If your adventurous soul needs to be satisfied with some natural destinations, these two lakes in West Papua would be the right choice. Surrounded by lush hills and forests, Anggi Giji and Anggi Gida are some hidden lakes in West Papua that will amaze you with their unspoiled charm. Aside from that, the lakes are so famous for their folktales. Hence, read this article so that you can find out more details about these two beautiful lakes!
Amazing Hidden Lakes in the Arfak Mountains, West Papua
These two lakes are situated in the Arfak Mountains, one of the nature reserve areas in West Papua. Although the local villagers often called them a twin lake, Anggi Gida and Anggi Giji are not contiguous. Anggi Gida is at an altitude of about 1,800 meters above sea level, while Anggi Giji is located at the height of 1750 meters.
Getting to the lakes from downtown Manokwari—the capital city of West Papua—is about a 4-to-5-hour drive or 100 km away. Also, travelers can only take an off-road car to reach the lakes due to their rocky and dirt roads. Even though the trip is relatively tough, stunning sceneries that accompany you along the way will instantly erase your tiredness.
Most of all, you can discover some native tribal villages in the vicinity of the lakes, with their unique traditional houses called Rumah Kaki Seribu or Mod Aki Aksa. Not only that, but the uniqueness of these lakes also lies in the fact that they have gender. The villagers living near the lakes believe that Anggi Gida is a female, while Anggi Giji is the male one.
The word of Anggi itself comes from the Sougb term, Ameninggwi, which means lake—the native language of the Arfak Mountains tribe. So, if both of the lakes are called in their full titles, the names will become Ameninggwi Ligiji (male lake) and Ameninggwi Ligida (female lake).
Arfak people believe that the lakes have a shape according to their gender as well. Even so, the most striking difference between the two lakes rests in the color of their water. As the male lake, Anggi Giji has dark-colored water with muddy lakebed and brown-sand shore. On the other hand, Anggi Gida shows clear, blue water with a white-sand shore, giving you a great spot for swimming or just lake walking. Additionally, the color difference of their waters is more or less influenced by the reflection of the surrounding forest and plankton living in the lakes.
As for enjoying the bird’s-eye view, climb to Kobrey Hill, which stands 2,050-2,100 meters tall. Still, if you wish to get a closer look at the lakes, renting the villager’s boat would be the right decision. At the same time, the beauty of Anggi Giji and Anggi Gida has attracted many overseas researchers who were curious about the depth of the lakes. Sadly, none of them has succeeded in diving into the lakes’ bottom, so the depth of Anggi Giji and Anggi Gida remains unknown until now.
The Famous Folk Legends of Anggi Giji and Anggi Gida
Interestingly, these hidden lakes in West Papua have some attractive folk legends, too. There are two versions of folktales spread among the indigenous Arfak tribes regarding these two lakes’ existence.
A Legend of The Cursed Hunters
The first version of the story told about a hunter couple who was the ancestor of the Arfak tribes. In daily life, they hunted animals, such as deer and pigs, around the hilly area. But one day, they felt desperate because it was tough to meet any prey. Then after searching for some time, this couple accidentally found a large snake. Without a second thought, they cut the snake’s body immediately.
Unfortunately, they did not know that the snake was a sacred animal. Every time the hunters slaughtered the snake, that reptile’s body kept reattaching and never died. Shortly afterwards, the sky darkened all of a sudden, and the thunderbolt appeared.
Feeling scared of these strange events, the hunters scampered away and got separated at the end of the hill. They were struck by lightning and died, though they managed to get down to the valley. Afterwards, their death spots were filled with rainwater and turned into lakes.
A Tale of True Love
In addition to the cursed hunters’ story, these hidden lakes in West Papua are associated with a legend of true love, too. The tale talked about a very loving couple coming from a different tribe. Because of a contrasting cultural background, they did not get married blessings from their parents.
Facing that bitter reality, both of them fell into endless sorrow and kept on crying at their houses. After that, their tears welled up and formed two lakes, which we later knew as Anggi Giji and Anggi Gida.
So, are you amazed by the uniqueness of Anggi Giji and Anggi Gida? If yes, make sure these impressive natural destinations in West Papua are on your forthcoming trip!