The article below concerns the oldest evidence of mention to Nusa Penida, the Blanjong pillar at Sanur. Roelof Goris quoted the Blanjong pillar inscriptions in his publications 'Prasasti Bali I & II' (1954) and gave following comments in Dutch, Indonesian and English. Furthermore, information by Sidemen (1980) and Sutaba (1985) and Hauser-Schäublin (1997) is included. Footnotes in Hauser-Schäublin's text are introduced in below text in square brackets, as well as additional information by author Godi Dijkman.
Blanjong pillar (Goris, 1954)
A (Nagari side)
1. çake 'bde çara wahnimurtiganite mase tatha phalgune (sara) ...
2. ... (ra) ... (taki) naswa(ksa)... radhayajihitwarowinihatyawairini... h...ng(s)...
3. ...(hi) - (ia)awampurang singhadwala pure(nika)-i... ya... ta... t ...
4. ... / / (ça) ... wulan phalguna ... çri kesari...
5. ... rah di gurun di s(u)wal dahumalahang mesuhdho... ngka ... (rana) ... (tah) di kutara...
6. nnata ... (tabhaja)... kabhudi kabudhi / /
B (Kawi side)
1. swa... ratapratapamahi... (h)... çcodayah/dhwastarati tamaçcayo (buga)na
2. ... samarggaranggapriya/padmobo-i... (asa)serawirabudha(ç)a... nahkrtih walidwipa...
3. ... (bhayebhirowi... (bhe)ri... na(bhu)pa(ca) (çi)na(r)a(g)atwa...
8. ... (ça)... (maçangçuta)...
9. ... (çepra) yatandicarssyannantarisr-u...
10. ... / (wija)yarka (ndantarand) anta(pe) kabhajobhrçam/ /yena-e...
11. ... nbhidya (sata) langwidhayunggurubhihsarrundhyaçatrunyu(dh)i
12. maha... ha(dw)iparagrewairimahibhuja(ng) srjutarahkamp...
13. ... ndre (th) a-r-(amajasa) pta... ptihsamastasamantadhipatihçrikesari warmma(dewa)...
Goris does not give a full translation as the inscriptions are illegible. He gives the following comments:
Zuil van Pura Blandjong bij Sanur. De text is te veel bedorven, dan dat een vertaling mogelijk is. Behalve de naam van de vorst: (adhipatih çri Kesari Warmadewa) wordt een pura (=paleis!), genaamd Singhadwala, vermeld. Men vergelijke het Singhamandawa der oudste edicten. Mogelijk ook een plaats: Kutaraja. In het oud-Balische gedeelte wordt over een overwinning op de vijanden te Gurun en te Suwal gesproken. Verder wordt naar de opmerking in de Inleiding: sub No. 103 verwezen.
Sebuah tugu nudar berisi dua suratan (prasasti); sbahagian dityulis memakai bahasa Sanksrik, dan huruf Djawa Kuna (Kawi) dan sebahagian bahasa Bali kuna, berhurufnja "prae-nagari". Tetapi tulisan tersebut amat rusak. Menjebutkan bahwa seorang radja, bernama Çri Kesari Warmadewa, mengalahkan musuhnja di Gurun dan di Suwal.
A big cylindrical stone pillar, containing two inscriptions. One inscription is in the Sanskrit language, but in Kawi characters, the other one in Old Balinese language but in 'old Sanskrit' (prae-nagari characters. Most of the writing is undecipherable. A king Çri Kesari Warmadewa is mentioned and his victories over his enemies at Gurun and at Suwal.
Ida Bagus Sidemen (1980)
A: '... di gurun di s(u)wal dahumalahang musuh... (baginda mengalahkan musuh di gurun di suwal)
B: '...smasta samantadnipatih çrikesariwarma(dewa)... (Çri Kesari Warmadewa pemimpin tertinggi dari semua pemimpin sekitarnya
Image left: Blanjong pillar, top (Godi Dijkman, November 2009)
I Made Sutaba (1985)
Sutaba adds the following details: the pillar measures 177 cm in height and 62 cm in diameter. The year Saka 836 (914 AD) is found. King Kesari Warmadewa ruled his kingdom in Singhadwala and vanquished Gurun and Suwal. Apart from this pillar, a sign of victory, a statue of Ganesha, a fountain 'makara' (curvilinear motif like the tail of a shrimp) and other fragments were encountered at Pura Blanjong. Other pillars dating back to the kingdom of Kesari Warmadewa have been found in the villages of Penempahan (Tampaksiring) and Malat Gede (Bangli).
