Mount Agung or Gunung Agung (Great Mountain) is located at the highest point on the beautiful island of Bali, a province of Indonesia. Mount Agung is exceptionally steep and almost completely barren on top. From afar it appears unassumingly innocent and perfectly dome-shaped, with the exception of a 1706 by 1230 foot open volcanic crater. Highly regarded by its villagers, Mount Agung controls the surrounding areas by influencing the climate through water absorption from incoming western clouds. This keeps the western area of Bali luxurious and green while the eastern area remains dry and infertile. Mount Agung is located on the eastern side of the island sloping north east towards the Bali Sea. To the southwest there is a row of small extinct volcanic cones, and towards the northwest the volcano is separated by a narrow valley from Mount Batur. It is believed, by the Balinese, to be a replica of Mount Meru a holy mountain in Hindu as well as Buddhist cosmology. Myth has it that Mount Agung is a part of Meru that was carried by the earliest Hindus to Bali. On the slopes of the mountain also lies Bali’s stunning Besakih Temple. Although this sounds like it could be a scenic getaway on a beautiful island, much like Hawaii, the Bali islanders will never forget the mass destruction caused by Mount Agung’s last recorded volcanic eruption in 1963-64.
A daily reminder of this devastation is the fact that Mount Agung remains an active volcano which continues to burp smoke and ash.