Bakkara Valley is a flat area of 200 hectares (0.8 sq mi) on the southwest shore of Lake Toba. Located 13 kilometers (8 mi) from Dolok Sanggul, Humbahas, it consists of several villages where most residents live as farmers and fishers. Two fast river streams, i.e., Aek Silang river and Aek Simangira river, split the hamlets and provide the water for the farming. Bakkara Valley is about 6 hours from Medan, but only 1 hour from the nearest airport (by car). To see it on the map, click here.
The area is full of charm with famous natural attractions, culture, and history. For example, the valley was home to Bakkara, an ancient kingdom founded by Siraja Oloan. The valley features two rows of hills that end at the edge of the blue lake. The two natural fortresses had been keeping the lives of their people from foreign enemies for hundreds of years. Bakkara Valley is also home to other tourist attractions:
|1||Aek Sipangolu||A sacred waterfall believed to be able to cure diseases, as the miracle of King Sisingamangaraja I|
|2||Janji Waterfall||Waterfall on the cliff where Batak soldiers took oath|
|3||Sisingamangaraja Palace||Former residence of King Sisingamarangaja and tombs of 11 Batak kings, now 400 years old|
|4||Sulusulu Forest||Lush trees in the middle of the countryside believed to be the hiding place of King Sisingamangaraja XII in the past (also birthplace of the king)|
|5||Tomb of Siraja Oloan||Monument to commemorate the founder of Bakkara, whose descendants include 12 kings called King Sisingamangaraja I – XII|
There is also a viewing post above the valley that provides one of the nicest views of Lake Toba.
What to Enjoy
For natural tourism in Bakkara Valley, don’t forget to visit various waterfalls that have their own characteristics. For example, Aek Sipangolu is believed to be holy water and is believed to cure diseases. Many visitors come to this waterfall in the hope that they get well from illness. Not surprisingly, many people bring home water from there.
Then, there is Janji Waterfall (Promise Waterfall) with a height of about 50 meters (150 ft). In addition to clear water conditions, the air there tends to be cool so that tourists may enjoy playing in the water all day long. No need to bother climbing or walking along steep roads to get to this waterfall because it is only 30 meters (100 ft) from the parking area.
That said, this waterfall was born from a promise of three Batak kings (namely King Marbun, King Sinambela, and King Manullang) in a meeting with King Sisingamangaraja. They entered into a pact, including not to fight among themselves. And every time the promise was broken, the waterfall would recede instantly. This waterfall was also the place where the kings took their soldiers’ oaths before sending them into battle. Now, many people believe that making a promise there is sacred, as it will be fulfilled.
What to Expect
Bakkara Valley is relatively cold throughout the day and can be colder when it rains. You should bring your jackets when visiting it. There is a natural bathing place (a small lake) called Aek Sitiotio there. Local people use it for drinking and bathing. Meet and talk to the residents, who are known for being humble and outspoken, while enjoying a black coffee at a local stall.
What Visitors Say
“Very fresh waterfall from the mountain, with around 24 degrees Celsius temperature and great view directly into the great Lake Toba……amazing.” Bastian Parulian (Source)
“Sacred place because SM Raja here stuck his stick in the ground and let the water flow into Toba.” Bob Stam (Source)
“The water is cool, the location is beautiful and has history.” Ranto Aritonang (Source)
“…We also stopped briefly at the Bakkara Valley, whose beauty we can enjoy by stopping for a moment on the side of the road.” Jejak Mentari (Source)
“The most beautiful tour in Humbahas. I am here, boss…” SM Pilar (Source)
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