Amazing Mountain In East Java

Monday, 9 March 2009

Mount Bromo also Gunung Bromo, located in the Tengger Caldera, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in East Java, Indonesia. It is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, and even though at 2,329 meters it is not the highest peak of the massif, it is the most well known.
Gunung Bromo is an ancient caldera 10 km (6 miles) across, with four smaller peaks rising in the centre, ranging from between 300 and 400 metres (1,000 and 1,300 ft). Surrounding these peaks on the crater floor is sand and lush vegetation; every few years cinder and ash pour forth in eruptions to carpet the countryside with nutrient-rich deposits.

According to the local folk tale, at the end of the 15th century princess Roro Anteng from the Majapahit Empire started a separate principality together with her husband Joko Seger. They named it Tengger by the last syllables of their names. The principality did prosper, but the ruling couple failed to conceive children. In their despair they climbed Mount Bromo to pray to the gods, who granted them help, but requested the last child to be sacrificed to the gods. They had 24 children, and when the 25th and last child Kesuma was born Roro Anteng refused to do the sacrifice as promised. The gods then threatened with fire and brimstone, until she finally did the sacrifice. After the child was thrown into the crater, the voice of the child ordered the local people to perform an annual ceremony on the volcano, which is not held today.


There are two ways to take in the view: either from the crater's edge or a panoramic view of the entire caldera from afar (if time permits, watch the sunrise from both vistas). For the first, make the trek across the sand-sea floor, either by pony or by foot. Once at the base of the crater, climb up an incline of 250 concrete steps. At the top is a narrow lip from where you can look into the belly of the belching sulphurous centre of the crater and take in the 360-degree view of the entire caldera and the majestic Gunung Semeru, Java's highest peak at 3,676 metres (12,060 ft). Temperatures can drop to freezing before dawn, so be sure to dress warmly and bring a flashlight. For the panoramic view, hire a jeep to Gunung Pananjakan, about 3 km (2 miles) to the west, then it is a short hike along a paved road to the summit. Usually less crowded here, the view is just as amazing. All arrangements need to be made the night before. Both walks can be done in the pre-dawn period; if time is limited, enjoy sunrise at Gunung Pananjakan and after breakfast take a pony ride for the view of Bromo's navel.

There are several ways to reach the Tengger highlands and transport can be arranged in Surabaya, Malang or even Bali. Public buses and the train go as far as Probolinggo; from here, there are tour companies with mini-vans to take you the rest of the way. There is modest accommodation in both Ngadisari and Cemara Lwang (closer to the rim) and the better rooms come with hot water. As Gunung Bromo is inside a nature park, a small entrance fee is required.

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