Mt Rinjani, Lombok's famous volcano, soars 3726 m above sea level and is the second highest volcano in Indonesia, attracting thousands of trekkers and clombers annually. The huge crater near the top contains a beautiful lake, Danau Segara Anak ( Child of the Sea Lake ) and a smaller volcanic cone, Gunung Baru Jari, which was formed a couple of hundred years ago. There are a number of caves, small waterfalls and hot springs located around the volcano. In 2004 Rinjani won the World Legacy Award and the volcano is recognised internationally as an important eco-tourism destination. Two, three and four day treks on the volcano are offered by tour companies and trek organisers in all the main resort areas of Lombok.
Historic Sites and Temples
There are a number of intersting temples around the west coast, many of which are Hindu or ancient animist sites of worship. Pura Lingsar is possibly the only place in the world where Hindus and Moslems come together to pray and celebrate. Built around 1714, Pura Lingsar was originally based on the prevailing animist beliefs of the time, and some of the original animist statues remain today. Perang Topat, is an annual festival held at Lingsar and features a ritualised war with rice cakes, which also serve as an offering to the Gods. Pura Narmada ( or Narmada Temple ), around 10 km east of Cakranegara in Narmada, was created circa 1805 as a replica of Gunung Rinjani and Segara Anak, the lake within Rinjani's crater. The gardens at Narmada are beautifully maintained and surround the pools and lake. Pura Suranadi, a complex of three temples located a few kilometres north of Narmada in Suranadi, is the oldest and holiest of the Balinese temples in Lombok, founded by the 16th-century Javanese priest, Danghyang Nirartha. Underground streams bubble up into restored baths, used for ritual bathing. Huge sacred eels live in the pools and streams here, and can sometimes be lured out with an offering of boiled eggs ( purchased at a nearby stall ). To see a sacred eel is considered very lucky.
Lombok is famous for its traditional earthenware pottery made from local clay with distinctive "Lombok primitive" designs. You can also purchase handwoven sarongs and fabrics (ikat). Pringgasela in central Lombok is a small village which is steeped in tradition and is a mjor centre for weaving ikat. Visit hte small houses and shops here to purchase traditionally woven, clourful fabrics.
Masbagik, close to Pringgasela, is a small pottery village. Wander the streets and see the pottery being made in the small yards behind the simple homes here and purchase the wares for amazingly cheap prices. Sukarara is 5 km to the west of praya, heading south towards Kuta. This is a weaving village where quality ikat and traditional cloth is displayed and sold. Weavers work outside many of the shops, using antiquated "back strap looms" to painstakingly produce works of art. Some of the larger pieces can take several months to weave, and collectors from around the world visit this village to purchase the blankets, sarongs and cloth produced here. Banyumulek, easily reached on the road south to Lembar Harbour, is an important centre for pottery on Lombok. The small village is packed with shops selling pottery produced in the area, as well as from the other main pottery-making villages such as Penujak and Masbagik. Lombok pottery, with its distinctive terracotta styles, has become famous internationally and is exported throughout the world.