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Sharing Stories - A Glimpse into Another's Life - A Little Secret of Bandahara

INDONESIA | Friday, 19 April 2013 | Views [242] | Comments [3] | Scholarship Entry

This my story about my experience for mountaineering expedition.
i was become a member of Mahitala-Unpar Mountaineering Expedition of Mount Bandahara (3012 m) at Mount Leuser National Parl, Kutacane, South-East Aceh, Indonesia. Me, along with 5 other members of the team reach the summit of Mount Bandahara by 12 days. From those 12 days, i have seen a lot of magnificent things that i never seen it before. At the first day, our campsite located at the ex-Gerakan Aceh Merdeka (GAM) or Freedom Movement of Aceh campsite. From the local people story, they said that the campsite was use for scouting the enemy troops from last village. I was so amazed about the camp because GAM members write so much words about their dreams to become a new freedom country at the wall.
At the day 9 if i'm not mistaken, this is the most surprising day to me. Why? because we found footprints of a human. Can you imagine? after 9 days we climbed the mountain, we found a human footprints. According to my own perception, it was so impossible human can walk around in the very wild jungle. Soon after we comeback to the last village after 15 days of the expedition, we ask the local people about the footprints. They said that those footprints belongs to 'Bunian people'. According to local people, Bunian people were some kind of dwarf who lived in the wild jungle, but no one could see them because they have some kind of instinct to feel human around them, so they can keep hide until the real human leave.
Believe it or not, but i see those footprints. And i believe the existing of Bunian people. Perhaps i have not see them, but i'm sure, they have their own life, their own world, in the middle of the jungle.

Tags: Travel Writing Scholarship 2013



Hello, fellow! Just read your story about mount Bandahara, it is impressive that you found that human footprints on a wild place! It is might concerned to me as I was on Bandahara on january 2013, all trip took 4 day to reach a flat grassy and swampy area on 2650 masl, you must know that location. Beyond that point we(me and local guide Awalluddin, the younger brother of Ali, that must had guided you to camp 2) was not able to determine further way to the summit. But, I enjoyed it so much and looking forward to try mount Mujagah too. Strangely, the locals in Seldok did not tell anything about bunian people you mentioned.
Salam lestari!

  Mykhailo Pavliuk Jun 4, 2013 5:28 AM


well hello there! salam lestari too!
i'm so glad that you have been conquered mount Bandahara too. you must be took the way from Seledok, right?! Did you pass through GAM campsite?! Honestly, if you took that way, that was my way too when i conquered Bandahara on August 2012 with my team. At that time, i was took 9 days before reach the flat grassy and swampy area because the way that i pass through still closed by the plants an trees so me and my team have to clean the way.
yup! i know that grassy and swampy location you mentioned. me and my team call it "savana Bandahara". it's too bad that you not summit the Bandahara, because honestly, footprints that i founded was on the way to the summit (about one day from savana Bandahara) and the view from the summit was extremely gorgeous. But there were a lot of amazing things that i have found on the savana. For example, Sumatran tiger droppings, and skulls of mountain goat. Did you found it too?
About the Bunian people, i think the locals still believe that the Bunians were a myth that full of secrets and mysteries. So maybe the locals believe that it would be better if they hide the secrets of Bunian people from the strangers (you now what i mean right?). Local people that told me about the Bunians was Mr. Lahat, the father from Ali and Awalluddin. Did you met Mr. Lahat at Seledok?
Mugajah? that's really interesting. Could you tell me the time when you want to try the Mugajah? Perhaps i can join you on the trip so we can conquered it together :) of course, if you want it too.

  Dion Rezha Pratama Jun 7, 2013 1:59 AM


Halo, Dian!
Glad for you that you had a success to reach Bandahara. Yes, I have used a trail from Seledok, but no one said wether we passed by GAM campsite, the first section of trail, immidiately after that lone hut near pak Salim garden which is about 800 masl, was extremely confusing given that it ever was used by forest loggers which made their kerfs on the trees(irisan) and we also saw oranghutans there.
So I have to say thanks to your team, mostly because of your clearing, it was easier for us to wade through the bushes, which sometimes was too dense, especially "rotan", we reached Savana Bandahara on a third day and then confused about further way, on first we wandered to opposite ditrection, where there must be Parkison mountain, then we realized that was wrong and return to the "savanna". Yes, I have seen that bones too and thought about the tiger, so its pity that I did not see him.
True, it was quite disappointing that I had to back without reaching the summit, it should be very excellent views from it, especially to the north direction and Leuser range which is located only 70 km on direct line.
About Pak Lahat, I did not know that Ali and Awalludins father is so knowledgeable about that mistery story, next time I will visit Seldok again and ask him and then I will also difinetly achieve the summit of it with help of Ali, who is knows better than his borther.
Sure, we can try to ascend Mugajah together, I will be very glad if you have spirit and time to do that, looks like this mountains is one more "secret" on Sumatran lands of wonders!

  Mykhailo Pavliuk Jun 7, 2013 4:19 PM

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