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Mount Agung: the Volcano that overlooks you in Bali

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Bali conjures up images of beaches, don’t you think? It’s pretty much one of the first things that most people think of when they hear the name of the island. Some might associate the Island of the Gods with the green rice fields that characterize the its interior. Others may think of the volcanoes. Yes, there are quite a bit of them here. One such is Mount Agung.

What’s the highest point in Bali? That’s right. It stands 3142 meters tall, practically towering its surroundings in East Bali and making a presence throughout most of the island. The mountain can be seen for many kilometers away.

And yes, Mount Agung is still active. Despite that fact, the volcano is still an important aspect in the lives of many. One of the island’s most revered temples, Besakih Mother of all Temples sits here on its slopes. Ironically, the temple was spared destruction in 1963 when the flowing lava missed it by mere meters! And speaking of 1963, that eruption proved devastating, sending debris 10 kilometers into the air and sadly killing over 1700 people. The survival of the temple was truly miraculous and is considered a spiritual omen.

Mount Agung is also a diverse biological area. The lower sections of the volcano are home to lush jungles as well as hot and humid temperatures. Animals associated with this habitat are also down there. However, as you go up, you’ll notice the land getting dry as well as more and more barren. This is a result of volcanic rock and accumulation of ash from previous eruptions.

It is also interesting to notice that one side of Mount Agung is actually greener than the other. Why? Sometimes the simplest answer explains it all. Clouds appear on the western half of the mountain more than the east, resulting in more rainfall there. In fact, there are almost no clouds in the east. Go figure.

So, you want a challenge? Mount Agung can provide you with one. Be wary though, conditions can get rough! First off, you’ll have to deal with the constant weather changes. Hot one minute, cold the other. Imagine that. Plus, the barren nature of the upper portions makes it so dry that water is pretty scarce. What many do instead is opt for an evening climb for a sunrise arrival at the peak.

Mount Agung. Imposing yet pretty. The volcano itself has come to define Bali for some. Check her out in our Bali Explorer tour. And don’t forget Besakih. Remember, it almost disintegrated from the eruption. See more of the island and the country in our Indonesia tours.

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