Mount Lawu, or Gunung Lawu, is a massive compound
stratovolcano straddling the border between East Java and
Central Java, Indonesia. The north side is deeply eroded and
the eastern side contains parasitic crater lakes and
parasitic cones. A fumarolic area is located on the south
flank at 2,550 m. The only reported activity of Lawu took
place in 1885, when rumblings and light volcanic ash falls
Many mountaineers climb this mountain to
adore the green scenic view, with lovely Edelweiss flowers
on its top, and the challenging beauty of the dead crater,
southward of the peak, locally known as Kawah Kuning (yellow
crater). The highest peak is hilly plain, known as Argo
Dumilah, where a "Tri-angular Pole" is erected.
The mountaineering routes to Mt. Lawu
1. From the city of Solo or Surakarta Travel to
Tawangmangu, a hilly resort (1305 m high), 40 Km East of
Solo. Then continue further 1,5 Km to Cemoro Kandang
(Central Java) or Cemoro Sewu (East Java) (1600 M).
2. From East Java, Madiun Travel to Lake Resort Sarangan,
on the east slope of the mountain and then continue to
Cemoro Sewu. Mt. Lawu stands peacefully in the South border
of central and East Java.
Yellow Crater Triangular Peak
From Cemoro Kandang
1. Itís 12 Km climb, normally it should take 7 hours
2. Thereís a registration station belonged to Forest
Authority (Perhutani). Guide, supplies and information are
available. For traditional stories of Mt. Lawu, Pak (Mr)
Sumarsono can be contacted.
3. A climber shall walk thru dense wood, near the top,
the vegetation are rare, then some specific mountain trees
and bushes such as Santigi and Eidelweiss appear.
4. There are satisfactorily 5 huts (5 Pos), namely: * Pos
1 : Taman Sari Bawah (Lower Garden) (2300 M) The water of
the river here contains sulphur. * Pos 2 : Taman Sari Atas
(Upper Garden Ė 2.470 M). A fresh cool air amidst the green
trees. There is an active crater, evaporating sulphur. * Pos
3 : 2760 M (Pos Penggik) Nearby a spring, by the name of
Sendang Panguripan (life spring), producing a cool healthy
drinking water. * Pos 4 : 3025 M This location is named
Cokro Suryo, it is a large plain to enjoy the sunset and the
picturesque panorama. * Pos 5 : 3150 M
5. Above these huts, there are
1. Pesanggrahan Argo Dalem (3170 M), small cottages. 2.
The highest peak: Argo Dumilah
From Cemoro Sewu
1. Itís 9 Km climb, with steep stony path. 2. There are 5
huts to the top. 3. Contact Ibu (Mrs) Warno at the base
camp. Guide, supplies etc are available.
The return journey to the base camp, one shall spend
around 4 hours walk.
Its old name was Wukir Mahendra, some believe the top of
the mountain was the first kingdom on the island, the
dwellers were Gods descending from Kahyangan (heaven), upon
seeing an empty beautiful place like a paradise.
It was the retreat of King Brawijaya V, the last king of
Majapahit Empire in the 15th century. It has also a strong
spiritual traditional relation with the rulers of Mataram
Kingdom II and the Karaton (palace) of Surakarta and
In ancient Javanese mythology, Lawu is called Mahendra
and legend has it that the gods who created the first
kingdom in Java descended from heaven here. In later
history, Lawu was the retreat of the last king of Majapahit,
Brawijaya V. On the eve of the Javanese New Year, thousands
of adherents of the indigenous Javanese belief--kebatinan--climb
to the summit to meditate.
As in other sacred places in Java, names that dot the
landscape often echo the ancient Indian epic, Mahabharata.
The crater, for instance, is called Candradimuka, believed
to be the place where the gods boiled Bhima's son Gatotkaca
in molten metal to make him invincible. Bhima is the second
of the five Pandawa brothers, who are the main protagonists
in the Mahabharata.
A cave called Sigolo-golo recalls the name of the cave
that the Pandawa brothers, led by the brave Bhima, escaped
through when their palace apartment was burned down by their
evil cousins the Kurawa.
Brawijaya V had a fascination with honest Bhima, for in
the Karanganyar regency (in Central Java), on the Surakarta
side of Lawu, he built two fascinating temples dedicated to
him; Candi Sukuh which looks almost Mayan and Candi Cetho.
Candi Cetho was "developed" on the orders of the late
president Suharto without any archaeological considerations.
Irresponsible and inappropriate development is still
irreversibly changing the spiritual sites of Lawu. The
current building of a Javanese pendapa pavilion with marble
flooring, over a sacred stone in the area near the summit
called the keputren--the princesses' quarters--by a wealthy
businessman, is but one example.