Earth : Asia : Southeast Asia : Indonesia : Bali : Mount Agung
Towering over 10,000ft above sea level, Mount Agung (Gunung Agung) is the highest volcano on the island of Bali.
Mount Agung has huge spiritual significance to the people of the island, and is home to the 'Mother Temple' of Besakih. It forms part of a chain of volcanos that form the back bone of Bali which includes Mount Batur.
Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, causing devastation as the lava flow forged its way to the sea. Superstitious locals believe that the eruption was caused by the gods' anger at Sukarno's request to hold the once-a-century festival of Eka Dasa Rudra, the most important in the Balinese calendar, ahead of schedule. The lava flows passed within meters of Besakih, sparing the temple, but still killing over 1000 people.
Flora and fauna
Mount Agung is most commonly approached from the south via the town of Klungkung.
Mount Agung is viewed as sacred and permission to climb is required from the various temples that sit at the base. Appropriate clothes and a nominal offering is required.
There are two main routes up the mountain, both of which are difficult. Unless you an experienced climber, do not attempt the climb without an experienced guide.
One route starts from Besakih at an altitude of approximately 1100 meters, while the other starts from Pura Pasar Agung, on the southern slope of the mountain, near Selat. The routes ascends different peaks, so there is no path between the two routes at the top.
Climbing time on either route is generally upwards of four hours. The mountain can be climbed overnight, starting around 10 PM for a dawn arrival, or with an overnight stay about three-quarters of the way in. Ropes are not necessary, and altitude sickness is unlikely, but warm waterproof clothing is necessary. No water or any other facilities are available en route.