Tangkuban Perahu

Tangkuban Perahu, or Tangkuban Parahu in local Sundanese dialect, is an active volcano. Located in Lembang, this place just 30 km north of the city and only within 30 minutes drive from Bandung (when the traffic is light). Its location is in between Sagalaherang village, Sagalaherang district, Subang regency and Cikole village, Lembang district, Bandung regency. Tangkuban Prahu is actually a volcanic mountain.

The shape resembles an upturned boat, hence, the name. It is a popular tourist attraction where tourists can hike or ride to the edge of the crater to view the hot water springs upclose, and buy eggs cooked on its hot surface. This stratovolcano is on the island of Java and last erupted in 1983. Tangkuban Prahu in Sundanese means, more or less, upturned boat. There is a legend involved in the creation of this mountain.

Tangkuban Perahu [2]View surrounding of Tangkuban Perahu

It is said that long time ago, there was a couple very much in love. They had a son called Sangkuriang. For some reason, the husband couldn’t walk around in his true form, so he was forced to assume the form of a dog. Sangkuriang loved the dog very much. One day, Dayang Sumbi, Sangkuriang’s mother, felt like eating a deer’s heart. Sangkuriang tried to hunt for a deer, in vain. In desperation, he killed the dog and took the dog’s heart to his mother. Dayang Sumbi, finally realising that the dog had died, became extremely angry. He hit Sangkuriang, causing a wound on his forehead. Sangkuriang then fled, living somewhere else.

Years had passed and Sangkuriang had grown into a fine young lad. Dayang Sumbi was as beautiful as ever. Sangkuriang met Dayang Sumbi then fell in love, not realizing that she was actually his mother. Dayang Sumbi shared the same affection, until she noticed the scar on Sangkuriang’s forehead. Convinced that she had found her lost son, Dayang Sumbi refused Sangkuriang’s marriage proposal. Sangkuriang persisted, so Dayang Sumbi asked him to build a big ship during the night. She thought Sangkuriang wouldn’t be able to finish this task. She was wrong; dawn was near, and the ship was almost complete. Dayang Sumbi then tricked the roosters to crow earlier, so Sangkuriang would think that the time was up. Sangkuriang was fooled.

In bitter anger he kicked the the dam and the unfinished boat, resulting in severe flooding and the creation of Tangkuban perahu from the hull of the boat.  The ship then turned into a mountain.

Tangkuban Perahu [1]Tangkuban Perahu

Travel Tips:

  • The smell of sulphur is quite strong, so those of you who cannot stand it should bring a handkerchief or similar things to cover their noses.
  • Be firm in refusing an unwanted peddlar. Some peddlars and merchants can be quite pushy.
  • Bring a jacket or sweater. The temperature in this place is quite cool.

At the foot of Mt. Tangkuban Perahu we see the Ciater tea plantation covering the rolling hills. Farther to the left are the northern coastal plains of Java, and on an extremely clear day we may even be able to see the Java Sea beyond.



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