Tangkuban Perahu – Arising out of a legend
As I stand at the rim of Tangkuban Perahu crater, the legend unfolds in front of me. A single mother Dayang Sumbi who lived in West Java, cast away her son Sangkuriang for disobedience. Son went to a faraway place. Saddened by her actions, the beautiful woman was also worried about her future. Looking at her sadness the Gods granted her the power of eternal youth.
Time passed, they did not see each other all these years and now Sangkuriang was a strong young man. He decided to go to his hometown long after the two had forgotten and failed to recognize each other. On the way home, he stopped by a small village where he met and fell in love with a beautiful girl, without realizing that the girl he loved was in fact his own mother Dayang Sumbi, who had remained youthful through the years. He planned to marry her.
One day as he was about to go hunting, Dayang Sumbi recognized his birthmark. She was horrified! In order to prevent the marriage from taking place, Dayang Sumbi put a difficult task for Sangkuriang. She asked him to build a dam on the river Citarum and to build a large boat to cross the river, both in a single night before the sunrise.
Sangkuriang meditated, called mythical creatures to help him reach the deadline. Dayang Sumbi saw that the task was almost completed. Now she had to act fast. She called on her workers to spread red silk clothes on the east side of the city. With a wave of her magic shawl the eastern horizon was looking red, giving the impression of impending sunrise. Deceived by what looked like dawn, Sangkuriang thought he failed and got very upset and angry. In his rage, he kicked the dam and the unfinished boat turning it upside down. It resulted in severe flooding and the creation of Tangkuban Perahu from the hull of the boat. Thus formed Tangkuban Perahu, the name that translates roughly to “upturned boat” in the local Sundanese language.
Way to another view point.
And the view from the there.
Tangkuban Perahu is a dormant volcano 30 km north of the city of Bandung, the provincial capital of West Java, Indonesia. Though the mountain now appears peaceful, it has erupted several times in the past and as recent as in 1983. 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, and buy eggs cooked on the hot surface. It is the only crater in Indonesia that you can drive up to its very rim.
Its eruption contributed immensely to the formation and fertility of the hills north of Bandung when through its flow of lava carrying large boulders into the valleys, these formed huge cliffs over which waterfalls leapt to form the lake that today covers the Bandung plain.
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This was the first crater that we visited, even before Kawah Putih. The sky was clear with occasional clouds. The guide showed us the portion which erupted in 1983. The sulphur fumes were still coming out but were not that strong… probably since we were at a height. The green-yellow color of water looked intriguing.
After the last eruption, hiking up to the water is prohibited. All you can do is get yourself clicked with the crater in background. 😀
Entrance Fee: Rp 20,000 (local), Rp 200,000 (foreigner)
Disclaimer: I was invited by Ministry of Tourism, Indonesia but as always, opinions are mine.
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