The Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park covers a massive area of 800 square km in the center of East Java. For anyone with an interest in volcanoes, a visit to the park is a must. This is the largest volcanic region in the province. Visit the park and see the plumes of smoke coming from Mt Semeru, an active volcano which rises 3,676 meters above sea level. Experience the remarkable Tengger Caldera, Java’s largest, with its 10 km barren desert-like sea of sand. Within the caldera rise the deeply fissured volcanic cones of Batok and Bromo, the latter is still active with a cavernous crater from which smoke blows skyward. Temperatures at the top of Mt Bromo range about 5-18 degrees Celsius. To the south of the park is a rolling upland plateau dissected by valleys and dotted with several small scenic lakes, extending to the foot of Mt Semeru.
Many visitors to the park choose to walk while they are here. There are clearly marked tracks across the sand sea that leads to the foot of Bromo. Alternatively, you can rent a jeep or hire a horse from Cemoro Lawang to get around.
Bromo Tengger Semeru can be reached by private and public vehicle from Surabaya or Malang in East Java. Sriwijaya Air flies twice daily to Malang from Jakarta. There are multiple ways to get into the park. Visitors can come from Probolinggo, in the north west arrive through the village of Ngadisari. Or take the north east approach via Pasuruan and the village of Tosari. The third, the more difficult approach is via Ngadas, which is best traveled on the way down.
The Probolinggo approach is the easiest and by far the most popular route, especially if travelling by public bus. Wonokitri is the closest and the easiest approach if you are coming by private vehicle from Surabaya (5 hours journey). To get closer to Mt Bromo you must rent 4×4 vehicles (there are many 4×4 vehicles available for rent there).
Most tour groups fromSurabaya stay overnight at Tretes, where there are a number hotels, as there are in Malang, which has the added advantage of having an airport. Alternatively, you can contact a travel agency to arrange your trip.
Experience Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park
Mount Bromo, Stunning Beauty Lies in Dramatic Landscapes
Located some 4 hours drive fromSurabaya, the capital of East Java, Mount Bromo is a part of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park that covers a massive area of 800 square km. While it may be small when measured against other volcanoes in Indonesia, the magnificent Mt Bromo will not disappoint with its spectacular views and dramatic landscapes. At 2,392 meters tall, Mt Bromo is not among the tallest of Indonesia’s mountains but its stunning beauty lies in its incredible setting.
From a vantage point on Mount Penanjakan (2,770 meters above sea level), 2.5 hours from Malang. visitors from around the world come to see the sunrise over Mt Bromo. From this spot the vista is magnificent. All you will hear is the click of cameras as visitors snap their camera’s hoping to capture the incredible scene of Mt Bromo in the foreground with Mt Semeru smoking in the distance and the sun shining brightly, quickly rising in the sky.
The eerie landscape has spurned countless legends and myths. Mt Bromo has particular significance for the Tengger people who believe that this was the site where a brave prince sacrificed his life for his family. The people here appease the Gods once a year during the annual Kasada festival where offerings of vegetables, chickens and money are thrown into the crater of the volcano.
To reach Mount Bromo, you can fly to Juanda international airport in Surabaya. There are direct flights to Surabaya from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hongkong, Jakarta and Bali. From there, continue your journey to Mt Bromo by booking with a travel agent, or driving the Surabaya-Pasuruan-Wonokitri-Mt Bromo route. The journey will take 2-3 hours. It is best for you to leave Surabaya at 23:00 PM – 24:00 AM in order to arrive in time for sunrise. Or you can stay overnight at one of the hotels at Prigen, Tretes, to make sure that you are on the crater rim before sunrise. Ponies can take you across the sand sea to the bottom of the steep stairs that leads to the crater.
The Surreal Madakaripura Waterfall, Vestige of The Great Majapahit Kingdom
Leaving misty Mount Bromo behind and descending into the Probolinggo Regency, one will find a spectacular sight secluded within the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park: this is the enchanting Madakaripura Waterfall. Believed to be the final meditation place of military Commander-in-Chief, Gajah Mada, of the great Javanese kingdom of Majapahit in East Java, the towering waterfall is fondly dubbed the eternal waterfall, since its waters never cease to pour down an endless rain of blessings on those fortunate enough to walk underneath it.
