Kawah Putih (White Crater) is one of the two craters which make up Mount Patuha in West Java Indonesia.
Patuha, regarded by the Ciwidey society as the oldest mountain. The word “Patuha” is reputedly derived from the word, old man (sepuh), and so the local society called it by the name of Mount Sepuh. More than a century ago Mount Patuha was considered haunted , so that no one dared to go and therefore the existence and the beauty of the mountain unknow by the peoples.
According to historical records, Patuha volcano had erupted in the tenth century, causing a terrible crater next to the top of the West. In the twelfth century, the crater on the left also erupted, which then formed a beautiful lake.
In 1837, a Dutchman of German descent named Dr. Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn (1809-1864), traveled to the south of Bandung area. When he arrived in the area Junghuhn felt the atmosphere was very quiet and deserted, lacking in wildlife. Then he asked about this phenomena to the local community, and he got the information that the mountain was very scary , because it was where the ancestors lived, and the kingdom of the jinn (devil). Therefore if there was a bird that dare to fly over the area, it will fall and die.
However, the Dutchman not a believer in the folklore, continued his journey through the wilderness on the mountain to prove the occurrence of what actually happened in that area, but before getting to the top of the mountain, Junghuhn stunned, admiring the natural charm, which was so beautiful in front of him, lay a large lake, with a greenish white water. From the lake, a stinging smell of sulfur is apparent, so it was clear why the birds would not fly across.
After everything was clear, the mine of white crater sulfur was established (Zwavel Ontgining, White Crater). In the era of Japan’s occupation, efforts continued with the title “White crater Kenzanka Yokoya Ciwidey” directly under military supervision.
According to Abah kuncen Karna who at this time is more or less 105 years old at the time of writing this article and living in the village of Sand Hoe, Village Sugih Mukti, said that in white crater there lays the tomb of the ancestors.
One of the top of Patuha mountain peaks, Kapak mountain is trusted as the meeting place of the ancestors. In this place, sometimes society saw (by supernatural means) a bunch of fluffy white sheep, which is believed to be a manifestation of the ancestors.
The natural scenery around the white crater is quite beautiful, with the greenish-white water contrasting with the limestone that surrounds the lake. In the north of the lake stand upright cliffs of gray limestone, which is overgrown with moss and other plants.
Franz Wilhelm Jungjuhn had long died, but his discovery which is known by the name Kawah Putih (White crater) is still fascinating until now.
In the area of White crater lake there is a cave, heritage from the Dutch colonial era. In front of the cave there is a warning for not to be long in the front of the cave. The logical reason is because the gas issue of the cave which is certainly related to the sulfur content in that area that could cause people poisoning by that gas.