The Legend of Kebo Iwa: The Story of the Creation of Mount Batur in Bali

Bali, the exotic island of the gods, is famous for its culture, beautiful beaches and stunning natural landscapes. One of the volcanoes that is an icon of Bali is Mount Batur. Behind its beauty is hidden a legend that tells the origin of this mountain, involving the legendary figure, Kebo Iwa.

Sep 9, 2023 - 18:48
Sep 9, 2023 - 21:21
The Legend of Kebo Iwa: The Story of the Creation of Mount Batur in Bali

Mount Batur (Photo Source: Editorial Collection)


Kebo Iwa is a legend of the province of Bali which is famous for its rich arts and culture. One of the folklore originating from the Island of the Gods is Kebo Iwa which tells about the formation of a lake and Mount Batur. Located in the Kintamani area, this mountain has an altitude of 1,717 meters above sea level and is known as an active volcano. Not only is it a favorite tourist destination to watch the sunrise, Mount Batur also has an important meaning for the beliefs of the Balinese people. In Hinduism, mountains are considered a source of happiness that should be preserved.


Mount Batur (Photo Source: Editorial Collection)


Once upon a time there was a husband and wife who had been married for a long time but had not yet had the opportunity to have children. Not giving up, they continued to pray for their descendants until finally Sang Hyang Widi Wasa had his prayers answered. They are very lucky to have a son. The couple's second child grew very quickly and ate very well. From childhood to adulthood, he had an appetite equivalent to ten adults. As he got older, the child's appetite became stronger until he was given the name Kebo Iwa, which means "buffalo".


As he gets older and bigger, Kebo Iwa eats more and more. His daily food needs are equivalent to the food needs of about one hundred adults. This annoyed his parents. Kebo Iwa was known to be short-tempered, especially if he didn't have enough food. He can destroy anything he sees, including people's houses and temples where they worship. The villagers were afraid of Kebo Iwa's behavior when he was angry.


Once upon a time, the farmers had difficulty providing food for Kebo Iwa because of the famine. They became very worried and afraid if Kebo Iwa was angry. Until finally the villagers devised a strategy to deal with Kebo Iwa, and even eliminated him. After deliberation, the villagers found a way to take care of Kebo Iwa. They work together to collect food to an abundance, while the villagers also collect limestone together. After everything was ready, the village head and the community met Kebo Iwa.


They said the aim and purpose of meeting with Kebo Iwa was to help the villagers build a very large well in exchange for large amounts of food. Without thinking twice, Kebo Iwa agreed. He immediately set to work, first building some of the houses the villagers wanted. Kebo Iwa then dug the ground at the location determined by the village head. He continued to dig into the ground with his immense strength. Meanwhile, villagers were collecting limestone near the Kebo Iwa quarry.


Kebo Iwa felt strange and surprised, but the villagers replied that they would build him a big and beautiful house. Hearing this, Kebo Iwa was very happy. He became more and more enthusiastic about digging. After days of diligent digging, over time the well that Kebo Iwa built grew bigger and deeper. The water began to gush out until it formed a large puddle. The village head asked Kebo Iwa to dig up the ground and make a bigger pond. When promised abundant food and houses to be built, Kebo Iwa complied. The hole in the ground was getting bigger and deeper. Water gushes out in large quantities.


Kebo Iwa, who continued working, finally felt tired and hungry. He asked for rest and asked for food. The villagers brought food and Kebo Iwa immediately devoured it until he was full. Then he fell asleep and snored. At that time the village head ordered the villagers to throw limestone into the hole dug by Kebo Iwa. They gathered to put limestone there, something Kebo Iwa was completely unaware of.


More and more water gushes out from the ground, while more and more limestone is put into the hole. This causes Kebo Iwa's nose to become blocked and tight. He woke up but was too late to save himself because the water was getting stronger and limestone continued to be thrown into the hole. The extraordinary power that Kebo Iwa possessed was meaningless, he was ultimately powerless. Kebo Iwa then breathed his last breath into the large hole he made.


The water continued to gush until it flooded the village where Kebo Iwa lived and the surrounding villages. A large lake was finally created and named Lake Batur. The mound of land surrounding it turned into a mountain and is known as Mount Batur.


Mount and Lake Batur (Photo Source: Nagari Nusantara)


With its stunning natural beauty and stunning views, Lake Batur has now become a famous destination throughout the world, attracting the attention of tourists from all over the world who come to enjoy its amazing natural wonders. And Mount Batur, with its extraordinary charm, has achieved fame that has spread to all corners of the earth. With its stunning peak and enchanting crater lake, Mount Batur is a very famous tourist destination and invites visitors from various parts of the world.