The Pilgrimage to Gunung Rinjani on Lombok, Indonesia: A Picture Story

By DORISEA researcher Volker Gottowik, University of Heidelberg.

Every year at the beginning of the rainy season, members of the Hindu-Balinese minority trek to the volcano Gunung Rinjani and the crater lake Segara Anak. In this spectacular environment, which is characterized by fire, water and smoke, the pilgrims sacrifice to the deity Batara Gunung and ask for permission to fetch Holy Water from the summit of the 3700 metre-high Gunung Rinjani. The pilgrims bring this Holy Water down into the valley in order to consecrate the flock with it on the fifth full moon of the Hindu-Balinese calendar. For both Hindu-Balinese and Muslim-Sasak, Gunung Rinjani and Segara Anak constitute the sacred center of Lombok. The following pictures were taken in November 2011 during the Hindu-Balinese pilgrimage, which reached its climax on the sixth day with the ritual Upacara Mulang Pekelem, or the delivery of offerings to the local deity.

I would like to thank Parisada Hindu Dharma for the opportunity to join this pilgrimage. I am also very grateful for the support I have received from Santika Arya Bambang, I Wayan Suharta Putra and Dewa Gede Sanjaya Putra in particular.