Gunung Merapi or Mountain of Fire is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia. Thousands of people live in villages on the fertile slopes of the volcano. It has erupted several times since 1548 and has killed many people and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless. Smoke can be seen billowing from the mountain crater virtually all year round. Local Hindus revere Merapi as a representation of Hinduism's holy Mount Meru, on which Shiva is ever seated in meditation.