Palu (UINDK Palu PR) – State Islamic University (UIN) Datokarama Palu, located in Central Sulawesi, is partnering with the local government to promote “Central Sulawesi, the Land of a Thousand Megaliths,” with the aim of increasing tourist visits to the region.
“UIN Datokarama, as a partner of the government, is actively involved in promoting ‘Central Sulawesi, the Land of a Thousand Megaliths,'” said UIN Datokarama Rector, Professor Sagaf S Pettalongi, during a recent interview in Palu.
Professor Sagaf Pettalongi explained that UIN Datokarama is taking the initiative to promote “Central Sulawesi, the Land of a Thousand Megaliths” among the academic communities of state Islamic higher education institutions throughout Indonesia.
” We are targeting campuses across Indonesia that fall under the Ministry of Religious Affairs,” said the Rector.
Professor Sagaf, a professor and a distinguished expert in Education Management, believes that the idea put forth by Governor Rusdy Mastura to declare Central Sulawesi as the “Land of a Thousand Megaliths” is a forward-thinking initiative.
He pointed out that this declaration opens up opportunities for scientists and academics from within and outside the country to visit Central Sulawesi and contribute to the development of knowledge, particularly in the field of human civilization, focusing on cultural and megalithic history.
As such, Professor Sagaf emphasized the importance of supporting and strengthening Governor Rusdy Mastura’s idea to enhance the recognition of Central Sulawesi, particularly the districts of Poso and Sigi, renowned for their megalithic heritage, on the international stage.
“Undoubtedly, researchers and scientists are interested in conducting in-depth research in the Central Sulawesi region,” he stated.
“UIN Datokarama is committed to invite academics from state Islamic higher education institutions to conduct research and development of knowledge in Poso and Sigi, specifically regarding megalithic cultural heritage,” he added.
There are 349 megalithic stones of various shapes and sizes scattered in the Napu and Bada Valleys, Poso Regency. The tallest stone resembles a human figure, standing at an impressive height of four meters, with an average width ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 meters.
Archaeological studies indicate that these megaliths date back to approximately 3,000 years before the Common Era (BCE), with the most recent ones believed to have been created around 1,300 years BCE. These stones take on various forms, including statues, arca, kalamba, tutu’na, and dakon.
In light of this, Professor Sagaf highlighted that the potential for megalithic cultural heritage tourism in Central Sulawesi falls under the category of specialized interest tourism, where visitors not only enjoy the natural, socio-cultural, and culinary aspects but also engage in knowledge development.
Moreover, the Rector emphasized that UIN Datokarama, through its community service programs, will provide valuable skills training and knowledge enrichment to the local community in the area.
” This program represents our commitment to fulfilling the Higher Education Tridharma, which encompasses education, research, and community service,” he clarified.
According to data from the Central Sulawesi Tourism Office, the region welcomed approximately 1.3 million tourists in 2022. In an effort to further boost tourism, the target for 2023 has been set at 2 million visitors.