ITS–Located on the border between Yogyakarta and Magelang, Central Java, Mount Merapi is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Today, it produces smoke and hot lava relatively regularly. The word “Merapi” comes from “meru” means mount, and “api” means fire.
In its history, Mount Merapi, which is 2971 m height above sea level, has many times erupted bursting out hot-lava, stones, minerals, and other substances. Chronologically it has erupted in 1930, 1969, 1984, and 1998 respectively. In 1994, its hot lava killed 66 people northwest of the volcano. In 1998, the mount again erupted throwing out smoke, hot lava and ashes of 3000 Co reaching 3000 m height. It has taken 1,300 lives since 1930.
It is worth noting that although it has taken thousands of lives, the local people still believe that the mount has given them blessings in the form of fertile land. They also believe that Mount Merapi will give them warnings in their dreams if it is going to erupt, so that the local people are well prepared to evacuate. However, this produces one of the challenges the government has in evacuating the local people when volcanic activity increases.
The people of Yogyakarta believe that Yogyakarta’s Keraton (Sultanate) has a mystical relationshipwith the mountain’s spirit. The first of Suro in the Javanese calendar, Yogyakartan people give offerings to the “ruler” of Mount Merapi in order to ensure that the people live securely, comfortably, safely, as well as with prosperity. It is also believed that the intensity of Merapi’s activities provide signals for the intensity of Indonesia political situation.
Apart from those local community’s beliefs, Mount Merapi possesses amazing charms. Its charms have driven young people, especially nature lovers, to climb the mount and conquer its peak. It takes them around 6 hours to reach the summit and 4 hours to descend. From its summit, people can enjoy a clear sunrise and sunset. People can also see the lovely view of Mount Merbabu in the north, Mount Lawu in the west, and Mount Sindoro and Mount Sumbing in the east.
Right at the foot of Mount Merapi, there is an interesting and relaxing location, which draws tourists to it for its hotels and restaurants with delicious food.