Mount Agung, the king of all mountains in Bali, with Besakih Temple in the foreground, is Bali’s highest mountain (3,142 m). It rests in the central-eastern part of the island of Bali, situated in Karangsem Regency. Mt. Agung is an active stratovolcano and has had massive eruptions during the past. Gunung Agung last erupted in 1963-64 and is still active, with a massive and profound crater which occasionally ejects smoke and ash.
Mount Agung is the topmost point on the island of gods and labeled the most challenging trek in Bali. Mount Agung is definitely a difficult opposition for the brave to conquer when visiting Bali as it demands a pretty good level of physical fitness. Mount Agung is by far the most challenging trek in Bali. The clouds come from the west and Agung takes their water so that the west is lush and green and the east dry and infertile.
The mother temple, Pura Besakih, lies on the slope of this mountain is considered as the biggest and sacred Hindu temple is the center location for Balinese Hindu for worship and ceremonies. The Balinese pay their respects to this active volcano and believe that the volcano is sleeping which is correct up to an extent. The drive up to The Pura Besakih is simply spectacular displaying the most panoramic views of the valley, lush green rice paddies, few narrow roads with sharp cuts, gray tailed monkeys, and few gorgeous restaurant offering great local food. Certainly, you will get enough AWWW moments while driving up to The Pura Besakih.
Start your hike through the thick forest near the temple, the amazing voyage might take up 7 hours to reach the vertex point. The setting becomes flinty and tough as you make your way up, so make sure you are wearing the appropriate hiking boots and gears. The mountain of God will bring you to your knees if you are weak. This beautiful yet devastating mountain will test your patience, strength and physical abilities at all levels. It gets so steep in parts that you will be forced to use all fours to be stable. It is advisable to start hiking late at night so that you may witness the spectacular sunrise at Mount Agung. After so much pain and hard work, this view will take away the pain and fatigue. It is a view not to be missed! However, because of its difficulty, is little less touristy than Mount Batur. From the peak of the mountain, it is possible to see the peak of Mount Rinjani on the island of Lombok, although both mountains are frequently covered in cloud.
A little history of Mount Agung
Mount Agung maintains a divine meaning to the Balinese as the Mother Temple of Besakih lies within its slopes. Legend has it that it is created by the Hindu God Pashupati when he split the Mount Meru which is the spiritual axis of the universe.
In 1964, the rage of Mount Agung shattered and wrecked many villages, killing 1,500 people.
After more than 100 years of sleep, Mt. Agung came back to life in 1963. Massive blasts and a cloud rising from the crater were noticed. Mt. Agung eruptions in May 1963 provoked a great deal of distress and suffering on Bali during and after 1963. The eruptions transpired amid of the performance of the Eka Dasa Rudra religious ceremonies in Besakih Temple.
On February 24, 1963, highly gluey and thick lava floods began to travel down reaching a length of 7 km in about 20 days. The flows were about 0.5-0.8 km wide and 30-40 m thick. Rough estimates indicate a total volume of these flows of about 50 million cubic meters.
After that period, the eruption became more hazardous, and on March 17, 1963, massive eruption with heavy jerks happened. Many villages were destroyed and more than 1500 people lost their lives.
Important Things to Know before you go
There are commonly two hiking trails to reach the peak of Mount Agung, one from Besakih Temple and the other from Pasar Agung Temple. If you take the track from Besakih temple, you will go directly to the vertex, to the actual summit 3,142 meters above sea level. This is actually the longer and the challenging one. If you think that you should take rather an easy track then better you chose to start from Pasar Agung Temple which is relatively easy and short, however, you can’t reach the actual summit, it will be around 150 meters shorter than the actual peak of Mount Agung. From Besakih the total up and down might take 12 hours, however, Pasar Agung Temple can take about 8 hours.
The temperature can be 10 to 5 degrees on the peak in general, but in case of rain, windy and cloudy environment, the temperature can go further down up to 2 degrees. Most of the people start trekking at the late night around 12.30 am or even earlier if you think you are slow as it takes around 7 hours, so if you want to see the sunrise, go early.
TREKKING SAFETY GUIDE AND TIPS