Gunung Agung is a symmetrical stratovolcano. It is Bali’s highest and most sacred mountain and towers over the eastern end of the island. The volcano, whose name means “Paramount,” rises above the caldera rim of neighboring Batur volcano.
The northern and southern flanks of Agung extend to the coast. The 3142-m-high summit of Agung contains a steep-walled, 500-m-wide, 200-m-deep crater. The flank cone Pawon is located low on the SE side of Gunung Agung. Only three eruptions dating back to the early 19th century have been recorded from Agung in historical time. Agung’s last erupted in 1963 after being dormant and thought inactive for 120 years.
The eruption was one of the world’s largest of the 20th century and produced voluminous ashfall and devastating pyroclastic flows and lahars. This violent event resulted in over 1,000 deaths, and coincided with a purification ceremony called Eka Dasa Rudra, meant to restore the balance between nature and man. This important Balinese rite is held only once per century, and the almost exact correspondence between the beginning of the ceremony and the eruption is believed by those involved to have great religious significance.
Trekking tours can be arranged to hike to the top of Gunung Agung.