Kintamani is known as Panelokan literally means âthe place to lookâ; where colours are forever changing in the surrounding environment – ribbons of black lava ripple down the valley from the misty peak of Mount Batur, the still lake resembling blue glass, and at other times a sheet of liquid platinum.
Legend tells that Pasupati, an incantation of the God Siwa (Shiva) divided Mount Meru and placed the two halves in Bali as the volcanoes Gunung Agung and Batur. Next to Agung, Batur is the most revered of Baliâs mountains and symbolizes the female element.
With restaurants literally on the edge of the crater, Penelokan is a good place to take a break. But to really breathe in the beauty of Batur, it is best to travel further up the road to Kintamani due to the many persistent vendors in Penelokan!
A very steep and winding road leads down to Kedisan on the lakeside where boats can be hired. The road does not go all the way along the lake, although it is possible to hike around it. On the flank of the volcano opposite Trunyan at Toya Bungkah there are hot springs which are still used for bathing by local people. Few local people bathe in the lake, although it is not forbidden. There are a number of starting points by the hot springs for climbing Batur; the journey takes less than three hours roundtrip (from Purajati it is two hours). Consider leaving very early in the morning to avoid heatstroke and bottled water and sunscreen are a must; there are plenty of guides who can take you.
Formerly, the people of this area lived relatively undisturbed at the base of the holy volcano. In 1917 Batur violently erupted destroying 65.000 homes, 2,500 temples and more than 1,000 lives. Lava engulfed the village of Batur but miraculously stopped at the very foot of the temple.
People took this as a good omen and continued to live there. However in 1926 a new eruption buried the entire temple except the highest shrine, dedicate to the Goddess of the Lake. The villagers were then forced to resettle on the high cliffs overlooking the shrine and began rebuilding the temple, now known as Pura Ulun Danu; an ambitious project, with some 285 planned shrines still to be completed.
The rituals in the temple are closely linked to the veneration of Lake Batur and supplication for the blessings of irrigation water. The mountain lakes help regulate the flow of water to the fields and villages through the many natural springs lower down the slope and are critical to the livelihoods of many villages.