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14 Popular and Historical Indonesian Religious Tourist Attractions

Admin BFI
4 July 2022
14 Popular and Historical Indonesian Religious Tourist Attractions

With its cultural diversity, Indonesia deserves to have many historical tourist destinations, including religious tourism. With six religions that are legally recognized in Indonesia, apart from being used as worship, several places of worship are also used for religious tourism. This then does not reduce the sacredness of the place of worship, it adds more value and understanding to anyone who visits it. Here are 14 recommendations for religious tourism that the BFI Finance team has compiled specifically for BFI friends.


14 Recommendations for Religious Tourism in Indonesia by BFI Finance

1. Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta

The first recommendation for religious tourism is the Istiqlal Mosque which is located in Central Jakarta. The Istiqlal Mosque has an area of ​​9.5 hectares and can accommodate up to 200,000 worshipers. These facts, make the Iqlal Mosque the largest mosque in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Another unique fact of this religious tourist spot is that it was designed by non-Muslim architect Friedrich Silaban. Friedrich Silaban won a design competition held by the Government of Indonesia in 1955 and managed to beat 30 other participants. With its location right across from the Cathedral Church, the Istiqlal Mosque is a symbol of religious harmony in Indonesia. Interesting huh?

2. Great Mosque of Demak, Central Java

It still comes from the tourism of a historic mosque for Indonesia, namely the Great Mosque of Demak. The Great Mosque of Demak is one of the oldest mosques in Indonesia which was founded in the 15th century AD. This mosque was founded by the King of the Kingdom of Demak who is also one of the Nine Wali Songo, Raden Patah. The architecture of the Great Mosque of Demak is quite unique, that is, it is designed like a traditional Javanese house which is characterized by sturdy wooden pillars and a pyramid roof. This religious tourist spot is located in Kauman Village, Demak District, Central Java. Not a few tourists from outside the city visit one of these historic mosques.

3. Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, Aceh

Turning to the western part of Indonesia, precisely in the province of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, this religious tourist spot is called the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque. Everyone agrees that the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque is a mosque that stands proudly and firmly and has been the prima donna and tourist attraction of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Province for a long time. In fact, when the tsunami hit Aceh in 2004, this mosque remained strong against the ocean currents and deadly shocks. Baiturrahman Grand Mosque was founded in 1612 AD by Sultan Iskandar Muda who was the King of Aceh at that time. In addition to being a place of worship, this mosque also functions as a place for recitation, large events for the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, and the commemoration of 1 Muharram. Baiturrahman Grand Mosque was designed by Gerrit van Bruins, a Dutch Army Captain. The hallmark of this mosque is the shape of its large dome which is similar to the Taj Mahal in India. In addition, this mosque has three large doors decorated with beautiful ornaments. The marble floors are imported directly from China and there are stained glass decorations from Belgium.

4. Cheng Ho Mosque

Judging from its name, this mosque was founded on the influence of Chinese culture in Indonesia. This understanding is true because according to reliable literature it is stated that the establishment of this mosque with a Chinese cultural architecture is none other than the influence of Admiral Cheng Ho, a Muslim figure who came from China. There is much debate as to who this Admiral Cheng Ho is, but the Chinese Muslim Community in Indonesia believes that Admiral Cheng Ho is a unifying figure in Indonesia, especially for the spread of Islam. Cheng Ho Mosque can be found in 11 cities in Indonesia, namely Surabaya, Palembang, Malang, Semarang, Batam, Purbalingga, Banyuwangi, Gowa, Kutai, Samarinda, and Jambi. If you like history, especially those that come from the influence of Chinese culture, of course, the Cheng Ho Mosque religious tourist spot is the right choice to visit.

