Mount Merapi Yogyakarta is located on the border between the Provinces of Central Java and Yogyakarta, which is the most active mountain in Indonesia. the existence of this mountain can threaten the surrounding community at any time and can erupt at any time. However, this mountain is usually hiked by mountaneers. This volcano will satisfy those of you who have an adventurous spirit.

You can hike cheaply without a guide, without staying at a hotel and finding your own transportation. However, if you have never hiked Merapi before, you should still bring a local guide. You can hire a local tour guide, including hotel pick up, free breakfast, and free bottled water, but you will have to provide a lot of money. Usually this service is used by foreign tourists through the Yogyakarta tours package. By using tour travel services, your trip will be calmer.

Mount Merapi Yogyakarta
Mount Merapi Yogyakarta is visible from afar. Source Unsplash

Get to know Mount Merapi Yogyakarta

Mount Merapi Yogyakarta is a stratovolcano located about 29 km north of Yogyakarta city. The cone shape of this volcano resembles Mount Fuji in Japan. The name Mount Merapi, literally translates to ‘volcano’. In West Sumatra there is also a mountain with a similar name, namely Mount Marapi.

The names between Merapi and Marapi are almost similar, but the characters are very different. The name Merapi which means volcano is exactly the same as the condition of the mountain which is the most active and dangerous volcano in Indonesia.

The peak of Merapi sits at an altitude of 2,930 m above sea level and the mountain is flanked by many beautiful small villages, some of which are located at 1,700 m above sea level. Although the threat may occur at any time, the population density around this volcano is 690 people per square km. The area around Mount Merapi was declared a national park in 2004, with a total land area of ​​around 6,410 hectares.

Only 9 km north of Mount Merapi is another very beautiful volcano called Mount Merbabu. Its existence makes a beautiful backdrop when taking pictures from the top of Merapi. Merbabu has an altitude of 3,145 m above sea level, the peak of Merbabu is slightly higher than Merapi. Merbabu last erupted in 1560 and 1797 and until now has not erupted again.

The myth of Mount Merapi Yogyakarta

There are many myths attached to Mount Merapi, especially those that develop in local people who live at the foot of the mountain. Some people believe that one of the palaces that belonged to a ghost is located inside a mountain. In addition, many mountaineers circulate that in one area of ​​Mount Merapi there is a devil market.

Mount Merapi Yogyakarta is also considered sacred by local residents, and people often bring offerings from the Keraton palace in Yogyakarta on the anniversary of the Sultan’s coronation to assuage the anger of the inhabitants of the mountain. Another belief is that all who enter the mountain area must apologize to the ‘mountain authorities’ if they urinate or speak dirty words while climbing the mountain.

Eruption History

Merapi has a very deadly history from its eruptions in the past. The eruption of Mount Merapi has caused many deaths and thousands of people have fled their hometowns. Mount Merapi usually erupts every 2-3 years with a small eruption, and a bigger eruption occurs every 10-15 years.

The fall of the Hindu Mataram Kingdom in 1006 and the burial of several temples including the Borobudur temple are believed to be due to the large eruption of Merapi at that time. In November 1994 an eruption was quite large and caused a flow of hot clouds to rush down the western side of the mountain towards the village in Muntilan and killed 27 villagers who could not evacuate on time. After that followed lava flows and volcanic earthquakes.

The 2006 eruption resulted in a lava flow and a flow of hot clouds known as wedhus gembel that caused two fatalities. At the same time, an earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale struck 50 km southwest of Mount Merapi. The big earthquake killed 5,000 people and caused thousands of buildings to collapse due to the tremors.

Mount Merapi Yogyakarta
Mount Merapi eruption. Source Unsplash

A major eruption occurred on October 25, 2010. The eruption was preceded by hundreds of volcanic earthquakes and rising magma levels. In the event of the eruption killed more than 300 people and destroyed more than 300,000 homes. Most of the victims were injured or died as a result of burns, besides psychological trauma also whacked the refugees.