The original name of the mountain is Mount Brahma, but Javanese simply call it Mount Bromo. Its local inhabitants known as Tenggerese believe that Bromo is a holy mountain where deities live. Their belief is not based on nothing. When Majapahit kingdom ruled Nusantara (now Southeast Asia), Bromo was neglected and it came to attention only after the guard got angry as his promise was violated.
The story began when a spouse, Joko Seger and Roro Anteng, prayed on top of Bromo in the hope of obtaining kids. The gods granted their dream and gave them 25 kids with a condition that they had to make the last child a human sacrifice. The spouse broke the order and a great disaster happened. Bromo burst, spitting lava and dragging the last kid into its wide-open burning crater. Since then, Hindu Tenggerese hold an annual ceremony named Kasada by throwing crops into Bromo caldera.
Mount Bromo is small but it’s truly aggressive. Scientists even say that Bromo is one of Indonesia’s most active and dangerous mountains. In countless travel magazines, newspapers, also brochures of travel agencies, Bromo always looks tempting with limitless sea of sand and thick sulfurous smoke spewing from its belly. The beauty doesn’t stop there as, in fact, there are a lot more in Bromo. Located in the middle of spacious caldera of an ancient Tengger mountain, Bromo offers contrasting yet enchanting scenery: looming in the center of barren sandy land while being surrounded with fresh green hills.
The most jaw-dropping charm of the mountain comes at dawn. All the viewpoints will be jammed with people who patiently wait for its phenomenal sunrise view. As the sun peeks out slowly from behind the horizon, Bromo and the sea of sand turn to be as shiny as gold and being shrouded by ocean of clouds. Your eyes won’t blink at this very moment.
You haven’t been to Bromo if you don’t witness the caldera yourselves. Happily, hiking Bromo is not a big deal. You’ll just need to walk up 250 steps to get to the summit. With the constantly billowing smoke, watching the 800meter wide crater live is a bit of horror somehow. But, you’ll immediately forget the fear as there is a panoramic backdrop of Mount Semeru for you to enjoy up here.
Hotels and homestays with various price rates are easily dotted in the villages around Tengger rim. The closer the hotels to the trekking rails, the more expensive the cost is. On long holidays, it’s better to book the hotel ahead of time to avoid running out of rooms.
As for traveling Tengger caldera, you can rent a 4WD which will bring you to the area’s best spots including Penanjakan view point, Teletubbies hills and Mount Bromo itself. You can both rent the car on your arrival in Bromo or days before your departure. But if you plan to come on weekend, the second option is strongly recommended.
How to Get There
Bromo is accessible from two starting points. From the northern part, the trip requires 3-4 hour-drive from Surabaya to the north. You’ll pass some areas including the cities of Pasuruan and Probolinggo with the finish point in Wonokitri village. Meanwhile from the south, you can start from Malang city heading east to Tumpang district and Jemplang village. The second route is nearer as you’ll only need to travel a distance of 53 km.