Island Lombok Tourism Objects
Batu Bolong is located a little north along the coast, south
of the beach of Senggigi. The temple is built on a rock
which is almost into the sea. When the weather is clear you
can see Gunung Agung when the sun sets. The temple got its
name from a rock with a hole which is nearby: batu its mean
rock, and bolong its mean hole.
Senggigi is the most developed area for tourists on Lombok.
You can find a variety of restaurants, bars, discotheques,
travel agents, photo processors, money changers, souvenir
shop and a range of accommodations starting from budget
losmens to 5 star hotels. The town of Senggigi spreads out
along nearly 10 kilometers of coastal road. This road
continues north to Bangsal, the port for the Gili island.
Along the way be in store for winding turns, steep hills,
and a fantastic scenery of the coast. Say hello to the
friendly kids playing in the villages along the way.
Restaurants and small cafes line the colorful main beach
road. Swimming off the beach is safe. Most visitors to
Lombok usually start their stay at Senggigi, Lombok's oldest
and most famous resort area.
The Gili's : Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air
The three Gilis - Trawangan, Meno and Air are just off the
west coast of Lombok, the beautiful little sandy islands
that have become a favorite destination for sun-bathing,
Frisbee tossing and other low impact seashore sports. Gili
Trawangan is the largest and furthest west, at 3.5 square
Kilometers and the population of 700 local peoples. Gili
Trawangan is the popular gili for the diver as many diving
site here. Gili Meno is the middle island, the home about
350 people. Gili Meno is the smallest of the three gilis and
it is the quietest. Gili Meno is the best place for
honeymoon trip. On the island of Gili Meno, a new tourist
attraction was opened this year located near the Bounty
Beach club Gili Meno, Hundred of various tropical birds from
many different rainforest of Indonesia. Humidity of Gili
meno is higher than another two Gilis (Trawangan and Air).
Sun protection is highly recommended and mosquito repellent.
Gili Air is the nearest Gili from Lombok island. Gili Air is
also the most populated and more green than other two gilis.
Gili Air inhabited by Sasak ethnic and some sailors from
Southest Sulawesi consisting of three main ethnicities :
Mandar, Bugis and Makassar. It is the only island where you
can find their unique culture that is different from Lombok
and wonderful beaches.
The Gili's (
Air, Meno and Trawangan )
Ampenan, Mataram and Cakra Negara
The center of population of Lombok is a city area in the
west of the island, consisting of three neighboring cities:
the old seaport Ampenan transforms into the governmental
center of Mataram, which transforms into the trade city of
Cakranegara. Just east of Cakranegara id Sweta, with the
biggest market of Lombok and the bus station of the island.
The total population of the three cities is more than a
quarter of a million and is about 10 per cent of the total
population of Lombok.
Mataram is the capital of the province Nusa Tenggara Barat (Lombok
and Sumbawa are part of it) and also the capital of the
district of West-Lombok. The other district capitals, Praya
in Central-Lombok and Selong in East-Lombok, are small and
provincial compared to Mataram.
A wide, eight km long road with one way traffic through the
three cities creates an easy flow of traffic, also because
the cidomo are forbidden in the city area. This road starts
are Jalan Langko in Ampenan, and ends as Jalan Selaparang in
Cakranegara. Near Cakranegara is becomes the main road which
crosses the island, and just past Labuhan Lombok it ends
near the small harbor for boats to Sumbawa near Kayangan, 77
km from Mataram.
Each of the tree cities has its own character. Ampenan, with
its maze of small streets, old buildings, Chinese and Arabic
quarters and the sluggish harbour has most character and is
most lively as well. Mataram, the governmental ity, is
branded by modern governmental buildings and has little to
offer for the tourist. Cakranegara offers lots of art
stored, weaveries and interesting things to see from the
time of the Balinese rule.
