Here’s the legend of how the Tenggerese came to live in Mount Bromo.
A long time ago, there lived a beautiful woman by the name Roro Anteng. She was a reknown beauty and had attracted the attention of an evil giant. Because the evil giant possessed extraordinary magical powers, Roro Anteng dared not reject the giant’s advances when he proposed to her. Roro thought of a plan to get away from the marriage without offending the giant. In order to get her hand in marriage, the giant had to fufill her wishes.
Roro then concocted a difficult request in hopes that the giant did not have the power to fufill it. She had asked him to make her a sandy desert in between the mountains in one night and before the break of dawn.
Unfortunately for her, the giant magically and swiftly begin to work his powers and was near completing her wishes. The fast thinking Roro Anteng quickly thought of an idea to disrupt the completion, she made all sorts of noises that woke up the roosters. The roosters began to crow bringing dawn in.
On hearing the rooster’s calls, which signalled the break of dawn, the giant was shocked for having failed his task. Frustrated, he threw the coconut shell that he used to dig the desert, the shell fell to the ground beside Mount Bromo, forming what is now knows as Mount Batok (coconut shell). The sandy plain was to form the Tengger caldera.
The story continues with Roro Anteng falling in love with Joko Seger, a descendant of the great Majapahit Kingdom who had led a reclusive life on the desolate mountain range.
They were married, living happily blessed with many children. Their children and their descendents formed the tribal community of the Tengger (taken from the names ‘Roro Anteng’ and Joko Seger”).
This was the story of how the Tenggerese tribe came to be and how they lived the lands.
These Tenggerese Horsemen live on the edge of a magnificent million-year-old caldera with four dormant and active volcanic peaks. Mount Bromo is one of the active volcanoes in Indonesia. For centuries, the Tenggerese lived off the rich volcano soil with substance farming, horses only came to the land 200 hundred years ago and became an integral part of the Tenggerese culture.
Nowadays, these Tenggerese Horsemen takes tourists up the Volcano daily basis, the average trip up the volcano will cost you 20,000rp – 40,000 depending on your bargaining skills. These horsemen start working at 4am and returns back to their regular jobs after 10am when all the tourist leaves. It gets too hot after 9am. Business is tough these days, this is the off peak tourist season and not many tourists take the horse ride up these days judging by the number of horses awaiting for business.
It was fairly easy ride up the Volcano on horseback, with parts of steep ascent, my skinny little horse had no problems walking up this steep portion along with its horsemen leading it up. Riding down the descent was a little uncomfortable strapping my 10kg camera bag on my back, it was a little challenging balancing myself with my heavy bag.
Horses of Bromo – A series of Black and White images
One of the horsemen who took us up the Volcano
Horses up the slope, looking down at the ‘Sea of Sand’
The horsemen waiting for business up the Volcano
Horses lining up awaiting for tourists to take them down the Volcano. Most of the horses looked quite skinny and dehydrated.
Tourists riding up the steep slopes of Bromo
The view of the entire caldera from my hotel, Lava View lodge.
June 2008 : Mount Bromo, Semeru National Park
Coming here was a little of a surprise to me, I lept at the chance of coming here when someone I knew decided to invite me on their trip. Mount Bromo has always been one of the places I wanted to visit, I had put it down on my travel bucket list.
The trip was quite short and I had wished that we could have spent a little more time here instead of just half a morning. We had spent 10 hours driving here, arriving only at 8pm the night before, waking up at 3am for the sunrise view of the three volcanos. In the 3 day tour around the region , I spent more than 20 hours travelling around in the van more than I had touring the places. This was the regret I had of coming here.
Well, there is always the next time.
Mount Semeru erupts every interval, blowing hot steam in the background.
Waiting for the sunrise in complete darkness along with pack load of tourists.
A few minutes before sunrise, at the middle far left , you probably can make up some village lights.