Bromo - Tengger - Semeru

The summit of Mt. Semeru (3676m), Java's highest peak, seen from Mt.Penanjakan at sunset
The Bromo - Tengger - Semeru National Park covers some 800 square kilometres in the centre of East Java. It is the largest volcanic region in the province and contains the island's highest mountain, Semeru, which rises 3,676 metres above sea - level. The ten kilometre wide 'sand sea' of Bromo has become East Java's most famous attraction. The Park is home to quite a number of rare and protected plants, among them the dwarf shrub styphelia javanica (L.) with its fragrant white flowers, as well as a special type of rhododendron. Higher mountain regions are covered in hardy cemara (casuarina) trees, while the lower slopes are used partially for commercial forest plantations. The range of fauna here has not been fully recorded, though a few species, such as the wild pig, Timorese deer and muncak (barking deer) exist in considerable numbers. There are also leopards, flying squirrels and a variety of duck and other waterfowl.

Mt. Semeru

The Bromo/Semeru region is inhabited by the Tenggerese, who to this day retain a Hindu/Javanese faith. Isolated for centuries, they have remained loyal to the old ways and practice a religion which is almost identical to that found on neighbouring Bali. A centre for traditional Tenggerese culture is at Wonokitri, where a large Hindu temple has been built quite recently. The Park is accessible from four directions; from Probolinggo, Pasuruan, Lumajang or Malang. The most popular approach is from the north coastal town of Probolinggo, from where the road winds up through Sukapura to Ngadisari. An alternative route leads from Pasuruan, via Tosari to the summit of Mt. Penanjakan, which is rapidly becoming a favourite spot to welcome the dawn. Accommodation can be found at both Ngadisari and Tosari.

Bromo; looking into the crater

As the sun rises, the early morning mist dissipates to reveal a fantastic, almost lunar landscape. Two deeply furrowed volcanic cones stand side by side on a vast, perfectly flat expanse of sand ten kilometres across. Bromo's crater is active, emitting dense clouds of sulphureous steam. Reasonably quiescent at the moment,the mountain has erupted three times during this century at fairly regular thirty year intervals. The last major eruption was in 1974. Beside Bromo stands its dormant twin, Mt.Batok, whose sides rise in a perfect cone shape to a flat summit. The entire plain is surrounded by steep cliffs, which form the rim of an enormous caldera.
Mt Bromo and its dormant twin, Batok, seen from the sand sea



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