Arriving at the top of the hill was like being transported to another world. Thousands of black stone blocks, all partially covered by lichen, were planted, piled up, arranged and scattered on the grassy ground. All around us were the green hills and valleys of West Java, while the white clouds that hovered high above moved at great speed, propelled by the strong wind. The blocks, of around one to two meters in length, seemed to be the ruins of an ancient building. The rectangular site is 900 square meters in area and consists of five levels that ascend from northwest to southeast. At certain parts, the blocks form chambers and small flights of stairs.
On the first terrace, we met Dahlan, the other caretaker, sitting under a large tree with two local residents and two stray dogs.
“My grandfather brought me here for the first time when I was 8,” the now 52-year-old Dahlan said, adding that he descends from a line of caretakers. “So far, there have been 13 caretakers [at the site],” he said
“The existence of this megalithic site has been known for decades,” Ervin said. “Before the site was reported to the authorities in 1979, some people had been taking care of the first terrace.
“The other four terraces were found later, after research had been conducted,” he said...
Interviewed about the site’s age, Lutfi Yondri, an archaeologist from Bandung’s Bureau of Archeology, said he could only assume it belonged to the Old Megalithicum age, from around 3,500 BC to 1,500 BC. So far, he added, there was no technology that could determine when the stones, which weigh around 90 to 600 kilograms per cubic meter, were cut or shaped. In other words, it has still not been possible to ascertain exactly when the site was established.
On the first terrace, there is a group of stones called the gamelan or singing stones, because, when struck, they produce melodic notes. According to Hokky Situngkir from the Bandung Fe Institute, a research organization, the notes have been identified as F, G, D and A.
Ervin and Yogi discovered while making their documentary that almost all of the stones at the site produced melodic sounds when hit. The gamelan stones have attracted many visitors who perform rituals near them in the hope that the stones would help them succeed in their chosen arts. These people include dalang, or master puppeteers, sinden, or female singers, and traditional musicians.