Monday, September 28, 2009

The Legendary Mountain Tangkuban Perahu

Tangkuban perahu is one of the active volcanoes in Java island - in West Java to be exact. This is a very nice place for sightseeing tour with your family. You can watch an amazing large bubbling white crater called the Upah crater. Its fresh air and beautiful view make this place a perfect spot for a family picnic.

It's very easy to get to this place, from Bandung just take a public transportation or taxi which takes only 30 minutes journey. Or to be more comfortable you can rent a car, this way you can reach the top of mountain without much effort because there is a road leads to the top of this mountain unless of course if you're intend to do a hiking activity.

One thing that makes Mount Tangkuban perahu so popular not only in Bandung or West Java, but all over Indonesia is its remarkable legend that's been told through generations for hundreds of year and becomes one of the most popular legend in Indonesia.

It was told that in ancient time, a prince in kahyangan (nirvana) was cursed because he has done some mistakes to the Gods. The Gods sent him to the earth and transformed him into a dog. On earth, there was a beautiful princess named Dayang Sumbi. Dayang Sumbi loved to weave, one day when she was weaving one of her weaving tool slipped through the palace window and fell to the ground far below. She was calling her maids to helped her but no one showed up, feeling so disappointed she wasn't thingking so clearly. Suddenly she made an oath that she shouted out loud, "anybody who helped me carry my weaving tool back to me shall be rewarded, if she's a woman.. I shall take her as my sister, but if he's a man.. he shall have the honour to mary me" she shout. Unfortunately the dog shaped prince heard her voice, he then took the weaving tool and crried it back to the princess. Dayang Sumbi was shocked to see a male dog carrying her waiving tool, at first she was thingking to break the oath, but in order to avoid the Gods's anger her father insist her to mary the dog. That was also a lesson given by her father that an oath is not something to be played with, especially for a princess.

After the marriage, Dayang Sumbi and Tumang - the dog, chosed to live in a jungle far away from the kingdom. On one night, Tumang was transformed back to his real human shape. He then told Dayang Sumbi about his story, he said that before the curse is broken he only can transform into his real shape occasionally. From that day Dayang Sumbi wasn't so sad anymore and really treaded Tumang as a husband.

Several years went by and they had a son named Sangkuriang. One day Dayang Sumbi told Sangkuriang to hunt for a deer because she wanted to cook and eat deer liver that day. Sangkuriang then took Tumang on the hunting, but after wondering around for a long time in the jungle he couldn't a deer to hunt. Afraid to disappoint his mother, Sangkuriang then killed Tumang and took his liver to Dayang Sumbi. when Sangkuriang came back alone from the jungle bringing Tumang's liver to his mother, Dayang Sumbi felt a suspicious to his son. She then insist Sangkuriang to tell her what happened, when she found out that Sangkuriang killed his own father, Dayang Sumbi felt so angry and hit Sangkuriang until he felt down bleeding in his forehead. Dayang Sumbi then told Sangkuriang to go away and never come back to his mother anymore.

Many years passed by, now Sangkuriang had become a handsome young man who used to travel from one area to another. Someday in his journey, he met Dayang Sumbi but he didn't recognize his mother and Dayang Sumbi also didn't recognize Sangkuriang. It was said that because of some herbs in the jungle she used to drink, Dayang Sumbi has a long life and never grows old. So, when she met Sangkuriang she was still looks pretty, even more pretty than before. These mother and son then fell in love, Sangkuriang then proposed Dayang Sumbi to become his wife. feeling so lonely all these years, Dayang Sumbi accepted it but then she found a scar on Sangkuriang's forehead and asked him how he got that scar. Dayang Sumbi was very surprised facing the reality that actually the scar was made by her when she sent her son away, she realized that the man she was about to married with is actually her son. She told Sangkuriang about this and she intended to break their engagement, but Sangkuriang refuse it and he suspected Dayang SSumbi was just trying to make an excuse by making up a story.

Because Sangkuriang kept insist to mary her, Dayang Sumbi then gave Sangkuriang several conditions. She said that she would mary him if Sangkuriang can build her a giant boat and a dam in just one night before the roosters crow. Dayang Sumbi thought that Sangkuriang would fail so she wouldn't have to mary her own son, but Dayang Sumbi was shocked to see that on midnight, due to the magical power he had, Sangkuriang was almost finished his job. Dayang Sumbi then running around waking up every rooster she could find and made them crow. Sangkuriang was so furious facing the reality that he failed to mary Dayang Sumbi, so furious that he kicked the giant far away. The giant boat then fell upside down and became a mountain called Tangkuban Perahu (Sundanese language means upside down boat), and the dam became the rivers flowing all around the mountain.

there are so many accomodations you can find in Bandung. Bandung is a nice place to stay, it's a modern city only the air is fresher than Jakarta. Or if you'd like to have even more fresh air, you can choose an accomodation in Lembang - a small town near the mountain. There are also some good restaurants in Lembang serving delicious Indonesian food that's worth to try.

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