Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mataram Ditch

During Japanese colonization, many Indonesian people were sent to different regions to be employed as forced workers or romusha. They were forced to build various infrastructures to support the Japanese military to fight the Alliance. The people who served as romusha suffered so much; they did not get enough food and they were treated so severely that many of them died. This made Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX - the former king of Yogyakarta - felt a pity and tried to put the romusha away from Yogyakarta people.

He ordered the people to build an irrigation ditch as long as 30 kilometers from the Progo River to the Opak River, and objected to let his people to join the romusha by claiming that they still had to finish the project. The ditch was named Yoshiro Canal and up to now, it functions to irrigate teen-thousands hectares of rice field.
Going along the bank of this historical irrigation ditch on a motorcycle or a mountain bike promises a pleasant experience when it is done in October - May since from June to September this ditch is dried to cut off the contamination cycle.

The perfect start would be from the crossroad near the building of Magister Management of Gadjah Mada University on Kaliurang Road. There are two choices of routes from this point. We may choose to go westwards to meet the upper stream of Progo River in Ancol village of Magelang Regency. Otherwise, we may go along the Mataram ditch to the east direction that will end in Opak River in Kalasan.

1 comment:

  1. Nice info! Bahasa Inggrisnya bagus. Eh iya, saya baru tau kalau Ditch itu artinya selokan. :p