Tolire is one of the two lake in Ternate, located approximately 10 km from the center of Ternate City. It is one of the obligatory point-of-interest if you seek any beautiful place in your time of vacation, as it is quite adequate to fascinate you. And there is a myth about this lake that is well-known to the locals as well, that there was a father that impregnated his own daughter and because of his action, the soil around him crumbled and formed the lake. There are actually two lakes there, the Big Tolire (Lamo) which symbolizes the father, and the Small Tolire (Ici) which symbolizes the daughter that had been impregnated. The distance between these two lakes is about 200 metres.

Lake Tolire
Ilafi in Lake Tolire

The Tragedy of Mount Gamalama

Apart the myth that is stated above, the forming of the lake is closely related to the eruption of Mount Gamalama that occurred in September 5, 1755. It began with constant earthquake near Soela Takomi Village. The village is located about 1.5 km from Takoma region. The earthquake led the eruption of Mount Gamalama which brought the hot smog over the area for several hours in September 7, 1755 at dawn. There was a rumbling sound following the eruption, which continued until noon. When the eruption was finally over, there was a large crater formed in the location. The area of the crate is estimated about 5 hectare, and the depth of it is still unknown until this very day, but it is estimated about 50 metres.

The Unique Tradition of Throwing Rocks
There is an odd tradition of those who came to visit Tolire, which is throwing rocks into the lake. This became interesting, because no matter how strong the people threw the rock, it will not reach the bottom of the lake, not even the surface of the lake. It is said that there is a mystical energy (or, scientifically speaking, a gravitational anomaly or magnetic field) that made the rock always come back. And nowadays you don’t need to bother to look for rocks, as you can easily buy them for Rp. 5000 a bag. Additionally, it is believed that there is a mythical white crocodile that serves as the guardian of the lake. It is said that the crocodile has a length about 10 kilometres, and because of that, no one dare to swim or fish here.
How do you get to there?
To reach Lake Tolire which is located at the foot of Mount Gamalama, you need to take ojek service, which takes about 10 minutes from the center of the city for only Rp. 10.000 per hour or you can also rent a car for about Rp. 250.000 a day.. for only Rp. 1,500 to get the ojek service or Rp. 3,000 for local transport, visitors are able to get inside the area around the lake. After you get there, not only you can enjoy the sight of the lake, but you can also view the beautiful panorama of Mount Gamalama, which is obviously will become an unforgettable moment. You can also look around the remains of Portuguese Forts, visit the tomb of Sultan Baabullah (the sultan of ternate in its glorious times) or simply sit under a tree around the lake accompanied by a glass of warm beverages and stewed sweet corn. The lake is most likely a place that you’ll visit if you take the tour from Sulamadaha – Tolire.

Isn’t it exciting?
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Text: Fahmi Trisnadi
Photo & Artistic: Ophand Albana
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