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Places I Have Been

Bandung Indonesia Tangkuban Perahu


Kawah Ratu or Queen of the Craters of Mount Tangkuban Perahu - The Largest Crater

September 2nd 1977: Tangkuban Perahu is a volcano 30 km north of the city of Bandung, the provincial capital of West Java, Indonesia. It is a popular tourist attraction where tourists can hike or ride to the edge of the crater to view the hot water springs and boiling mud up close, and buy eggs cooked on the hot surface.This stratovolcano is on the island of Java and last erupted in 1983. Together with Mount Burangrang and Bukit Tunggul, those are remnants of the ancient Mount Sunda after the plinian eruption caused the Caldera to collapse.

In April 2005 the Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation raised an alert, forbidding visitors from going up the volcano. “Sensors on the slopes of the two mountains – Anak Krakatoa on the southern tip of Sumatra Island and Tangkuban Perahu in Java – picked up an increase in volcanic activity and a build up of gases, said government volcanologist Syamsul Rizal.

Volcano Tangkuban Perahu - Second Crater

The name translates roughly to “upturning of (a) boat” or “upturned boat” in Sundanese, referring to the local legend of its creation. The story tells of “Dayang Sumbi”, a beauty who lived in West Java. She cast away her son “Sangkuriang” for disobedience, and in her sadness was granted the power of eternal youth by the gods. After many years in exile, Sangkuriang decided to return to his home, long after the two had forgotten and failed to recognize each other. Sangkuriang fell in love with Dayang Sumbi and planned to marry her, only for Dayang Sumbi to recognise his birthmark just as he was about to go hunting.

In order to prevent the marriage from taking place, Dayang Sumbi asked Sangkuriang to build a dam on the river Citarum and to build a large boat to cross the river, both before the sunrise. Sangkuriang meditated and summoned mythical ogre-like creatures, called buta hejo or green giants, to do his bidding. Dayang Sumbi saw that the tasks were almost completed and called on her workers to spread red silk cloths east of the city, to give the impression of impending sunrise. Sangkuriang was fooled, and upon believing that he had failed, kicked the dam and the unfinished boat, resulting in severe flooding and the creation of Tangkuban Perahu from the hull of the boat.

Volcano Tangkuban Perahu - Second Crater. The hot rocks are used to cook eggs for tourists.

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About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

5 thoughts on “Bandung Indonesia Tangkuban Perahu

  1. What a story! So glad we don’t have to be doomed to eternal sadness. You *always* write interesting stories that amaze or stun or just get us to read. Thanks!

    Posted by Brook | March 18, 2012, 00:03
  2. Hi,
    I am always amazed at the force that volcanoes have, truly dangerous places, but I can understand the fascination that some people have and why they would take a risk to get up close.
    I love the idea of the eggs on the hot rocks, that is unreal. 😀

    Posted by magsx2 | March 21, 2012, 05:39
  3. You write interesting articles 😉

    Posted by jennysserendipity | April 6, 2012, 01:29

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: September 2 1977: Bandung Indonesia Photo Gallery « Craig Hill - March 20, 2012

  2. Pingback: September 2 1977: Bandung Indonesia Photo Gallery « China Daily Mail - April 6, 2012

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