Mataram is the capital of the province which has in the past
decades joined with Ampenan, the port, and Cakranegara to
become the province's biggest urban complex. At around the
beginning of the 18th century, Mataram was the residence of
the crown prince of Karang Asem, a kingdom in southern
The ruler himself had his seat in Cakranegara.The royal
palace no longer exists, but many of the old temples and
pleasure gardens are still there. Lombok's biggest Balinese
temple is the Pura Meru in Cakranegara.
Dedicated to the Hindu trinity, Brahma and Vishnu, it was
built in 1720 by Anak Agung Made Karang, which has three
courtyards. Three pagoda like places of worship stand in a
line from north to south in the innermost courtyard. The one
on the north is dedicated to Vishnu and has a roof with nine
tiers. The central is dedicated to Shiva with 11 tiers on
its roof and the southernmost one is for Brahma with a roof
of seven tiers. Nearby is Taman Mayura. once part of the
royal palace, it has an artificial lake set in the middle of
a park. A raised path leads from the side of the pond to a
pavilion built in the middle of the lake. In former, days,
justice was meted out and religious rituals were performed
in this open-sided pavilion.
Taman Narmada, 11 kilometers east of Mataram, was built in
1727 by King Anak Agung Gede Ngurah Karang Asem as both a
pleasure garden and place to worship Shiva. Its big pool is
said to represent Segara Anakan, the Crater Lake on the
volcano Rinjani where they used to make offerings by
throwing valuables into the water. As the became too old to
make the pilgrimage up the 3,726 meter high mountain, he had
Narmada made to represent the mountains and the lake. Near
the pond is A place of worship and a spring whose water is
believed to give dedicated pilgrims eternal youth.
Pura Lingsar / Lingsar Temple
This may be the only Hindu shrine in the world where both
Hindus and Moslem come to worship
About 7 kilometers west of Narmada, it was built in 1714 and
rebuilt in 1878 to symbolize harmony and unity between the
Hindu Balinese and Moslem Sasak population of the area,
especially those who adhere to Lombok's unique Wektu Telu
school of Islam.
The Balinese temple is built on higher ground, behind the
Moslem section in the compound. In the lower yard is a
spring in which pilgrims in the temple yard stage a mock
battle between Hindus and Moslems in which troth parties
hurl rice cakes at each other.
Gunung Pengsong, about six km south of Mataram offers one of
the most spectacular views on entire Lombok on clear days:
in the morning Gunung Rinjani looks very nice, and in the
late afternoon you can also see Gunung Agung on Bali from
The entire day you have a very nice view over the rice
fields. On the top of a steep hill is a small temple, which
can be reached over several stairs. Visitors are guided by
monkeys, which are hoping for something nice. One of the
altars contains a big egg-shaped stone.
In March or April there is a very important harvest
festival. People say that during this ritual, a water
buffalo is brought to the top to act as main sacrifice. The
most important ceremony, Anggara Keliwon Prang Bakat, takes
place every second cycle of the pawukon, the 210 day
Balinese ceremonial calendar.
Mayura Water Palace
The Mayura Water palace is located in the center of
Cakranegara. As the name suspects, it's a palace, built in
1744 for the Balinese royal court, and placed around a big
square bassin. Mayura was the location of an important
battle between the Dutch and Balinese, which were supported
by the Sasak. After the Dutch invasion of Lombok in 1894,
the Dutch army had made a camp near Mayura, which proved to
be a strategic disaster. The Balinese - which had guns -
went to the fence and shot the defenders one by one. Several
cannons - besides Balinese statues - are witnesses of the
end. In the middle of the basin is a big and open pavilion,
which can be reached over a raised path. The court of law
with meeting room is a quiet place besides the crowded main
street of Cakranegara. The youth from the city goes here for
a swim and some fishing.
One of the shrines east of the basin overlooks the water and
is surrounded by West Indian jasmine and colorful croutons.
The full moon of Prunama Keempat, the fourth month of the
Balinese calendar, is the date of the most important
ceremony of Mayura. When you want to visit the shrines, you
need to wear a sarung.
