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Jembrana Sight Seeing
Jembrana Place of Interest
Who first settled the forbidding Jimbar Wana? The earlist evidence of human habitat on Bali has in fact been discovered at Gilimanuk near the island’s western tip. Not much is known about these prehistoric people. Most people in Jembrana can tell you where they are originally from, and if you drive up one of the many side roads that snake into the mountains, you will encounter places like Bangsal Gianyar and Bangsal
Bangli entire communities transplanted to jembrana a generation ago. Some of them had religious motives for coming here. Palasari and Belimbingsari in Melaya district, for example, are the largest Catholic and Protestant communities on Bali. Palasari’s handsome Catholic church is the largest in eastern Indonesia.
The regency is today inhabited by only about 210,000 people, and is the least densely populated area of Bali. At least eighty percent make their living by farming, harvesting forest products, or fishing. The Bali tiger was last sighted in the 1930s, and the remaining wilds of Jimbar Wana have been incorporated into the Bali Barat National Park. Jembrana today is a beautiful agricultural region, with a unique history and character, reflected in the stories, customs and arts of its people.
Three kms west of Pekutatan village the left coming from Denpasar is the entrance to Medewi Beach a black sand beach with a pounding surf. This beach os one of the best-kept secrets in Bali.
Rambut Siwi Temple
The most important temple in Jembrana is Pura Rambut Siwi, which lies about 20 km west of the Tabanan border by the village of Yeh Embang. Its entrance is marked by a smalll shrine at the edge of the road, where Balinese travelers stop briefly to pray for safety in their journey. Two hundred meters from the main road lies the main temple complex, perched on a cliff at the edge of the ocean.
Pura Rambut Siwi is an important monument to the priest Danghyang Nirartha, who came to Bali from Java during the decline of the Majapahit Kingdom in the hopes of fortifying Balinese Hinduism against the spread of Islam occurring elsewhere in the archipelago. Between 1546 and 1550 he traveled through the island teaching and unifying the Hindu populace. According to legend, he stopped to pray at a viilage temple at Yeh Embang, and made a gift of his hair to the temple. Since that time it has been known as Rambut Siwi. which means ”worship of the hair.”
The complex consists of three temple enclosures in a setting of great natural beauty. The first one you encounter as you enter from the main road is the largest and most important, the Pura Luhur where Danghyang Nirartha’s hair is kept. A majestic condi bentar or spilt gate on the southern wall of the inner courtyard opens onto the cliff, offering dramatic views of the surf below. Gnarled frangipani trees litter the ground with fragrant blossoms, and incense burns at the feet of mosscovered stone statues swathed in white cloth.
From Pura Luhur you can walk east along the top of the cliff to a winding stone stairway that descends to Pura Penataran, the original where Danghyang Nirartha is believed have prayed. When the Balinese worship at Rambut Siwi they first enter this temple.
Walking back westward along the beach you pass a small shrine at the entrance to a cave in the cliff wall. This cave is said to be lair of mystical animals the duwe or holy beast of the temple. A well at the mouth of the cave is a source of holy water that is salt free despite its proximity to the ocean. Just beyond the cave, another stairway leads back up to the temple. Perched on the edge of the cliff here is the tiny Pura Melanting where merchants stop to pray for prosperity.
A large open-air performance pavilion and two gazebos set amidst lily ponds to the west of Pura Luhur are excellent places to rest and enjoy a panorama of ricefields and white wave crests curing against the black sand coastline as far as the eye can see.
Gede Prancak Temple
Pura Gede Prancak, where Danghyang Nirartha is believed to have first landed. A peaceful shrine of white stone here sits on the banks of the placid Prancak River, which empties into the sea about 100 m south of the temple.
To reach it, turn left off the main road in Tegalcangkring, 8 kms west of Rambut Siwi and follow a narrow backroad one and a half kms to an intersection marked by a monument turn right and continue west about 9 kms. The temple is on your right where the road turns south along the Prancak River
At the time of Danghyang Nirartha’s arrival, this area was controlled by the debauched ruler, Gusti Ngurah Rangsasa, who obliged the newcomer to pray in his temple. When the holy priest complied, the temple structures collapsed. Gusti Ngurah Rangsasa then fled and the community rebuilt the temple in honor of Danghyang Nirartha and his teachings.
