Bukit Kasih translates as Peace Hill or Hill of Love. It was built in 2002 as a spiritual center where religious followers from various faiths can gather, meditate and worship side by side “at the lush and misty tropical hill.” The people of north Sulawesi Island practiced a motto in their daily life, Torang Samua Ba’saudara, which means “we are all family,” and this site is seen as a reflection of that.
The site is 55 km south of Manado city, a two hour drive. You then ascend the mountain: although there is a road for those who need it, the preferred way is up a windy staircase that contains 2,345 steep steps. Along the way you can eat corn, bananas, and boiled yams; buy souvenirs such as bracelets, t-shirts and handicrafts made of coconut shells or linger in the sulfur calderas (hot springs) that start dotting the path about half way up.
As you reach the summit, on one hill you will see a 53 meter-high cross, visible from Manado City (here on the north end of the island the people are predominately Protestant Christian, the south is mainly Muslim.) After going through the Bukit Kasih Minahasa (welcome gate) you arrive at the 22 meter high pillar of tolerance. On the 5-sided monument there are symbols and quotes from each religion represented here: Christian, both Catholic and Protestant; Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. It is topped by a globe and a dove.
Just off to the side are five small houses of worship representing these faiths, seen above.