The History Of Mount Bromo East Java Indonesia

October 12, 2022

Mount Bromo is a well-known international tourist destination in East Java, Indonesia. The stunning landscapes and one-of-a-kind geological features have become powerful attractions for tourists to come and marvel at their splendor. Mount Bromo, surrounded by a sand sea in addition to savanna by the south side, as well as smoke spewing from the most active volcano crater, provides visitors with breathtaking views. Upon arriving at Bromo’s base, tourists may presume they are on the moon. Bromo had a lunar landscape that appeared to be from the Moon’s surface.

The plain field was known as the sand sea. On all sides, the grayish-brownish sand stretched for miles. Mount Bromo was only a mile away on one side, and lush green mountains on the other. Mount Bromo’s sunrise is also said to be one of the most magnificent in the world.

Mount Bromo’s stunning landscape and nature are also rich in tradition and interesting culture from the Tengger tribe, who have lived in 60 villages spread across the mountain. The most anticipated ritual of Tengger tribe is called the Yadnya Kasada ceremony. 

The Yadnya Kasada originated several centuries ago during the reign of the Majapahit kingdom’s Brawijaya dynasty. Roro Anteng, the empress’s daughter, was born to her. As she grew older, the princess fell in love with a young Brahmana man named Joko Seger.

After several years, the Majapahit kingdom declined and Islam spread on the island of Java, some royal people and their families decided to relocate to the eastern region. Mostly in the Tengger mountain range, including Roro Anteng and Joko Seger (Tengger).

Roro Anteng and Joko Seger became the rulers of this region, but they were unhappy because they had no children. They tried various methods before finally climbing Mount Bromo to meditate. Finally, their request was granted with the appearance of a supernatural voice, with the condition that their

youngest child be sacrificed to Mount Bromo’s crater after birth. After being blessed with 25 children, it came time to sacrifice the youngest. However, they lacked the courage to do so. Finally, the god became enraged and many disasters strike the village where they live at the foot of the Bromo crater. Then the youngest sacrificed himself into the mountain crater. Before throwing himself, he spoke up, in order for his parents and siblings to live in peace, they should throw offerings into Mount Bromo every year. Until recently, these customs were passed down from generation to generation.

According to another version, all of their children refused to be sacrificed, but the eldest, Jaya Kusuma, was willing to be sacrificed in order to meet the God Brahma or Bromo and fulfill his parent’s promise. According to Jaya Kusuma, people of Roro Anteng and Joko Seger or Tengger descent made produce offerings to Bromo crater on the 14th of Kasada month, according to the Tengger calendar.

The ceremony started with a reception night, the Nine God dance and the Roro Anteng and Joko Seger dance were performed for the guests. This sacred dance, performed by Tengger residents, tells the legend of the Tengger people’s origin. Following the reception night, the residents continued with the Yadnya Kasada ceremony at Pura Agung, one kilometer from Mount Bromo’s crater. Thousands of Tengger Hindus dressed in traditional attire walked up to five kilometers from the village to Pura Agung at 12 am. They walked together, partly carrying various agricultural products such as vegetables, fruit, and snacks.

Tengger Hindus crowded the Pura Agung or Great Temple. They sat cross-legged, prayerfully listening to the song and praise. A group of Tengger Hindu shamans or leaders sat cross-legged, wearing white clothes and the Tengger Tribe’s traditional headband. The shamans chanted mantras and prayers while burning incense on the brazier. Various agricultural produce offerings were neatly arranged in front and side of the shamans. Shaman Pandita Sutomo announced the ritual ceremony and read in Tengger the legendary story of the Tengger community. Following that, prayers and spells were read to deliver offerings to Mount Bromo.

Following the Yadnya Kasada ritual at Pura Agung, the Tengger Hindus rushed to transport agricultural produce in ongkek (containers). They walked together to Mount Bromo’s crater. When they arrived at the Bromo crater rim, they threw all of the crops into the crater. The Bromo Crater emitted volcanic ash, and rising smoke rose from the crater. The sulfur stench was suffocating in the chest. Volcanic ash flushed the Tengger Hindus who followed Yadnya Kasada every now and then. The entire offering procedure was completed as the sun was rising.

Locals were also scrambling to catch agricultural produce offerings. They formed a circle around the crater with nets in hand, ready to catch the offerings. One of the Tengger residents carried a goat as an offering to Mount Bromo’s crater. He and his four friends had agreed to make goat sacrifices if his potato fields grew well. As an expression of gratitude, he now fulfills his promise to make offerings to God Brahma.

The Kasada Yadnya ceremony continues to be practiced and passed down from generation to generation. The ritual’s meaning is also preserved. Some foreign observers noted the progression of this ceremony between the 19th and 20th centuries.

The meaning of the Yadnya Kasada ceremony hasn’t changed much. Only the types of offerings and the sequence of events have changed. Kasada had no other series of events in the past. As the 1980s approached, the Tengger tribe began to incorporate a variety of traditional dances and music events.

The Yadnya Kasada ceremony is also popular with tourists. The Probolinggo Regency Government hopes to package it as a tourist attraction that will appeal to both domestic and international visitors. Since cruise ships arrive 12 times a year, international tourist arrivals have increased. However, many tourists canceled their trip to Bromo after learning that the Mount Bromo volcano was closed due to an eruption. This effectively reduced the number of foreign tourists who visited.

Despite the eruption, Mount Bromo retains its beauty. Tourists can see volcanic activity, puffs of smoke, and volcanic ash while remaining in a safe zone. Tourists should stay within a kilometer radius of the crater rim, according to the Center for Volcanology Mitigation and Geological Disasters.