The water buffalo races of west Bali, known as makepung and imported by the local Madurese population are the most dramatic of Jembrana's events. Throughout the western most districts, it is still common to see a team of brawny, grey or pink buffalo pulling wooden carts filled with cacao, coffee or bananas. Mekepung began when farmers play fully raced their neighbors in plowing a field or in bringing the harvest home. The races soon became an event in themselves, and the cumbersome cikar carts were replaced by light, two-wheeled chariots.
Today, the races are organized by the regional government of Jembrana. All participants are members of a racing club (sekehe mekepung) and are divided into two divisions:
a Western Block and an Eastern Block, with the Ijo Gading River that bisects Jembrana as the dividing line, These teams compete biannually, in the Regent’s Cup Championship on the Sunday before Indonesian Independence Day in August, and the Governor’s Cup Championship each September or October.
The buffaloes in each team are ranked prior to the races, and pitted against its counterpart on the other team, Two pairs run at a time, along a circuitous 4 km route. The team with the most winners takes the cup. Apart from this, the only immediate reward for winning is prestige, but owning a prize buffalo does eventually translate into money. A good race animal can fetch almost double the normal price, if its owner is willing to part with it.
If you are in Jembrana between August and October you can find out the time and place of the championships by visiting the Department of Tourism in Negara. You can also see races at other times of the year by commissioning a performance or by attending the rehearsals that take place every other Sunday morning.
West Bali National Park Reserve
Much of Bali’s natural landscape has been altered by the hand of man. Dense tropical forests that once covered the island have mostly now been cleared and the land molded into spectacular rice terraces and sprawling village settlements. But on the western most tip of the island, extensive montane forests. coastal swamps and marine waters have barely been disturbed by human presence. Today these areas comprise the Bali Barat (West Bali) National Park, officially gazetted in 1984 as one of ten national parks in Indonesia.
Several distinct environments are to be found within the park’s 76,312 hectares. Forested mountains ranging up to 1500 m stand in the park’s central and eastern sectors. Their southern slopes are forested with tropical vegetation that is green year round. The north is much drier than the south, hosting deciduous forests. Palm savannahs and mangrove swamps are found in the Coastal areas. Four nearby islands surrounded by coral reefs are rich in sea and bird life.
The park is home to two rare species of wildlife. The Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi), found only in Bali, is a small white bird with black wingtips and a brilliant aqua blue streak around its eyes. A hundred or so individuals still live in the wild here, mainly on Meajangan Island, and the park is soring a project to train birds donated from zoos around the world for re-release to their natural habitat. The project’s training center is located at Tegal Bunder Research Station.
Another rare species is the wild javan buffalo (Bos javanicus). Only 30 to 40 remain deep inside the park grounds. Other mammals here include rusa deer, barking deer, mouse deer, leopard, civets, macaques and several species of monkeys.
Other areas bordering on existing human settlements have been designated ”buffer zones and will continue to provide these communities with needed forest resources. Several coconut and eucalyptus plantations will be reconverted to natural habitats. Still other areas are being exploited for timber. The park is also intended for controlled recreational use by Indonesians and foreigners alike.
Within the park’s boundaries are two well tourist sites. The Banyu Wedang hot spring are considered to have medicinal properties by those who believe and bathe in them. Also found here is the holy grave of Jayaprana(click to see more), a nobleman sent on a fatal mission so the king he served might wed his new bride.
Bali Beachfront Resorts
Location : Sanur
Sanur today is a golden mile of Baliesque hotels that has attracted millions of paradise seeking globetrotters. And yet, within the very grounds of the 11story The Grand Bali Beach Hotel, a war-reparation gift from the Japanese, nestles the sacred and spikey temple of Ratu Ayu of Singgi, the much feared spirit consort of Sanur’s fabled Black Barong.more Bali hotel area details