Lake Toba is located in North Sumatra is one of the most beautiful volcanic lake owned by Indonesia. With an area reaching 1,145 square kilometers, Lake Toba looked like an ocean that is located at an altitude of 900 meters above sea level. Besides referred to as the largest lake in Southeast Asia, the lake has a depth of 450 meters which is also the deepest lake in the world.
In the middle of Lake Toba, there is an island called Samosir Island. Samosir island has two small lakes namely Lake and Lake Aek Natonang Sidihoni. Samosir island which has an area almost as large as the state of Singapore is not an empty island, the island is home to Samosir Batak tribe. Batak tribe who live d Samosir Island still adhere to ancestral beliefs. They are also still running the usual rituals of our ancestors.
Samosir Island there are two villages visited by many tourists that Tomok and Tuktuk. Tomok is a village which has many interesting attractions such as the Tomb of King Sidabutar, Batak Museum and the puppet dance performance Sigale-gale popular. In contrast to the Tomok which has many historical sights, Tuktuk is a village where there are many inns for tourists.
Not only Samosir Island is the main attraction of this tourist spot, Lake Toba is also surrounded by pine forest and several waterfalls and hot springs in the forest. The scenery around the lake is very beautiful with the relatively cool air so you will linger here.
For the Batak people who were in the vicinity of this lake, Lake Toba is not only the natural attractions that have outstanding beauty. They believe that the Lake Toba became the abode of the goddess seven Batak tribe or commonly referred to as Namborru. Every time you do activities around the lake, the people will pray and ask for permission beforehand in order to get a blessing and events to run smoothly.
History of Lake Toba
Like most natural attractions in Indonesia, in addition to having scientific history, Lake Toba also save folklore that is believed to be the origin of the formation of this lake.
According to the folklore that has been widely circulated, Lake Toba formed from the family story stealth fish. In ancient times, there was a young man who was fishing in the river and then managed to get a fish. Unlike other fish, the fish can speak obtainment and pleaded not cooked. The fish are then turned into a very beautiful woman named Toba.
Long story short, the two were married, but there is a demand Toba which should not be violated him. There can be no one who knows about the real beautiful woman are married. Their marriage goes fine until they have a boy named Samosir ornery and always feel hungry.
On one day, Naidoo assigned send food to his father in the fields, but instead brought food eaten in the street. The father was hungry and decided to go home, on the way home he saw Naidoo was eating lunch that was supposed to father. Because the condition is very angry, he accidentally pointed Naidoo and said that he was the son of a fish.
Instantly the dark sky and the rain poured down. Water is also out of the underground water that makes the submerged village. Toba and Samosir suddenly disappear when the village turned into a sea of water. It was then that formed Lake Toba and Samosir Island is believed to be the embodiment of the fish and their stealth.
If viewed from the side of a more scientific, Lake Toba is a volcanic lake formed by the eruption of Mount Toba in thousands of years ago. Caldera forming eruption or giant crater then filled with water up into the lake as it is today.
The explosion was so remarkable until the resulting volcanic ash scattered almost all parts of the world and cause mass mortality, reducing 60% of the number of people at that time. Moreover, according to the researchers, these eruptions also affect the Earth's climate and weather that enters the ice age.
What Can Be Done In The Lake Toba
Exploring Lake Toba be difficult to resolve in a single day. These attractions have a lot of interesting things to do and many places not to be missed in your visit.
Sailed to the island of Samosir with a rented boat will certainly be an interesting experience. By renting a boat for groups of 20-25 people during the day, you are free to ask for a stop at the point where any tourist who wants to visit you and the group.
During this boat trip, enjoy the view of Lake Toba and surroundings. You will be amazed with the natural wealth that you witnessed. Do not forget to prepare each camera to capture the charm of Lake Toba. In addition, you can see the other tourists who were playing banana boat and jetski on the lake.
- Getting To Know The History Of Batak
Located on the island of Samosir do not just sit at the inn alone. Here, you get to know the history of Batak with visiting historical sights. Do not miss the village of Tomok where there is the tomb of King Sidabutar, Museum Huta Bolon in Simanindo and Batu trial in Ambarita.
Tomb of King Butar very unique because it is made of large stones without the connection and the king's face carved in stone grave. Sidabutar king was the first to inhabit Tomok. The cemetery is also the tomb and the tombs of two kings successors several family members. To get into these places, you have to wear Ulos that has been provided by the concierge at the entrance.
Museum Huta Bolon no less interesting. Here you can see traditional Batak house Simanindo relics of King Sidauruk Batak culture is used as a museum today. In the museum there is a large collection of objects that are closely related to the Batak culture such as traditional clothes, fabrics Ulos and also caskets of dolls Sigale-gale.
Do not forget to visit the village where there is a stone Ambarita trial. Stone shaped like this table was used to execute prisoners. People who are convicted of crimes such as killing, stealing and rape will be beheaded in this table.
Not complete it if a vacation without shopping. In the surrounding area of Lake Toba and there are lots of souvenir shops that sell fabrics Ulos, Batak guitar, t-shirts, key chains and various other souvenirs. The souvenirs are a lot of you have encountered in Samosir Island, Parapat, Balige and other places around the Lake Toba. Prepare wallet and hone your bargaining skills.
What Is Interesting From Lake Toba?
- Doll Sigale-sigale
Doll Sigale-gale became one of the characteristics of tourist spots in Sumatra. 1.5 meter high wooden dolls complete with custom clothing Batak can dance together tor-tor tourists. Sigale-gale dance performances can you see in some of the tourist attractions such as the Museum of Lake Toba in Huta Bolon and several other museums.
Sigale-gale should be kept in a coffin. This doll is very sacred because of its long history. Starting from Batak favorite son of a king in ancient times who died while fighting. King became sad and sickly.
Until then the physician and smart people decided to make a life-size wooden doll and her face made similar to his son. According to residents, the ghost of the king's sons go into dolls so Sigale-gale can move and dance without the aid of a puppeteer.
- Lake Toba Festival
Lake Toba Festival is an annual event the cooperation of local governments of North Sumatra and the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. The event was held between the months of August to September.
In this festival, held a wide variety of cultural performances and competitions for people ranging from dance performances to ornamental boat races. You can also find a variety of culinary delights and beautiful Ulos fabric hunting during the event.
If you want to witness the annual festival in these places, you should have already booked plane tickets and hotel rooms ahead of time.
Transport to Lake Toba
The location closest to Lake Toba which can be accessed by vehicles is the city of Parapat, Simelungun.
From Terminal Pinang Baris in Medan, Parapat take the bus department. The trip to Parapat from Medan takes about 6 hours. From Parapat, you can see the beauty of Lake Toba. If you want to Samosir Island, you can cross by ferry from Port Ajibata towards Tuktuk, Samosir.