TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Taman Nasional Bromo Tengger Semeru (TNBTS) and Sahabat Volunteer Semeru have issued a regulation barring tourists and climbers from taking a bath in Ranu Kumbolo Lake.
Ranu Kumbolo, a lake located 2,400 meters above sea level on Mount Semeru’s climbing track, is a popular oasis for climbers after trekking up Mount Semeru for around four to five hours.
A guide of Mount Semeru, Sukaryo alias Cakyo, said the lake water was perceived as holy water by Tengger residents. “This lake is the source of holy water and was found by Prabu [King] Kameswara,” he said while briefing climbers in Ranu Pane village, Lumajang, East Java on Saturday, April 7.
He added Prabu Kameswara, the ruler of Kediri Kingdom, discovered the lake in 1182, as proved by the presence of an inscription by the lake. The inscription is now surrounded with iron fences and wrapped in yellow and white fabrics.
Besides spiritual reasons, the ban was to anticipate the lake’s temperature that could dip to zero degrees Celsius in normal days, which might cause body cramps to swimmers thus leading to drowning.
“In 2005, one person from Ranu Pane died in Ranu Kumbolo while bathing. He froze and then drowned,” said Cakyo.
Tourists are also banned from cleaning their equipment by the side of the lake and instead suggested that they use bottles to take the lake water. “And the cleaning must be done at least five meters away from the lake,” he said.
Climbers are also prohibited from bringing soaps, wet tissues, or any kind of cleaner containing chemicals while on site so as to avert water pollution.
FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA