“Galunggung has 3 foundations. First, Galunggung is a place for fighting. In Sundanese language, Galunggung is the place for Galungan. Secondly, it’s Galunggung 'heurin ku tangtung'. This means that many people flock to Galunggung, overseas. Galunggung ngadeg tumenggung means standing as a regent but we have no idea when ngadeg tumenggung happened. From there, the second one happened. When Galunggung heurin ku tangtung, this means that human beings flocked to Galunggung in the past. Before eruption, who climbed to the crater? The local people took a walk to the forest, made a visit of pilgrimage; only some villagers knew. After Mt. Galunggung erupted in 1982, many domestic and foreign people climbed it,” said Somantri.
That was a story about Mt. Galunggung which was explained by Bapak Somantri, a public figure at Mt. Galunggung. He is a historical witness of the eruption. Until now, the mountain becomes a tourism object in East Priyangan, West Java province. Mt. Galunggung tourism object is developed by States Own Entreprise, -Perhutani and Tourism Office around 1997. This was explained by Suhara, staff of Perhutani management.
“The tourism object was developed after the first natural disaster; the management which I know was managed by the village. There is hot spring and ex-disaster which now becomes crater lake. It becomes attraction for visitors. So, it was opened by the government of the village, if not mistaken by Village Community Resilience Institute -LKMD. And it kept being developed in 1997 and has been developed by Tourism Office and Perhutani,” said Suhara.
Do you know or visit Mt. Galunggung? Mt. Galunggung is an active volcano with around 2,100 meters high above the sea surface. The last time, the mountain erupted for around 9 months, starting from April 5, 1982 and ended on January 8, 1983. Therefore, Indonesia is one of countries which almost its territory enters in Pacific ring fire. So no wonder, there are many active volcanoes in some islands. Thus, the existence of volcano does not only leave tragedy, but also becomes tourism object which contributes foreign exchange through tourism sector. Now, Mt. Galunggung in Tasikmalaya, West Java rises up as tourism destination recommended to be visited, especially for mountain tourism lovers. About tourist’s visit so far, Ibu E’em, a food vendor at Mt. Galunggung has her own experience.
“Only certain day, Eid Al-Fitr, New Year or commemoration of the Indonesian independence, only Saturday and Sunday ate the most crowded.
I also have foreign customer, French who often comes here. If in Indonesian, it is dry season, the French certainly comes here with the guide from Jogja,” said Miss E’em.
To get the crater which is the main point of Mt. Galunggung tourism object, we must climb hundreds of stairs. This is quite exhausting. An officer of the entrance ticket of Mt. Galunggung, Sofyan explained that there are two sides of stairs; the yellow one consists of 620 stairs, while the blue one is 520 stairs.
“The yellow stair was made in 1997; the blue one was made in 1993. The blue stair has inauguration monument. The first stair is over there; the new one is here. Earlier, people passed on the sand here without stair,” said Sofyan.
After arriving at the crater of Mt. Galunggung, that you struggle to climb hundreds of the stairs will be paid off by presenting the beauty of nature of the mountain’s peak. In addition, there is uniqueness which cannot be found at other volcanoes. This means that there is no smell of sulfur and the crater of Mt. Galunggung looks like lake. The lake’s water of the crater if it is seen by naked eyes has green color. As if there is no life in it. But in fact, it becomes habitat for fish and other water biotas. Sofyan explained as follows:
“Earlier, someone checked and tried to put the fish into the water. In fact, it resulted in a lot of fish. This means that it’s safe for residents. Today, many people outside the region do fish farming. There is also from Banten. Now, there are people who farm fish and also do fishing. There is golden fish, Mujaer, parrot fish. Usually, Sundanese people farm parrot fish, cork, pomfret, and also Gurame,” said Sofyan.
“Many people set tents to stay at night, especially on Saturday night. There are hundred people who stay at night. But on weekdays, only there are several persons. Now, to set a tent is centered. In the past, they could set a tent on the edge of the lake while fishing,” said Sofyan.
To meet the present demand for selfie or taking picture of every activity with amazing background, Tourism Office and Perhutani provide various spots at the crater of Mt. Galunggung. Take for example; we can try position at the Commemoration Monument of Galunggung Eruption or view desk that is located between blue and yellow stairs. The road to Mt. Galunggung has been paved and this makes visitors easy to get to the blue or yellow stairs.
Development of Mt. Galunggung tourism object is also supported with the existence of Integrated East Priyangan Touris Pacakge. Head of Youth, Sport, Culture and Tourism Office of Tasikmalaya, Undang Hendiana told Voice of Indonesia team.
“About City Tour, we can go to regency or Pangandaran. Therefore, we initiate cooperation with head of region in East Priyangan and it has been signed. So, it must have integrated tourism package. Although visitors stay at night in Tasikmalaya, they visit Galunggung,” said Undang.
Undang Hendiana views that tourism does not need to be limited with regional administration. Therefore, with the existence of the integrated tourism package, he hopes that Mt. Galunggung can become the mainstay tourism object that has its own characteristics.