- Elevation: 1,684 m (5,525 ft)
- Prominence: 1,106 m
- Ribu category: Kurang Tinggi
- Province: Jawa Barat (West Java)
- Google Earth: kml
- Other names: none
Tampomas is located northeast of Sumedang (480 metres above sea level) – a town famous for its delicious tahu (fried tofu) – and is easily accessible by public transport from Bandung. Whilst no giant in terms of elevation, Tampomas is an easy and enjoyable hike – perfect as the first of the season or as a warm-up for something more challenging – and there are very pleasant views from the top to most of the major peaks in West Java.
Aside from the suggested possible origins of the name of the mountain given below at the bottom of the article, some say that it comes from ‘gunung tanpa emas’ which means ‘mountain without gold’. Even if Mount Tampomas is lacking in gold, its lower slopes on the southern side at Cibeureum Kulon are certainly being seriously quarried for rocks of some sort or another.
This is one reason why the Narimbang route is more pleasant than the Cibeureum route, but the best thing to do is up one side and down the other, hopefully having arranged transport to collect you at the other side. Both routes require around 3 hours up and 2 hours back down.
Route from Narimbang
The route from Narimbang starts at Ciputra Wangi Waterfall (600m) which is Pos 1. From the signs, warungs and ticket booth, the trail to the peak leads to the left and snakes up the hillside. There is an open, flat section of wide trail (945m) before reaching the pleasant warung at Pos 2 (Pasir Seleh, 1,030m). If conditions are clear, this is a great spot for a coffee and you ay even be able to see the occasional plane coming in to land at the new West Java International Airport a short distance away near Majalengka.
Further up the trail you get a glimpse of the flattish top of Tampomas – still a fair distance away. Pos 3 (1,210m) is named Batu Kukus, presumably because the largest of the cluster of rocks vaguely resembles a rice steamer. In inclement weather, this rock would certainly provide some shelter from the rain.
Pos 4 (1,490m) is Awi Kereteg and being the junction between the Narimbang and Cibeureum trails is a very important point. There is also a certain amount of space here for those choosing to camp below the peak itself.
Route from Cibeureum near Sumedang
Follow the road from Sumedang towards Cirebon for about 6km, past the village of Cimalaka and to an area known as Desa Cibeureum Kulon. Take a left up a narrow road at a sign with “Lokasi TPA” next to some (currently broken) traffic lights. Follow the bumpy, rocky road to the sand quarry. There will probably be a large number of yellow quarry trucks coming the other way. Head straight up the hillside, ignoring a left turn and then a right turn. After approximately 3km you will reach a small warung (on the left of the road) with a green sign on the side. This is the starting point for the hike – there is enough parking space here for a couple of cars. If the weather is fine you should be able to see the top of Tampomas from here. It takes about two and a half hours to reach the peak and one and a half to descend.
From the warung, walk along the rubble-strewn road round a sharp bend and, after just one minute, take the path on the left heading up through farmland. Five minutes later, take a left on a farm track and into pine woodland. Soon after this you reach a wooden hut. It should have taken you no more than 30 minutes to reach this place. Take a left up a narrow path immediately after the hut. From this point on there are plenty of signs which should hopefully confirm that you are on the right track! The path leads you up through more pine woodland – most trees have small coconut shells attached to their trunks to collect the resin/sap.
tarmac road 795m, 860m hut, Gn Karang junction 870m, 980m turn left. Pos 1 is at 1,180m, Pos 2 (1,310m) and Pos 3 (1,405m).
The path begins to get steeper and the vegetation becomes more natural forest-like. According the the local forestry department, Tampomas forest is home to kancil (mouse deer), lutung (monkeys) and babi hutan (wild pigs). After another hour you should have reached Pos 4, where the path joins up with another hiking route from Narimbang. This spot seems to be the preferred camping place for hikers wanting to make a weekend out of their gunung bagging. The path gets steeper and rockier from this point on. The next landmark is a hut and minor rockface at Sangyheang Lawang (1,550m). If you look back down the trail, you may well see Gunung Ciremai – West Java’s tallest peak – in the distance. Shortly beyond this is Sangyheang Tikoro (1,605m). The summit area of Tampomas, known as Sangyheang Taraje (or Pasarean), is less than 30 minutes further. Just before the peak there is a sign for Tampomas crater, a deep dark crevice to the right of the trail.
The views from the boulder-studded peak are very pleasant – westwards to Bukittunggul and surrounding hills and south towards the many peaks near Garut. There is enough space for a couple of tents here. Approximately 100 metres to the north of the highest point are two ancient grave areas, known as Pasarean, which are certainly worth a visit. These are apparently tombs from the ancient Sundanese kingdom of Pajajaran (which existed until around 500 years ago and was Hindu).
Returning to the warung the same way takes about an hour and a half.
Bagging information provided by Daniel Quinn (updated June 2019).
- Getting there: There is plenty of very basic public transport running between Bandung and Sumedang. There are also Primajasa buses from Jakarta’s Kampung Rambutan to Sumedang. From Sumedang to both starting points is about 30-40 minutes by motorbike or car. The closest airport by far is the brand new West Java International Airport near Majalengka but at the time of writing (2019) this remains a fairly quiet airport. The closest train stations are Bandung or Hargeulis (in Indramayu regency). Despite being a very small station, Hargeulis serves several executive class trains and it is just 2 hours from Gambir or Pasar Senen. Unfortunately it currently takes over 2 hours to reach Hargeulis from Sumedang due to poor quality or indirect roads. Still, this can sometimes make more sense than heading back to Bandung on what is a frequently jammed main road (typically 2 hours to cover just 60km). A new toll road from Bandung to Sumedang (and presumably onwards to the new West Java Airport) is under construction at the moment.
- Accommodation: There are several hotels in Sumedang.
- Permits: Tickets at Curug Ciputra Wangi, Narimbang Rp3,000 per person. Not required on the Cibeureum route at present (2019).
- Water sources: Available at the warung at Pos 2 on the Narimbang route. None seen near the trail on the Cibeureum route.
- Travel insurance: We recommend World Nomads insurance, which is designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities including mountain hiking.
Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm):
Origins and Meaning
(unclear) There could be two possibilities. (i) In Old Javanese the word tampo means “rain, mist” so tampo mas might mean “golden rain”. “Golden rain” (usually udan mas or hujan emas) is a popular poetic term that might respectfully or affectionately be applied to a mountain. (ii) In Sundanese tampeu means “overlooking something” so tampo mas might mean something like “the golden mountain that looms over us”. (George Quinn, 2011)