'Ancient'and 'Mysterious'; these are two words which aptly sum up the character of East Java's western region. The area is well known for its abundance of prehistoric sites, some dating back a million years or more. Dubois made his famous discoveries at Trinil in the Ngawi region in 1891; other scientists have uncovered evidence of early human settlement In the districts of Ponorogo, Pacitan and Tulungagung.
The Principal town in this part of the province is Madiun. From here. there are interesting places to visit in all directions. To the north, the town of Ngawi and the prehistoric site of Trinil are just one hour's drive away. The mountains Lawu and Wilis, respectively west and east of Madiun, both offer a cool, refreshing climate and fine natural scenery. On Mt Lawu, the hill resort of Sarangan is a popular place to visit for the day, or for a stay overnight. The village has an excellent fruit and vegetable market and the mountain lake provides facilities for rowing and fishing. Close to Sarangan, the town of Magetan is well known for its production of high quality brass gongs, which are traditionally used in the Javanese gamelan orchestra.
On the slopes of Mt Wilis, east of Ponorogo the Lake of Ngebel is a haven of beauty and tranquility. Surrounding the lake, which is six kilometres in circumference, are steep. forest covered hillsides supporting vast and ancient trees with fantastic root systems.

Travelling south of Ponorogo, the main road divides. offering the choice of either continuing to Pacitan on the coast, or heading east towards Trenggalek and Tulungagung. Both routes are interesting. Although the distance from Ponorogo to Pacitan Is only about 70 kilometres, the Journey can take two to three hours. since the narrow road twists and turns through a deep valley following the course of the picturesque Grindulu river. The Pacitan region is famous for its agate cutting industry, a tradition which has been handed down since time immemorial. The centre is at Donorojo, on the border of East and Central Java. Here, stone working and polishing is a popular home industry, since the raw material is in plentiful supply. Large lumps of unworked agate, quartz and other semi-preciousstone can be seen on display outside the small production centres on the roadside.
Besides agate cutting, Donorojo is also well known as one of the last surviving centres for an ancient art form called wayang beber,which is related to the more popular wayang kulit, or leather 'shadow puppets'. Instead of using the flat, leather puppets, however, wayang beber employs a long scroll.onto which the wayang characters are painted directly. As a living art. wayang beber has all but vanished today but some original scrolls may still be seen at Donorojo. Considered sacred. they may only be opened at certain times, following the performance of a special ritual. The road east towards Trenggalek climbs into the hills and offers some spectacular mountain scenery. Trenggalek itself has some attractive beaches and isolated fishing villages, among them Prigi and Karanggongso. Further east, at Tulungagung, lie the Wajak mountains, site of some famous prehistoric discoveries and the centre of a marble industry. Here, too, can be found several temple remains dating from the 13th and 14th centuries.

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