Surabaya. The Sepuluh November Institute of Technology, or ITS, in Surabaya, East Java, on Saturday (20/05) will offer a unique journey to an ancient kingdom, which around a millennium ago flourished in the region.
The tour, "Exploring the Irrigation Technology of Airlangga," will lead through the hillsides of Mount Penanggungan, where many sanctuaries from the 10th and 11th century are located.
In the 11th century, East Java was home to a very developed kingdom — the Kingdom of Kahuripan ruled by Airlangga.
"We want to explore and highlight the irrigation technology of those times," the university's Research and Community Service (LPPM) coordinator for disaster studies Amien Widodo said in a statement.
The tour's participants will learn how Airlangga's engineers used to manage the irrigation of rice fields. They will also study, under historian Dwi Cahyono of the Tempo Doeloe Museum in Malang, the remains of numerous Hinduist and Buddhist shrines from the era.
The journey into Airlangga's kingdom will last one day and is free of charge, although transportation is not included.
"In the future the tour may develop into a tourist attraction, when the private sector and travel agencies get involved. We only want to encourage cultural tourism in the region," Amien said.
The journey will start at 7.30 a.m., at the Jawi temple on the eastern slope of Mount Welirang in Candi Wates, Prigen, 41 kilometers south of Surabaya.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya praised the initiative, saying that similar programs should also be developed in other parts of Indonesia.