5. Besakih Temple, Bali

Switch to the temple religious tourist spot which is located on the Island of the Gods. The people of the Island of the Gods or the island of Bali are mostly Hindu, so we can easily find places of worship in Bali. One of the famous temples and is considered the mother of all temples is Besakih Temple. This temple is precisely located on the western slope of Mount Agung, Besakih Village, Rendang District, Karangasem Regency, Bali. It is considered the mother of all temples because Besakih Temple is located on the highest plateau or called Hulundang Basukih. Besakih Temple has an area of ​​3.5 km2 which consists of 5 main temples, namely:

  • Penataran Agung Besakih Temple
  • Dark Temple
  • Kiduling Kereteg Temple
  • Ulun Kulkul Temple
  • Batumadeg Temple

Apart from being a place of worship, Besakih Temple is also the main tourist spot on the island of Bali besides Tanah Lot, Kuta Beach, and Ubud. Every day, Besakih Temple is always visited by tourists from both local and foreign countries. Come to witness the Panca Wali Kerama Ceremony, which is a tradition that is only held once every 10 years.

6. Tanah Lot Temple, Bali

In addition to Besakih Temple, Bali also has a religious tourist spot, Tanah Lot Temple. Located in Beraban Village, Kediri District, Tabanan Regency, Tanah Lot Temple is famous for the beauty of its temple which is located in the middle of a rock. With its location in the western part of Bali, Tanah Lot Temple is also one of the best places to watch the sunset. Another uniqueness of Tanah Lot Temple is that there is a tame python which is said to be an animal belonging to the god who guards this sacred area. Don't worry, local traditional leaders still guard the snake, so it's safe and doesn't roam around the temple area.

7. Statue of Jesus Toraja, South Sulawesi

Did you know that Indonesia has the tallest statue of Jesus in the world? Yes, that's right, the statue of Jesus is located in the Bukit Buntu Burake area, Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi. The highest predicate is not obtained from the statue's height, but because the statue is located in a mountainous area which is 1,700 meters above sea level, which even beats the location of the statue of Jesus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To reach this Jesus statue, you have to climb 7,777 steps. Tiredness is definitely paid off by the amazing view from a height. In addition to the attractiveness of the statue, this area is also equipped with a 100-meter glass bridge tour. Of course, you don't have to worry about the safety and strength of the glass bridge. Because the glass bridge is made of SNI standard heat-resistant tempered glass.

8. Maria Lourdes Cave, Kediri

For BFI friends who are Catholic, maybe this one religious tourist spot can be used as a wishlist for you to visit. Is the Maria Lourdes Cave located in Kediri, East Java. The Cave of Maria Lourdes is a replica of the Cave of Mary located in Lourdes, France. The statue of the Virgin Mary in the Lourdes Cave of Kediri is 4 meters high, 2.25 meters taller than the Statue of the Virgin Mary in France. Around the Maria Lourdes Cave area, Kediri, there are 12 unique holy water showers. The 12 fountains represent the 12 first disciples of Jesus.

9. Maria Sendangsono Cave, Yogyakarta

In addition to the Maria Lourdes Cave, Kediri, Indonesia has a religious tourist spot for Catholics that is no less popular. Namely Maria Sendangsono Cave which is located in Banjaroya Village, Kulon Progo, Yogyakarta. Literally, Sendang means spring, while sono is Tree Sono. So, Maria Sendangsono Cave means Maria's Cave which is located under the Sono Tree which is flowed by springs. Maria Sendangsono Cave is believed to be the first place of baptism in Indonesia. At that time, there was Barnabas Sarikromo, a good friend of Father Van Lith who was one of the first citizens to be baptized in Indonesia in 1904. In the Maria Sendangsono Cave area, there are also 12 springs representing the first 12 disciples of Jesus Christ. Besides enjoying the sanctity of this religious tourist area, you are also spoiled by the beautiful architecture of the building and the cool air.

