The major point of interest for visitors is without doubt the highland area around Kintamani, which is perched on the lip of Mont Batur’s crater and looks out over the spectacular Crater Lake. The best view is from Penelokan, a little to the west around the crater from Kintamani, and from where one can see the cone of Mount Batur smoldering away and the black traces of its explosion on the landscape of the crater. A rather treacherous road leads from Penelokan down the crater to Toyah Bungkah, where soothing hot springs on the edge of the Crater Lake have recently been tapped off to create a magnificent spa complex. Toyah Bungkah is a pleasant place to stay the night and prepare for an early rise and the two-hour climb up Mount Batur, arriving in time to see the sunrise.
History of Mount Batur
The village of Batur used to be down in the crater. A violent eruption of the volcano in 1917 killed thousand of people and destroyed more than 60,000 homes and 2000 temple. Although the village was wiped out, the lava flow stopped at the entrance to the village temple.
Taking this as a good omen, the village was rebuilt, only to have Batur erupted again 1926. This time the lava flow covered all but loftiest temple shrine. Fortunately, the Dutch administration anticipated the eruption and evacuated the villagers, partly by force, so very few lives were lost. The villages were relocated up on the crater rim, and the surviving shrine was also moved up and place in the new temple, Pura Ulun Danu Batur. Construction on the new temple commenced in 1927. Spiritually, Gunung batur is the second most important mountain on Bali- only Agung outranks it- so the temple here, one of the island’s nine directional temples, is of considerable importance.