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Tolire Lake, And The Legendary Tales

12 July 2011 476 views No Comment

Tolire is the name of a lake located in Ternate, North Maluku, Indonesia, lies at the bottom of Mountain Gamalama, the highest volcano in North Maluku. There are actually 2 lakes. Local people simply name ’em Big Tolire and Small Tolire. The distance between the lakes is only about 200 meters.



If you have the opportunity to visit Ternate city, North Maluku, it is always worth taking the time to visit Tolire. The lake is located in the Village Takome, about 10 km from the center of Ternate. It takes less than half an hour to reach the location using motor vehicle.


Giant Bowls
Big Tolire has its own uniqueness. The shape resembles a giant bowl. From the edge of the lake to the surface, it’s about 50 meters with an area of ??about five acres. Up until now, no one has ever measured the depth of this lake. However, according to the story of local people, the depth reaches many kilometres and connected directly to the sea.



In addition to its unique shape, there is also an interesting legendary tale about the lake.

The Big Tolire contains fresh water and lots of fishes. But none of the local community dares to catch fish or bathe in the lake. They believe, the lake with yellowish brown water is inhabited by many white crocodile demons with the length up to 10 meters. These crocodiles are said to often be seen swimming in the middle of the lake.



Not everyone could see the crocodile demon, only the lucky ones. According to the local community, if you have a pure and clean heart you may be able to see it. There are stories, that there used to be a foreign tourist who doesn’t believe that there were crocodiles demon in the lake. The tourist came down and bathed in the lake. After swimming a few minutes, he disappeared. The locals believe that the tourist was eaten by the crocodiles demon.

Unique Attractions
There is a unique attraction in this lake. If we throw something into the lake, no matter how powerful, it will never touch the lake water. Yet when thrown from the upper edge of the lake, the lake was seen at the foot of the thrower. Even the splash of the water won’t be visible. The stones thrown are just gone without a trace.

This ‘throwing’ activity eventually be used as a commercial thing by the local people. They will provide the stones whenever there are visitors who come. Five stones is priced IDR 1000 (USD $0.1)

Another story circulating in the community is that at the bottom of Big Tolire there are many treasures owned by the Sultanate of Ternate when the Portuguese colonized Ternate in the 15th century. Many people of Ternate was wasting lots of their valuable property into the lake so Portuguese couldn’t get it.

There is more folklore adorns the existence of the Big Tolire and Small Tolire. According to the local community, the lake had once been a village where the people live prosperous life. The village was later condemned to became lake by the ruler of the universe, because one of a father in the village impregnated his own daughter.

When the father and daughter would escape to the outside of the village, suddenly the ground where they stood crumbled and turned into a lake. Great Tolire believed to be the place of the father, while Small Tolire believed to be the place of the daughter. This story is just a legend, but for the citizens of Ternate, especially parents, are very guarded and is believed to be the very truth. The truth that should be used by the government to bring more visitor to this beautiful lake.

Here’s the location of Tolire lake and Gamalama mountain:



View Tolire Lake, North Maluku in a larger map

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