Kawah Putih (literary means White Crater) is actually a crater of a relatively stable volcano called Mt. Patuha, which is located at the south of Bandung, West Java. By the passing of time, the stable crater is filled by water and formed a beautiful lake.
It is said that the crater was firstly discovered by a German botanist called Dr. Junghuhn in 1837. Dr. Junghuhn, who carried out a considerable amount of research in Indonesia, prompted to investigate a local myth about the area. It was said that birds avoid to fly above the area and local people believe the area were somewhat ghostly because many people became sick after entering the forest surrounding the area. On his investigation, Dr. Junghuhn found a beautiful lake with high concentrate of sulfur, which now we know as Kawah Putih.
The lake is called Kawah Putih since the sand and rocks surrounding the lake are all have whitish color because of sulfuric vapor emanating from the lake. The lake itself is an acid lake. Its water is always warm and keeps changing color from bluish to whitish green, depends on the sulfur concentration in the water and the lake’s surrounding temperature. The smell of sulfur is quite strong because there is sulfurous gas continually bubbling out from the lake. Usually the gas becomes thicker by noon, so it appears as if smoke comes out from the lake water. That’s why there is a warning to all visitors not to stay too long in there for the sake of their own health.