Pura Meru ( Meru Temple ), the biggest Balinese temple on
Lombok, lies across the Mayura across the main road. The
complex, built in 1720 under the order of Anak Agung Made
Karang of Sungosari, has three inner squares and over thirty
shrines. The tree main meru-shrines - dedicated to Siwa,
Wisnu and Brahma - are slender and have eleven, nine and
seven roofs. The temple is the location for one of the
biggest Balinese rituals.
The tourist route first takes you towards the southeast to
Praya (markets are held on Saturdays). Just before this
district capital a right turn brings you to the weaving
village of Sukarara. Along the main road are five weaving
factories. These centrums consist of traditional wooden
floss, protected by a roof. Each center has a shop which
sells the local fabrics, without being pressured by smart
tricks. Negotiating is normal.
Rambitan / Sade Village
More south you will arrive in the village old Sade, after
you have passed the little town of Sengkol. There are many
traditional houses and rice sheds here. The building permit
doesn't allow the construction of modern houses with red
paned roofs here. Small boys, which sometimes speak some
English, guide the tourist through the village and explain
everything of which they think it's interesting. The
government constructed a concrete path through the village
in the late 1980's, probably because too many tourists fell
Along the path you can now buy ikat-fabrics. The ladies who
are selling, have much experience and will trick you if you
don't see through it. The traditional houses have a platform
inside which is built one meter above the ground, and is
made of a mixture of clay, droppings and straw, which is
polished into a shining floor. The roof is made from natural
products, the walls are made from bamboo or palm leafs. Sade,
a village with just more than 150 farmers families, has a
big number of had-shaped rice sheds on pillars (lumbung),
which have become the symbol of Lombok.
Kuta Beach Lombok
From Sade it's just a small jump to the southern coast near
the village of Kuta (markets on Sundays). The area is used
for the construction of hotels, but still is a reasonably
quiet place. You can also find losmen there, as well as
restaurants. The nature along the eight-kilometer coastal
road from Kuta to Tanjung Aan and Grupuk, which runs close
to the beach of the bay, is just splendid.
The beach of Kuta is home to one of the most remarkable
annual rituals of Lombok, the Bau Nyale. Every year, five to
seven days after the second full moon (usually in February,
sometimes in March) a sea worm living under the limestone
rocks, starts it's reproduction cycle by sending eggs and
seamen to the surface of the sea. This same event also takes
place elsewhere in Indonesia, for example on Sumba, where it
is the start of the Pasola ritual.
The population of Lombok believes - just like the Sumbanese
- that the number of these nyale, as well as several aspects
of their behaviour, has a direct influence on the coming
harvests of rice. There is a legend about a beautiful
princess which was desperate because of the many fighting
candidates for marriage and threw herself into the sea. From
her hair, the nyale were born. A legend of the same kind is
used on Sumba.
Just before the appearance of the nyale, thousands of people
spend their nights on the beach of Kuta. When the worms are
seen, the ritual is opened by the mangku, the leader of the
traditions. The fertility aspect of the ritual is shaped
into a form which unique to Lombok, a conservative community
in which young men of marry able age have little
possibilities of contact. During the nyale-festivities,
parents are less strict for their daughters, and young
people can have contact with each other without control, but
only in groups. Courtesy is only allowed in public; not
everything is possible.
Young men and women, dressed to their best, form separate
groups and walk around to see what is available. Flirting is
done by poetic songs and subtitle word games; the opposite
of macho behaviors. There is a good, happy atmosphere.
As sunrise the youngsters get to sea in boats to collect the
worms. Later on these animals are consumed in different
ways: raw, mixed with coconut, grilled, salted and fermented
partially. They are also kept in bamboo it is said that
eating nyale-worms stimulates sexual behaviors.
The government, which is looking for ways to make the ritual
more attractive for tourists. For years, actors were hired
to act as the princess from the legend. This is kind of
useless, since the tradition is attractive enough. The
'play' belongs to the tourist hotels, but not on the beach
of Kuta during the local rituals.