Batur & Kintamani
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The villages of Batur and Kintamani now virtually run together. Kintamani is famed for its large and colourful market, which is held every three days. The town is like a string bean: long, with pods of development. Activity starts early, and by 11am everything’s all packed up. If you don’t want to go on a trek, the sunrise view from the road here is good.
The original village of Batur was in the crater, but was wiped out by a violent eruption in 1917. It killed thousands of people before the lava flow stopped at the entrance to the village’s main temple. Taking this as a good omen, the village was rebuilt, but Gunung Batur erupted again in 1926. This time, the lava flow covered everything except the loftiest temple shrine. Fortunately, few lives were lost.
The village was relocated up onto the crater rim, and the surviving shrine was also moved up there and placed in the current temple, the ever-more-flambouyant Pura Batur. Spiritually, Gunung Batur is the second most important mountain in Bali (only Gunung Agung outranks it), so this temple is of considerable importance. It’s a great stop for the architectural spectacle. Within the complex is a Taoist shrine.