In 2005, Ni Komang Astiti & Dariusman Abdillah published an article on the temples of Nusa Penida in connection to their natural surroundings. For the entire Indonesian article, please click here. Below you'll find the English translation on Mundi Temple by Godi Dijkman, including additional comments in square brackets. All colour photographs by author Godi Dijkman, 2009.
Pura Puncak Mundi
Puncak Mundi Temple is located near the settlement of Rata, Klumpu and astronomically finds itself at 8° 43' 55" South dan 115° 31' 26" Longitude at an elevation of approximately 535m 'dpal', the highest elevation in all of the island of Nusa Penida. This temple belongs to [a group of temples indicated with the term] Pura Sad Khayangan (everyone can come and pray here). At the temple grounds there is an ancient structure in the form of a Padmasana with a unique form as is contains 'pelipid' and four poles, which are very different from the padmasana generally known to today's society. In Pura Puncak Mundi there are also two statues, but at the moment of this survey, these statues were stored in the 'gedong pejenengan'. It takes a special ritual to uncover the statues and the preparation for the ceremony takes time and is rather costly. This is the reason why the team has not been able to see the statues.
Image above: Ancient padmasana structure of unique form on the inner temple grounds, to the left of Pura Puncak Mundi. It is the oldest structure at Pura Puncak Mundi (text Astiti 2005; image Dijkman, 2009)
Surroundings of Pura Puncak Mundi
This temple is located at the highest elevation in Nusa Penida. No vegetation has been planted [on purpose] around the temple, but outside of the temple walls, the natural vegetation consists of many plants and trees. To the west side of the temple grounds, there is a pohon Getih [Javanese Getih warak, a rattan palm, possibly Daemonorops; Dragon's blood] of several hundreds years of age. Underneath this tree there is a waterhole which never falls dry. The tree is held sacred by the local population to the present moment, as this tree is considered to hold the spirit of chief minister of the king (Roh Mahapatih) [from the God (Tuhan)?] worshipped at Pura Puncak Mundi, so that during every ceremony at this temple, this tree is also worshipped. Outside of the temple grounds there are several large trees with luscious leafage, such as pohon Kapuk [Ceiba pentandra; Silk-cotton tree], Angih tree [Azadirachta indica, Neem tree; Indonesian: Intaran, Balinese: Mimba], Getih, Buu [Ficus ssp.], etc.. The leaves and other parts of these trees can only be used for temple rituals (offerings and temple construction).
The soil surrounding the temple is very fertile, covered with a thick layer of humus. This temple finds itself amidst various valleys with lush vegetation and generally plants grow well here. Outside of the temple grounds, however, the surroundings are a arid as the rest of Nusa Penida.
Near the temple, there is a fairly large population of monkeys [Macaca fascicularis; Crab-eating Macaque] of perhaps some 250 individuals . These monkeys are protected and cannot be caught.
Morphology & lithology
Hilly terrain surrounds this temple located on the highest hill in all of Nusa Penida, consisting mainly of limestone. The basic material of the structures at Pura Puncak Mundi is limestone. For the foundations of the temple, stone (slabs) have been used found in the surrounding terrain of the temple. First class limestone from the settlement of Tinggian, desa Kutampi, has been used for the construction of the temple walls and sacred structures.
- Heyne, Karel - De Nuttige Planten van Indonesië, Parts I (p.1-1450) and II (p.1451-1660 & list of scientific names p.I-CCXII), H.Veenman & zonen, Wageningen, 1950
- Crab-eating macaque: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab-eating_macaque
- Kapok tree: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceiba_pentandra
- Neem tree (Angih): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azadirachta_indica
- Rattan palm: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daemonorops
- Astiti, Ni Komang Ayu - & Abdillah, Dariusman - Pemanfaatan Sumber Daya Alam untuk Mendukung Kegiatan Religi dari Manusia Prasejarah di Pulau Nusa Penida, Kabupaten Klungkung, Provinsi Bali, Laporan Penelitian Subbid. Laboratorium Artefak dan Ekofak, Bidang Arkeologi Sejarah dan Arkeometri; Jakarta 2005, 43pp.
- Dijkman, Godi (photography, 2009)