Sutaba's original Indonesian text: Pura ini terletak di desa Blanjong di kawasan pariwisata Sanur, tidak jauh dari pantai. Kini telah dipugar dan prasasti Blanjong yang sangat penting telah diberi bangunan pelindung, untuk mencegah kerusakan-kerusakan yang mungkin terjadi. Menarik perhatian ialah prasasti Blanjong yang berbentuk sebuah pilar silindris atau tugu silindris, yang seringkali dianggap sebagai tugu tanda kemenangan. Tingginya 177 cm dan garis tengahnya 62 cm. Ditulis dengan mempergunakan dua bahasa (bilingual), yaitu bahasa Sanskerta dan Bali Kuna dan dua macam huruf (aksara), yaitu huruf Bali Kuna dan Prenagari. Prasasti ini memuat angka tahun 836 Saka (914 M.), menyebutkan nama raja Kesari Warmadewa bertahta di Singhadwala telah mengalahkan Gurun dan Suwal. Kecuali prasasti ini, di Pura Blanjong ditemukan juga arca Ganesa, makara pancuran dan fragmen-fragmen lainnya. Tugu prasasti dari raja Kesari Warmadewa telah ditemukan juga di desa Penempahan (Tampaksiring) dan di desa Malat Gede (Bangli).
Blanjong and its relations to Nusa Penida - Archaeological findings (Hauser-Schäublin, 1997)
Image above: Blanjong Pillar location in Sanur (Godi Dijkman, November 2009)
(...) Unfortunately only incomplete archaeological surveys have been carried out so far in Blanjong and Semawang, although, as Ardika (1995) has pointed out, Blanjong might have been one of the 'gateway communities' of Bali. His research (survey), carried out in 1980 and 1984 in Blanjong (Darsana, Ardika and Adri 1984), revealed a number of finds, which seem to point in two or three directions: Blanjong (perhaps including today's Semawang) as a settlement and Blanjong as a religious site, probably a center. The distribution and mixture of sherds of locally produced pottery (Which, according to Ardika, stem from today's villages of Ubung, Denpasar, and Blahbatu), along with Chinese ceramics, give evidence of a long period of settlement. The Chinese porcelain dates as far back as to the tenth century. 64.8 percent of the foreign pottery shards date from the Ming period (fourteenth to seventeenth century), 15.2 percent originate from Annam (Vietnam) from the fourteenth to sixteenth century, and 13.6 percent from the Chinese Sung period (tenth to thirteenth century).
The most famous archaeological artifact, however, is the ancient stone column excavated in 1932. It has one of the oldest inscriptions in Bali and is written in two different scripts, Old Balinese and Early Nagari. It is also written in two different languages, Sanskrit and Old Balinese. The column is cylindrical, which, according to Stutterheim (1936), is unusual for Hinduistic architecture in Java and Bali. The cylindrical shaft is crowned by a lotus cushion, which might have supported either a statue or a stupa. The column is dated saka 835 (AD 914, occasionally also rendered as AD 917) (Stutterheim 1936; Goris and Dronkers n.d.:ill.303; Bernet Kempers 1991: 98; Shastri 1963: 29-37). The inscriptions contain the name of a king, Sri Kesari Warmadewa and the name of a town or a kingdom/palace, Singhadwara or Singadwala, as well as Gurun (probably the term for Nusa Penida). A further name which could not be identified is Suwal (interpreted by Shastri as 'Bali'). The text mentions 'enemies in Gurun and Suwal' whom Warmadewa defeated. The event in question, the identity of Warmadewa, and the locations of his home will probably never be learned. He was apparently the first in a sequence of kings and queens of the Warmadewa dynasty (Bernet Kempers 1978:103). [To this famous Warmadewa dynasty belonged obviously the Balinese (?) Prince Udayana (Dharmodyana), who married the Javanese princess Sri Gunapriyadharmaputri. Their first edict was issued in AD 989. Their son was presumably Airlangga, who became king of East Java (Bernet Kempers, 1978:44-48). All these 'facts' are not unequivocal. Krom (1931) assumes that Udayana was a Javanese prince, Bosch suggests that he was a Campa prince (1961:86-104; see also Goris 1957). Stutterheim classifies the beginning of the Balinese Warmadewa dynasty in the "oudbalische periode" (1929:191-192). According to Bernet Kempers, the Sanur pillar "proves that an indianized settlement (kingdom) existed in this coastal region, and was comparable to previous and contemporary similar communities in West and Central Java" (1978:105).
