Mt or “Gunung” Rinjani is an active volcano on the Indonesian island of Lombok. Often referred to as the “Seat of The Gods”, the sacred peak rises to 3726m (12224ft), making it Indonesia’s second highest volcano. The mountain forms part of Gunung Rinjani National Park, a 41,330 hectare protected area which has been proposed as a potential UNESCO Geopark.
The lower to mid levels of the mountain are covered in dense jungle, which gives way to grass when the tree line is broken. Higher up the grass becomes sparse, eventually yielding to barren scree slopes and volcanic rock.
Within an expansive caldera lies a large crater lake know as Danau Segara Anak or “Child of the Sea”. Rising out of this cobalt-blue lake is Gunung Barujari – an active cone formed during 1994 and 1995 eruptions. The latest major eruptions of Gunung Barujari were in 2010, when expelled ash rose 2km into the atmosphere, and lava flow increased the lake’s temperature from 21 to 35 degrees Celsius. Beneath the lake are some thermal springs, which provide hot bathing water to weary trekkers all year round!
Mt Rinjani is of spiritual significance to local Sasak islanders, and to the Balinese, to whom it is one of three sacred mountains (the others being Mt Agung, Bali & Mt Bromo, Java). Once a year Hindus gather on the bank of Danau Segara Anak to conduct rituals, making offerings to the Gods. Gold and Jewelry is tossed into the lake in a ceremony called Pekelan, before the pilgrims continue their climb to the summit.
Mt Rinjani is an incredibly beautiful mountain, offering spectacular views of Lombok. It is often possible to look over the three Gili Isles to a distant Mt Agung, as well as see the neighbouring island of Sumbawa to the East.
Climbing the mountain is challenging, but an incredible experience you will never forget.