Semeru, the highest Mountain on Java.
Hiking the highest mountain and standing next to the crater of one of the most active volcanoes on Java Island is an extraordinary experience. Semeru Mountain is a strato-volcano, with a summit elevation of 3676 meter.
Semeru Mountain has become one of Indonesia’s favorite hiking destinations. The adventure of trekking during a day and night, enjoying gorgeous landscapes of hills, trees, edelweiss flowers, as well as knowing the cultural folklore behind this mighty mountain, has attracted local and international tourists alike . Semeru is highly regarded within the realm of Hindu and Buddhist cosmology. The name, Semeru, originally came from Meru or Sumeru, which means the place of Gods or that which is above the Gods. According to folklore, Semeru was originally a part of the Himalayan Mountains, which was brought to Java Island by Gods Brahma and Wisnu to stabilize and subsequently stop the occurrence of major disasters. For this reason Semeru has become the most sacred mountain for Hindus and Buddhists living on Java and Bali. Places of Hindu worship, such as Ranu Kumbolo (Lake Kumbolo), can be found at 2400 meters on a 14 hectare parcel of land filled with legend and mysticism. The lake is said to have been created by Hindu’s God to complete his asceticism.
It normally takes 3 days and 2 nights to reach the top of Semeru, but avid, experienced hikers can reach the summit in 2 days and 1 night. The first leg of the trek from Ranu Pane Village to Ranu Kumbolo takes approximately 4 to 5 hours, followed by a hike over Tanjakan Cinta hill to reach a wide savana called Oro-oro ombo. This is followed by forested vegetation, as pine trees (Casuarina jungjuhniana), edelweiss, and peat moss-covered trees line the trail. After a 4 hour walk, the climbers can reach Kalimati. Normally trekkers will stop to rest in Kalimati, but some prefer pushing on until they’ve reached Arco Podo. Trekkers can rest in Arco Podo prior to the final climb to reach the top during the very early morning hours of the next day. Between midnight and 1.00 am, trekkers prepare for the final stretch for the summit. Many people have said the hardest part lies in the final climb, as solid ground gives way to a slippery incline of sand and loose rocks.
After the exerting climb on a sandy terrain of 45◦, the reward of dawn brings in a new day from the distant horizon, gently illuminating the vistas below and to lead the climbers on the final assault. Upon reaching the summit, climbers are rewarded with panoramic views as the day breaks, but the visual miracle arrives when the ground shakes from thunderous sounds from beneath the earth. Suddenly, an enormous ash cloud emerges from the crater; hovering 100-400m above the crater floor, as projectiles are ejected onto the inner crater rim. This miraculous event is repeated time and again during the course of the day.
Enjoying the breath-taking scenery, while learning of mystical folklores on the highest land of Java are but a part of the magnificent adventure you will experience.
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