There is an almost equally ancient Ganesa-figure in Blanjong also. It belongs, according to Stutterheim's classification, to the Hindu-Balinese period (eighth to tenth century) of which it probably conflates with the Old Balinese period (tenth to thirteenth century (1929:191)). Stutterheim characterizes its features as an international (tantristic-mahayanistic) Buddhist style (1929:197). He relates them to sculptures of the Dieng-Plateau and Kedu and Prambanan in Java. Archaeologists (Stutterheim and Bernet Kempers) suggest that King Kesari Warmadewa was a Buddhist. Other inscriptions of Sri Kesari Warmadewa have been found at Penempahan (near Tampaksiring) and Malat Gede (between Bangli and Kintamani - i.e., in the mountain region). According to Bernet Kempers, he is one of the founders of the most important sanctuaries in Bali, Pura Besakih (1991:98). Thus the influence this king exercised on Bali must have been considerable. (...) The region between Blanjong, Tuban, and Intaran (Mimba) seems to have served as a harbor for boats and ships - above all, for those arriving from outside Bali. It must have been an inhabited area where part of the settlements were geared to trade or profited in some way from these connections across the sea. There are obvious connections between Nusa Penida and this part of South Bali. (...) The oral histories about Blanjong, today a protected monument because of the stone column with its inscriptions, and therefore a national property, all deal with the immigration of groups from overseas, the clash between the different cultures, and the defeat of one group. These histories also reveal links between South Bali in general, Blanjong in particular, and Nusa Penida. According to these accounts, the temple is supposed to be the remains and the memorial of a boat which came from across the sea and was dashed to pieces. The surviving members of the crew erected this temple.
Mythology: the story of Blanjong
"According to a version told in Renon, once upon a time a raja in Jawa sent his two sons to Bali. [Cf. also Lovric (1986;76). According to the version she recorded, the raja who sailed from Java to Bali was called Renon.] The older one was called Renggan, the younger Renggin. They were of opposite natures, the older lived dharma (i.e. following the socio-religious norms, 'ethically'); he was therefore also called 'the white one'. The younger one lived adharma (not according to the norms); he was therefore also called 'the black one'. The younger son was exiled by his father to the island of Nusa Penida. At the time, there was a king in Bali [who] pledged to Buddhism. After his return to Jawa, Renggan told his father about this. But the raja of Jawa wanted to replace "agama Hindu-Buddha" with "agama Siwa". [Of course it is impossible to make any 'reliable' connections with other histories and to locate these episodes on any time axis. Nevertheless it is interesting to note that the thirteenth century East-Javanese king of Majapahit, Krtanagara, who seems to have been Siva-Buddhist, sent a military expedition to Bali in 1284 to destroy his fellow king, and "evil doer" (Bernet Kempers 1978:63]. He sent Renggan with a ship to defeat the king of Bali. Renggan was accompanied by soldiers with a war gong orchestra, a gong Bali. Before attacking Bali, he stopped in Nusa Penida to hold counsel with his younger brother who had remained there. But the younger one tried to dissuade him from his intent to take Bali by force, since the island was under the protection of the god Mahadewa whose seat is the holy mountain Gunung Agung. But Renggan had already promised the raja of Jawa to carry out his father's order. In the end there was a fight. Renggan's boat crashed into the island off Bali and broke into two pieces, whereby Lembongan (a small island) was separated from Nusa Penida. A further fragment of the island became Nusa Dua (also called Bukit). Renggan wanted to return home but he remembered his promise to his father, the raja, and he did not dare return without having achieved his mission. He therefore headed for the coast of Sanur, where he fought with Mahadewa. The latter defeated Renggan with mantra, and the boat broke apart."
"Some of the men survived, as did the gong beri, the war gong. The survivors carried the wreckage of the boat ashore and piled it up, whereby creating altars. The men had nothing to live on (and therefore depended on the mercy of the gods). They built an altar and called it pura desa; a second, standing next to the panca lingga, an unusual stone structure resembling a candi, they called pura puseh and a third pura dalem."
