Goa Kiskendo

Useful Information

Location: Jl. Raya Kaligesing, Sokomoyo, Jatimulyo, Girimulyo, Kulon Progo Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta 55674
(-7.747110, 110.131020)
Open: All year daily 9-17.
Fee: Adults IDR 6,000.
Car IDR 5,000, Motorbike IDR 2,000.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System bring torch
Dimension: L=1,500 m.
Guided tours:  
Address: Goa Kiskendo, Jl. Raya Kaligesing, Sokomoyo, Jatimulyo, Girimulyo, Kulon Progo Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta 55674.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1820 Kiskendo Cave discovered by a local resident named Ki Gondorio.
1964 opened as a show cave.
1974 further developed by the Yogyakarta Special Region Provincial Tourism Office as a tourist attraction.
2005 management handed over to the Kulon Progo District Tourism Office.


Goa Kiskendo (Kiskendo Cave) was discovered by a local resident named Ki Gondorio in the 18th century. He then named all the chambers of the cave after a popular Ramayana epic, because he had dreamed how to find the cave and how to name the 15 rooms. A strange story, but quite common for cave discovery legends.

So the cave became the location of the fight between Misasura and the duo Subali and Sugriwa. Later some students of ISI Jogja carved the scenes of this story into a long wall at the entrance. The cave has a concrete trail, staircases and railings, and electric light. However, it seems the light is sometimes off, so it's a good idea to bring your own light. The cave is shaped like an H with two passages connected in the middle by a third one. A cave map is placed on a sign at the entrance for orientation. There are rules for entering the cave, though:

  1. Pray before entering the cave
  2. Wear safety equipment
  3. Enter the cave with guide
  4. Keep the cave clean

We guess this are good advices for any cave tour, but we were not able to interpret the first rule. This is not a cave temple, although it is used for meditation, do visitors pray for save return, for allowance to enter, or is it a typo and actually means "pay before entering"? We are open for hints. And the Indonesian version seems to be even weirder, women are not allowed during menstruation, and it is forbidden to use dirty words inside.

The raksasa ogre king Misasura wants to take Dewi Tara, Indra Loka’s daughter, as his wife. Indra Loka denies his request and the enraged Misasura calls his raksasa soldiers to arms and they prepare for battle. The gods of Indra Loka hear the raksasa troops approaching. A great battle ensues, and the gods are defeated. Indra Loka and Dewi Tara flee to seek advice from the sage Brihaspati. They reach Kiskanda, the realm of the monkey king brothers Subali and Sugriwa. Lord Indra requests their assistance promising Dewi Tara’s hand to the monkey kings if they defeat Misasura. Whoever defeats Misasura will wed Dewi Tara. The monkey troops battle Misasura and the raksasa, and Misasura is chased into a cave. Subali pursues Misasura, ordering Sugriwa to seal off the entrance if he sees white blood, which will prove Sugriwa has died. Subali is able to defeat Misasura, but when he dies his white brain mixes with his red blood. Sugriwa thinks his brother has died and places a boulder over the cave entrance to make sure Misasura cannot escape. He returns to Indra Loka and is wed to Dewi Tara. Subali manages to dig himself out of the cave using the bones of Misasura. He thinks that Sugriwa betrayed him and the two fight. Sugriwa wins the fight with the help of Rama and Laksmana, Subali attains heaven and ascends.

The story is called Battle of the Monkey Kings and is from the Ramayana epic. It is quite popular as a wayang kulit (shadow puppetry) play and anybody in Indonesia knows the story. There seem to be several caves which are reputedly the location of the fight. As far as we understand they are all named Goa Kiskendo.