Mount Rinjani’s Crater Lake is named Segara Anak because of its blue colour reminiscent of the ocean. It was formed when the volcano’s predecessor, Mount Samalas erupted and collapsed in 1257, leaving the caldera lake behind. A recent 2013 study revealed that Mt Samalas’ eruption was felt around the world – eight times as large as Krakatau’s (1883) and twice that of Tambora (1815) – possibly wiping out the ancient Lombok Kingdom’s capital of Pamatan.
This means that a ‘Pompeii of the Far East’ could well be buried right beneath our feet as we hiked across Mt Rinjani, blown away by the beauty. Segara Anak Lake (“”Child of the Sea”” in Sasak language) is sacred to the Lombok’s people. For the ethnically Balinese Hindus the Lake are the Home of the Gods and for the Sasaks too, some of who still cling to pre-Islamic beliefs, the waters are home to powerful spirits.
At the edge of the lake, there are crude alters, a scattered with Balinese ‘sesajen’ offerings, and during the annual Pakelem festival pilgrims make their way up from the villages to cast offerings into the lake. One more reward of the Segara Anak is the Milk Cave. It got this name because the inside of the cave is milky white. Stalagmites in the cave roof drop hot water, so hot vapors come out of the cave mouth. It’s a stunning natural sauna. The hot water and Milk cave makes my sleep very soundly at night.
The best moment to be in Segara Anak is at sunset. As if a painting, orange tinges form transverse lines on the walls of valley around the lake. Some walls are partially exposed to a golden light, some remain dark. It is a light show that really makes an impression on the heart. Segara anak is the heaven of Rinjani. There are no words that can describe the beauty and camera does not seem to capture its beauty the way it truly is.
The main activity that you can do in the lake is trekking. You can trek around the Mount Rinjani and Lake Segara Anak. As previously mentioned, the panorama around the lake is so stunning that a trekking activity will be fun and exciting. Apart from trekking, you can also learn about the traditional way of life of the local people. Segara Anak is deemed a holy place. For local people, the lake holds a deep spiritual significance. Religious ceremonies are held in this lake every fifth full moon. You can visit the lake when the ceremonies are held. You will have a chance to see how small gold fish are released into the lake. The release of the gold fish is aimed to honor the goddess Enjini, a queen that used to rule at Mount Rinjani.
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