The people lived there, a long time, until one day many fish jumped up on the shore and perished. This spectacle was repeated again and again. The rotting fish stank and attracted swarms of ants. Life became unbearable, and the people left. Nine families settled in Renon. To this day, the gong beri is found there. Two families moved to Cerancam, Kesiman, and three families to Lantang Hidung, Sukawati."
According to a different version of the Blanjong story (Surono 1983/84), Renggan left Jawa accompanied by an army of soldiers to subjugate Bali. His brother Renggin, who was also called Ratu Dalem Nusa, tried to dissuade him from his plan, but Renggan demonstrated his power by cutting off part of Nusa Penida and joining it to Bali: Nusa Dua (or Bukit) was created. Despite his enormous supernatural power, in the end he was defeated by the god Mahadewa. He and his crew were shipwrecked. The survivors erected the Pura Blanjong in memory of their smashed ship. Out of the fourteen survivors, four later moved to Camenggawon (which belongs today to Sukawati), three to Cerancam (Kesiman), one to Yang Batu (Denpasar), and six settled in Renon, which at the time was called Dalem Lumajang. [Lumajang is for many Balinese synonymous with Majapahit.] Those immigrants who moved to Renon took along the gong beri. They built a temple there, which they called Pura Baris."
Baris Ratu Tuan
This temple is today the sanctuary of the kinship of the Bendesa Mas, and its ancestors are worshipped there. One altar (pelinggih) is called Ratu Tuan, and this shrine is dedicated to the memory of those who came across the sea and were shipwrecked near Blanjong. These ancestors who migrated from Java to Bali are called tuan, a term used mainly for Chinese traders and foreigners who travel across the sea. Once during a temple festival, the ancestors descended into some of the people who fell into trance and started to talk Chinese. They performed a dance similar to a Far Eastern war dance, which is how the existing baris formation Ratu Tuan originated. Today these Ratu Tuan, the former escorts of Renggan, are thought to be Chinese, and their performance differs in many elements from other forms of baris. The impression that this group could really be Chinese is enhanced not only by the clothes, swords, lances, and the dance formation but also by the language they use when in trance. The gong beri, with its most striking instrument, a conch-shell, is very closely connected with the Ratu Tuan, since this gong orchestra plays the music of the Ratu Tuan. [There is a second Ratu Tuan baris formation in Semawang (Intaran), which is more often called Baris Cina. It originated during this century as a derivation of the one in Renon. It is far more directly related to Nusa Penida than the one from Renon.] According to Surono (1983/84:39), along with the physical evidence of the legendary arrivals there are vessels still said to be in the temple. Ratu Tuan is also a collective noun for these ancestors; Surono (1983/84:42) lists four different patih of Ratu Tuan: Ratu Tuan Selembang, Ratu Tuan Mas Medaing, Ratu Tuan Gunung Kunyit, and Ratu Tuan Gunung Jambudwipa. In another version of the story of Blanjong, no reason is given why the inhabitants of Blanjong split up and moved away. In the first version, fish which jumped up on the shore, rotted, and attracted large numbers of ants are given as the causes. As will be demonstrated, such 'splittings' often happen after disputes - especially fraternal feuds. Other traditions, originating in Kapaon, acknowledge that such a fight between brothers took place in Blanjong. The jumping ashore of fish is also found in other traditions. It appears to be a metaphor for an enemy attack from the sea.
- Goris, Dr. Roelof - Prasasti Bali I: Inleiding. Transcripties. Inscripties in het Sanskrit. - 115 p. & Prasasti Bali II: Vertalingen. Registers. - 353 p.; Lembaga Bahasa dan Budaja (Fakultas Sastra dan Filsafat) Universitas Indonesia, N.V. Masa Baru, Bandung, 1954
- Hauser-Schäublin, Brigitta: “Traces of Gods and Men – Temples and Rituals as Landmarks of Social Events and Processes in South Bali Village”, Dietrich Reimer Verlag, 1997, p.28-44
- Sidemen, Ida Bagus - Masalah pembuangan dalam Abad 19 di Nusa Penida, Sarjana thesis, Fakultas Sastra, Universitas Udayana, Denpasar (1980)
- Sutaba, I Made (1985) - Mengenal Peninggalan-peninggalan Purbakala di Daerah Bali, sebuah pengantar singkat; Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebuadayaan Direktorat Jenderal Kebuadayaan Suaka Peninggalan dan Purabakala Bali