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Bandung is one city in Indonesia that is not only popular with its fashion outlets, cafes, and culinary, but also popular for its volcanoes and tea plantations – nature, I would say. Although most of my friends who are from Bandung or have been staying in Bandung for many years commented that the weather in Bandung is no longer as chill as years back, however, it is still one favourite destination for those who look for a quick getaway over the weekend. All thanks to its position that is located in the highland which is around 750 m higher than its neighbouring busy city, Jakarta, weather in most area in Bandung is still considered pleasant.
Taman Hutan Raya Ir. H. Djuanda
After visiting Tebing Keraton with a group of friends the other day, I went back again on a different day and this time I visited Taman Hutan Raya Ir. H. Djuanda (Djuanda Forest Park) or more well-known as Tahura, for a walk with one of my friends. Tahura is a conservation area with a mix of vegetation including pine plantations and secondary natural rainforest. Not only greens, there are caves, museums, waterfalls, and also a deer sanctuary!
The initial intention is to visit the Omas Maribaya Waterfall or Curug Omas Maribaya (‘Curug’ means waterfall in Sundanese). It is actually nearer if we started from the entrance near to Maribaya. But since we went there after from Tebing Keraton, we thought we would just start from the nearest entrance and see what we could explore along the way. Although we were there during the school holiday period, we didn’t see many visitors that day.
The Deer Sanctuary at Taman Hutan Raya Ir. H. Djuanda
As mentioned earlier, there are caves at Tahura – Goa Belanda (Dutch Fortress Cave) and Goa Jepang (Japanese Fortress Cave). Both caves were once used as hydropower centre during World War II. As we walk, we saw the signboard directing to the deer sanctuary. As the waterfall seems still so far, we decided to stop by at the deer sanctuary. Overmore, I have never visited one before. Just follow the main trail and we will know we are about to reach when we see a junction with the deer sanctuary signboard that directing us to leave the main trail and continue to the path on the left.
The main trail is properly paved and almost flat all the way. After the signboard, walk for about 200 m ahead and we will be at a dam and a blue bridge which I think is connected to both caves in the past. Walk further in and we will see a huge field with a herd there! This is my first time to be so close to a group of deers like this. It was feeding time when we reached. But again, no one there, only us and the deer keeper.
Little did I know that the population of deers in the world has decreased so much because they were overhunted in the past in many countries. By consuming their antlers is believed to give health benefits and their skins are used to make clothing and footwear. Fortunately, now the local deers have been listed as one of the protected animals under government law. Else, we wouldn’t have been able to see them anymore now.
Besides taking care of the deers, the keeper also taking care of the small bee farm found near to the sanctuary. Often times, visitors from different cities will buy the honey from here and bring back home. That’s how the keeper living day by day while keeping all the deers well. The deer sanctuary is not big but I am seeing something big that he’s been doing. Hope all the effort to increase the number of the local deers is going smooth and we will see the healthy number of this species in the future soon.
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Taman Hutan Raya Ir. H. Djuanda is stretching from Dago Pakar to Maribaya where the temperature is chiller and the view is beautiful which usually facing the forest or plantation. And what’s more? It is not right in the middle of the busy Bandung! So, if you plan to visit Tahura, you may want to consider to stay around Dago area. It will save your travel time to get there, away from the crowd yet you are still not that far way out if you need to get to the town.
For easier finding on hotel in Dago Bandung, you can use an online travel platform pegipegi.com for that. Sometimes, you will get a better deal and find choices of accommodation than are not listed on other online travel platforms. Besides their friendly user interface, their customer service is also good based on my personal experience!
Bandung popularity not only have increased among the locals but also for visitors from other countries, no wonder the number of hotels in Bandung has grown rapidly, offering rooms for travellers with any budgets.
My initial plan to visit the Omas Maribaya Waterfall in Djuanda Forest Park was not fulfilled yet due to the limited time I had on my last visit. Perhaps, I should go again next time at earlier hour so that I could not only get to the waterfall but also revisit the deer sanctuary.
So, when do you plan to visit the deer sanctuary? Let me know if you have planned one. I would love to know what do you think about it!