A PLAYGROUND CALLED TOBA

A PLAYGROUND CALLED TOBA

What comes to your mind when someone mentioned Toba? Probably some of us will immediately guess or conclude the name of a lake located in the province of North Sumatera – Indonesia, Lake Toba. It is relatively natural and is apparently standard for those who were born in Indonesia, a land fertile with natural resources which implied on the lyrics of a song entitled “Milk Ponds” below:

“ Not an ocean just milk ponds. Hooks and nets are sufficient to support your life. You will face no storms and hurricanes. Fish and shrimp come close to you. They say our land is heaven. Stick and stone become a plant. “

The song which was created and released in 1973 by Koes Plus is the perfect illustration to describe Lake Toba as a piece of heaven in Indonesia. We should appropriately know Lake Toba from various versions: ranging from a folklore story of a handsome, diligent and kind-hearted man but could not keep his promise to the eruption of Mount Toba that rocked the world.

Apparently, Lake Toba had shocked the world since 840,000 years ago when the first eruption of Mount Toba occurred. However, the third eruption which occurred 74,000 years ago was considered the most massive eruption of Mount Toba, and regard as the worst natural catastrophe in human history. Total darkness hit the earth for the next 1.000 years, winter lasted for six years, and even an anthropologist named Stanley Ambrose concluded the number of humans shrank (estimated only 2,000 to 20,000 people survived) due to this natural disaster.

As a result of the eruption, it creates a beautiful landscape called Lake Toba. A variety of natural wealth and the unique Batak cultural heritage also found at the lake. Lake Toba is the most significant lake in Indonesia and even Southeast Asia. Extensively, the lake had an area of 1,265 square kilometers (length of 100 square kilometers and a width of 30 square kilometers) and located at an altitude of 905 meters above sea level with a maximum depth of 529 meters.

Surrounded by seven districts in the province of North Sumatera, among others: Toba Samosir (Tobasa), Samosir, Dairi, Karo, Simalungun, North Tapanuli (Taput) and Humbang Hasundutan (Humbahas). Nowadays, Lake Toba has become one of the country’s tourism asset. Listed as 15 ‘Must See’ places by one of the world travel guidebook not to mention that Lake Toba has been selected as one of the top 10 priority destinations in KSPN (National Tourism Strategic Area) by the Ministry of Tourism in 2015.

As a result of the eruption, a beautiful landscape called Lake Toba was created. A variety of natural wealth and the Batak cultural heritage were discovered. Lake Toba is the largest lake in Indonesia and even Southeast Asia. Extensively, the lake has an area of 1,265 square kilometers (length of 100 square kilometers and a width of 30 square kilometers) and located at an altitude of 905 meters above sea level with a maximum depth of 529 meters.

Eventually, Lake Toba becomes popular worldwide, its time for Indonesia’s young generation protect and preserve the country ‘magnificent natural disaster’ to become a sustainable tourism potential. Given an incredible playground, a playground in which our future grandchildren can enjoy. Now is the time for Lake Toba to rise and become a global tourism primadonna.

By Wulung Damardoto

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