Located not too far from Mount Bromo near the village of Sapih, in the Lombang district, Madakaripura Waterfall is about three hours’ drive from the capital of East Java, Surabaya. The spectacular waterfall lies hidden at the end of a deep valley in the foothills of the Tengger mountain range. To reach this, visitors must trek about 20 minutes crossing rivers and a rocky path, set amongst beautiful sceneries along the way, before reaching the entrance. Here a statue of Majapahit‘s great Commander, Gajah Mada, in the seated position of deep meditation greets visitors before they continue further on foot.
An atmosphere of natural grandeur radiates around as the waterfall comes into view. As the rumbling sounds of water grows louder, a spellbinding feature of water curtains cover the path, that will not only please the eyes but also freshen body and soul. Here, nature gracefully pours her endless refreshing gifts, making getting wet quite inevitable. While it may be best to be ready with raincoats or umbrellas, stalls along the trekking path will offer umbrella rentals and plastic bags to protect valuables, such as cameras.
The path ends in a surreal tube-like valley where the staggering 200 meters gallant waterfall highlights the scene. Decorated with a cave on the wall which was believed to be the exact location where Commander in Chief Gajah Mada performed his last meditation, Madakaripura Waterfall is even dubbed as the tallest waterfall in Java and the second tallest waterfall in Indonesia after Sigura-gura Waterfall near Lake Toba, North Sumatra. While the waterfall’s sheer height is by itself already a wonder, the ambience around the area is truly something that needs to be experienced first-hand to be believed.
Surrounded by outstandingly high walls, the Fall flows down into an almost mystical natural chamber. Inside the 200 meters “chamber”, the reflected sunlight shining through onto the wet green moss on the rocky wall accompanied by the ever rumbling sounds of water creates a spectacle unlikely found elsewhere. Decorated with huge boulders, endlessly falling water, and sparkling moss, one only needs to gaze up to the distant sky and immerse oneself in the spellbinding beauty of nature. While the fascinating scene can be captured on camera, the true sensation of being in one of the most outstanding places on earth can only be felt by being there.
According to ancient Javanese 14th century epic poem, Negarakretagama, Madakaripura was a piece of land given to Commander Gajah Mada by the Majapahit King Hayam Wuruk. Gajah Mada himself is the most celebrated military commander in the history of the great Javanese Majapahit Kingdom that thrived between 1293 to 1500AD. Its commander is recognized as the main figure who succeeded in unifying the entire Indonesian Archipelago then under the huge Majapahit empire (that at the time was said to stretch until Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Southern Thailand , the Philippines and East Timor) under his famous oath the “Sumpah Palapa”.
It is said that the source of his overwhelming power and abilities lie within the cave of the Madakaripura Waterfall, where Gajah Mada frequently came to meditate. The great commander eventually chose the place as his last place for mediation before he was believed to have been –what ancient Javanese believed- “Muksha” – or vanished spiritually and physically from the face of the earth, rather than just dying physically. To honor this legacy, many people still visit the Falls to meditate or perform rituals, especially on the eve of 1 Suro, the Javanese New Year. As a place that is historically significant, culturally sacred, and naturally spellbinding, Madakaripura is simply a must, when you visit East Java.
The best way to get to Madakaripura Waterfall is to rent a car from Surabaya or Malang, or include it in the tour package along with Mount Bromo. From Surabaya, capital of East Java, the trip will take a little over three hours, by taking the intercity route to Sidoarjo-Porong-Pasuruan-Probolinggo. Upon reaching Tongas, there will be a sign directing to both Mount Bromo and Madakaripura Waterfall to the right.
The intersection is marked by a small monument in the center of the road. Follow the road for about 20-30 minutes until you reach another sign pointing to Madakaripura Waterfall to the right. From there the road is a bit narrow, but the view will be most pleasing. Follow the road until you reach the entrance to the Madakaripura Waterfall.
Source : indonesia.travel