10. Blenduk Church, Semarang

If you visit the city of Semarang, it never hurts to stop by the Blenduk Church, one of the icons of the Old City of Semarang. The church, which was built in 1787, is still actively used as a place of worship for Christians. The unique shape of the building, with its round dome and towering pillars, makes it the main attraction for this religious tourist spot of the Blenduk Church. The interior design is no less beautiful. The first impression when you enter Blenduk Church is classic and unique. The chairs are made of teak wood with yellow, black, and brown ceramic ornaments that blend beautifully. The maximum capacity of this church can accommodate up to 400 people. The Blenduk Church is located in the Old Town area of ​​Semarang which has an area of ​​31 hectares, precisely on Jalan Letjen Soeprapto Number 32.

11. Sam Poo Kong Temple, Semarang

Another religious tourist spot that is worth a visit if you visit Semarang City is the Sam Poo Kong Temple. A pagoda is a place of worship for Confucians and generally, the exterior of the pagoda is designed with a dominant red color. Ahead of the Chinese New Year celebrations, the Sam Poo Kong Temple certainly offers a variety of interesting attractions such as a lion dance that can be enjoyed by all. On weekdays, Sam Poo Kong Temple is not only functioned as a place of worship, but also as a tourist place where one of them can rent typical Chinese clothes to take pictures. Every corner of the Sam Poo Kong Temple can also be an instagramable photo spot.

12. Borobudur Temple, Magelang

Who does not recognize the following magnificent and historic Buddhist temple, Borobudur Temple? Located in Magelang Regency, Central Java, of course, Borobudur Temple can be an alternative place for religious tourism for all people. Borobudur Temple was built from 780 to 840 AD under the leadership of the Sailendra dynasty. In addition to being a daily tourist spot, on Buddhist holidays such as Vesak Day, Borobudur Temple is used as the center of celebration and the main place of worship. At the close of Vesak Day, a lantern release festival is usually held at night which is a very beautiful spectacle. Entrance tickets to Borobudur Temple are relatively cheap, starting from IDR 50,000 only. Let's go to Borobudur!

13. Maha Vihara Majapahit, Mojokerto

The next recommendation for religious tourism is Maha Vihara Majapahit. Maha Vihara Majapahit is a Buddhist temple or place of worship located in Mojokerto, East Java, and is known for its magnificent and gold-plated Sleeping Buddha statue. Initially, Maha Vihara Majapahit was only used as a place of worship for Buddhists, but now the general public can visit it for tourist purposes. The Sleeping Buddha statue located inside is the largest sleeping Buddha statue in Indonesia and the 3rd in the world after Thailand and Nepal. The sleeping Buddha statue at Maha Vihara Majapahit has a length of 22 meters, a height of 4.5 meters, and a width of 6 meters. The gold paint on the sleeping Buddha symbolizes the death of Siddhartha Gautama. Meanwhile, the statue was built facing south, depicting the mecca of Buddhists. Very interesting to visit right?

14. Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Vihara, Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands

The last recommendation for religious tourism from BFI Finance is Vihara Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva located in Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands. This monastery has approximately 40 statues of deities believed by Buddhists and is dubbed the Vihara 1,000 faces. He got the nickname because all the statues in the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Monastery area have 1,000 different facial expressions! Wow very interesting huh? This statue is made of materials imported directly from China. To go to this monastery it takes approximately 20 minutes from downtown Tanjungpinang.


Those are the fourteen recommendations for religious tourism that can be visited in Indonesia in the style of BFI Finance. In addition to its main function as a place of worship, it turns out that the location can be used as a tourist place, especially for religious tourism. Who is interested in visiting it? For BFI friends who need loans for tourism purposes in large or small amounts, of course, you can apply through BFI Finance! Not only for tourism purposes, but you can also apply for a loan for business capital purposes, home renovation costs, marriage, children's education, and other financial needs. It's easy, just by pledging a Vehicle BPKB or Home Certificate, you have the opportunity to get a loan with a low-interest rate and various ceilings! So, just trust all your financial needs through BFI Finance!


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