiet and I could feel in peace there. After taking my time in front of the famous statue of the Virgin Mary, I decided to move away to another spot in this prayer garden. Yes, I visited another area of praying. I sat on a stall and once again, took my time for praying. Later on, before deciding to leave this place I looked around to see flowers there. Yeah, I like flowers and they had various colorful flowers. 

the prayer garden with the statue of Virgin Mary in Taman Doa Maria Gantang in Gantang Sawangan Muntilan in the north of Jogja
A part of the prayer garden of Gua Maria Gantang.
A red flower in the prayer garden of Gua Maria Gantang in Gantang Sawangan Muntilan in the north of Jogja
Can you tell me the name of this flower? I have no clue. This is one of the various flowers I saw in Gua Maria Gantang.
There are some places you can visit for religious tourism while you are having a vacation in Jogja. One of them is this prayer garden; Gua Maria Gantang. Going to this prayer garden in the north of Jogja will also give you a nice experience of nature’s beauty for if you explore this area, you will be able to capture the beauty of Mount Merbabu and Mount Merapi. How’s that?

Mount Merapi seen in the morning from Sawangan Muntilan in the north of Jogja
The beautiful view of Mount Merapi in the morning seen from Sawangan Muntilan.
This is all I have for today. Thank you for being here, reading this post. Please leave a comment below about your favorite place for religious tourism. I’d like to read that.  
Warm regards from Jogja. See ya!

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