The eruption of Mount Kelud Matches the Life of King Hayam Wuruk

PUBLISHED,- Looking at past events sometimes feels so riveting and uplifting. The reason is that the Archipelago used to have a strong influence, especially in Southeast Asia. All of this is inseparable from the roles of leaders who occupied the throne at that time. Hayam Wuruk for example, his figure is so phenomenal in many history books. Hayam Wuruk who used the abhiseka Maharaja Sri Rajasanagara served as king of Majapahit IV from 1350-1389. He became so famous, because during his reign, he was assisted by Mahapatih Gajah Mada and succeeded in bringing Majapahit to its peak.

There is a uniqueness in the birth of Hayam Wuruk, he was born in 1256 Saka or 1334 AD. The birth of the son of Tribuana Tunggadewi and Sri Khertawardhana is considered as an event that marked the birth of the noble leader of the Majapahit kingdom. Because, his birth coincided with the eruption of Mount Kampud. The events of the birth of Hayam Wuruk as well as the eruption of Mount Kampud are enshrined in the Negarakertagama script as follows: 

Rîn śāka rrtu śarena rakwa ri wijil nrpati tĕlas inastwakĕn prabhu, 

an garbbheśwara nātha rîng kawuripan wihaganiran amānuṣādbhūta, 

liṇḍuṅ bhūmi ktug hudan hawu gĕrĕḥ kilat awilĕtan ing nabhastala, 

guntur tan himawān ri kāmpud ananan kujana kuhaka māti tan papag

In the year of Saka Rrtu śarena (season-shooting-solar /1256/ 1334 AD) when the prince who was later crowned as king was born, 

since the King was in the womb in Kahuripan he has shown signs of nobility, 

booms of earthquakes, rain of ashes, rumbling of thunder and lightning continued to connect in the sky

Mount Kampud (Kelud) erupts destroying evil and immoral people together. Nāgarakṛtāgama (Pupuh I.4) (Damaika Saktiani, 2015)

In Dwi Cahyono’s research (2012), the word ‘Kampud’ in the Negarakertagama script is the ancient name of Mount Kelud. In every event of the eruption of Mount Kelud, there are the words “lindu” and “guntur” in it. Lindu is defined as swaying, shaking, earthquake, missing (Zoetmulder, 2004: 600). Meanwhile, the term “guntur” is widely used to describe volcanic events. Literally, the term means: flood (with rocks and lava, from volcanic eruptions), or it could mean a roaring mountain river (Zoetmulder 1995:318). In past literature it was implied that thunder and hurricanes were described as accompanying a series of volcanic eruptions. 

The enormity of the geological disaster that coincided with the birth of King Hayam Wuruk is a sign that from classical times, the threat of the eruption of Mount Kelud was so great for civilization at that time.

Stories of Mount Kelud’s activities continued to emerge, in fact this mountain continued to carry out its activities until the end of Hayam Wuruk’s reign when the war broke out and then he died. This is recorded in the Kakawin Pararaton in section X:

Tumuli hana gunung anyar i saka naga – leng – karnaning – wong, 1298 

(then there was a new mountain event in the year of Saka snake – hole – ear – person; or 1298). 

Tumuli guntur pamadasiha i saka resi – sunya – guna – tunggal, 1307 

(then there was a volcanic eruption on Madasiha week, the year of Saka priest – silent – nature – single; or 1307)

Towards the end of Hayam Wuruk’s reign, it is described as a “anyar mountain” or new mountain. If we look at the characteristics of Mount Kelud, a new volcanic event is the peak growth of Mount Kelud after carrying out a series of volcanic activities. According to the Geological Agency, the development of Mount Kelud is very limited, this can be seen from the low volcanic cone, irregular, sharp and steep peaks. The condition of these peaks is caused by the very destructive (explosive) nature of the eruption which is accompanied by the growth of lava plugs such as the Sumbing, Gajahmungkur and Kelud peaks. The growth of these lava plugs that happened in the past and was named after the emergence of a anyar mountain. The same thing happened to the eruption of Mount Kelud in 2007.

The existence of Mount Kelud is a product of a collision between the Indo-Australian plate which subducts under the Asian plate to the south of Java. The collision between the plates became the beginning of the formation of many volcanoes on this island. Volcanic eruptions are closely related to the life of the Javanese people, including a king like Hayam Wuruk.

Coexistence with the threat of volcanoes has been done by many of our ancestors. Developing a pattern of mitigation is the key for us to avoid disasters, because threats are all around us.(LS)


Cahyono, M. D. (2012). Vulkano-Historis Kelud: Dinamika Hubungan Manusia–Gunung Api. Kalpataru21(2), 85-102.

Achmad, S. W. (2019). Sejarah raja-raja Majapahit (Vol. 126). Araska Publisher.