There is motto in vogue among tourism
official and operator in Lombok,
" Bali can be seen in Lombok, but Lombok
cannot be seen in Bali "
|Historical Of Lombok
Such is the cliché in a brochure advertising Lombok as a tourist destination.
That is not without reason. In the western part of the island, Hinduism is
heavily present alongside Islam. The island was Javanese prior to the
Islamisation of Java, and as such subjected to the powerful influence of the
Shiva Buddhist tradition from Java.
In the 17th century, the King of Karangasem invaded Lombok, turning into an
important center of Hindu - Baliness power and culture. Such influences inter -
wine history of Bali and Lombok.The Balinese still makes up an important
minority in the western part of the island. The city of Cakranegara is a mainly
Balinese city. The Pura Meru Temple, built by Anak Agung Karang in 1720, is
dedicated to the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Wisnu, and Shiwa.
Another sign of the effect of Karangasem is the famed Taman Namada, built 1727
by Anak Agung Gde Ngurah Karangasem as both a recreational garden and a place to
Shiwa. But despite the Hindu influence, Lombok is essentially a Muslim island.
Islam come first from Java, and then from Sulawesi, whose sea - faring Bugis set
up the eastern Kingdom of Selaparang in the 17th century. So the religious mix
is remarkably complex.
Most of the Sasak people of Lombok follow a brand of Islamic orthodoxy professed
by traditional teacher, which is known as "Tuan Guru". Other follow the
syncretism tradition of ' Watu Telu". Instead of praying five times a day as
Moslem usually do, they prey only three times a days, and have a cosmology
influenced by Hinduism. There is even a temple in Lingsar where people from
Hindu and Islamic traditional meet for common prayer. Besides the Balinese and
Sasak, there are also Bugis in Lombok Island.
The Lesser Sunda is lands region, of which Lombok but apart, cover and area as
wide as Java. It has great variety of ethnic groups, with an increased Melanesia
influence the further one goes east. There is at least 33 main language. Some
islands are highly Islamic (like Lombok and Sumbawa), while other mostly
catholic (Flores) and still other are Protestant, (Sumba, Rote, and western
The area is no less varied geographically. The Nusa Tenggara islands are the
most varied in Indonesia: their landscape ranges from Lombok's volcanoes to
Sumba's and Flores' dry Savannah. There are also colorful atolls in many part of
Lombok is where the transition towards eastern Indonesia begins, both naturally
and culturally. The northern part of Lombok is mountainous and verdant with tall
trees and shrubs covering the land. One finds none of the large Asian mammals.
The western part of the island is the greenest and most humid. As one moves
east, the dry season become more pronounced, and in many areas corn and sago
instead of rice, are the staple foods.
Lombok Principal Mountain is the 3726-m Rinjani Mountain, third highest in
Indonesia. Still active, it lasts erupted in 1901, 1994 and 2004. Mountains play
an important role in sasak tradition. Both the Sasak and Balinese people have a
yearly pilgrimage to Rinjani's summit, which has several sulfuric lakes with
curative virtues. Mountain Rinjani also offers trekking through the rain
Mataram the capital of west Nusa Tenggara, altogether with Ampenan, the old
port, and Cakranegara, the old Balinese capital, make up the largest urban area
in the province. Nearby Sweta has the largest tradition market including birds.
Very different from the atmosphere of urban Lombok is a traditional village such
as Sukarara; famous of the weaving, and Penujak, Banyu Mulek; famous for its
Lombok has large array of beautiful beach. Kuta beach (also known as Putri nyale
beach), it on the south coast of Central Lombok. The answer to Bali's Kuta,
albeit much less developed, kuta in one of the most scenic and unspoiled beaches
on the island. From Kuta to Tanjung A'An, five kilometer away, there is an
unbroken stretch of clean white sand. The Sea is safe for bathing and swimming.
Further to the west are several surfing and windsurfing beaches. Each year, on
the 19th day of the tenth month of the sasak lunar calendar, when the Nyale fish
come to the sea surface, Kuta beach host the famous Nyale festivel (Normally on
But Lombok's chief resort is Senggigi beach, offering range of accommodation,
with the best Hotel on the island situated here. Coral can be seen in abundance
Gili in the Sasak language means island. The three gili island, gili Air gili
Meno and gili Trawangan, are idyllic islets just off the northern coast. A
favorite with back packers, the island abounds with coral garden. Gili air the
nearest island can be reached in 15 to 20 minute by boat from the main land and
1,5 hours from Senggigi. One of the best way to enjoy the splendor and beauty of
the Gili island is to go on cruise by Traditional boat from Senggigi. The blue
tinted stag horn corals are one of the attractions here.
On Lombok, nature and you enter new geographical zone, the intermediate zone
between Asia and Australia. The staple food is sago, corn, or cassava. There is
little paddy, as cattle replace agriculture as the main activities of the local
people. The other important economic activity is the making of pottery, which is
gaining worldwide fame.
Pottery is produced mainly in the village of Banyumulek, Masbagik Timur and
Penujak. Here, women have been involved in this craft since the decline of the
Hindu Kingdom of Majapahit in the early 16th century. Technically, there are few
differences in processes used in the three villages except that the designs of
the pots are different.
Since 1988, the Lombok craft project, jointly run by the Government of the
Republic Indonesia and of New Zealand, has been provided technical and marketing
assistance to these women potters. It has assisted them to process their clays
in way which produce a stronger product.
The earthenware clay used is grayish brown in its natural state but becomes a
beautiful rich brown when fired. Finished pots are coated with a slip made from
the same clay, sieved to produce a fine surface which is later burnished with
stone. The clay used to produce Sasak pottery has been approved for food safety
by the New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. Such
pottery items, ranging from food storage containers to cooking utensils and
water jars. Totally hand - crafted, Sasak pottery is intrinsically fragile but
if handled with care will last many years.
Another island in the Nusa Tenggara chain is Sumbawa, whose 2200-m Mount Tambora,
erupted in the 18th century, killing most of the local population (about 30.000
people). The biggest town is Sumbawa Besar. The island is predominantly Moslem,
with some Christian communities. The palace belonging to the ancient Bugis
Sultan of Sumbawa, Dalam Loka can be visited. As can Bima and Sape two other
Flores means "Flower" in Portuguese, and the island which take this name is one
of the main island in East Nusa Tenggara. It was a Portuguese colony for long
time before the dutch took over. Many of the local people are of Portuguese
descent and still retain Portuguese names. Catholicism is the main feature in
the many villages of the flores and of same of the small islands nearby. Every
year the Paso Easter procession in held in Larantuka, the town house of the
black Madonna of Flores.
This westernized island has many untouched beaches and pristine underwater coral
garden. There are shark hunter villages in Lamalera and Small Island of Lambata.
The mainland is famous for its tricolor Caldera Lake on Mt. Kalimutu, whose
combined of colors change according to the volcanic activity. The women made
ikat weaving from flores are well known amongst collectors. It has many styles
as there are dialect: about 15 altogether.
Between Sumbawa and Flores is Komodo and Rinca Island, a Jurassic Park of an
Island, home to the Giant four meters long Komodo dragon lizard, which cam weigh
up to 150 kilogram. June till September is the best months to observe this
endangered prehistoric monster up close. When watching this living dinosaurs,
visitor offer goats as bait to make the monster demonstrate their "beastliness".
But be careful! ( There are stories of European tourists whose cameras were the
only things which returned home. Unusually, the sand on this island's beach has
On each island of Nusa Tenggara, the traditional are particularly beautiful and
the traditional markets unique. Apart from the larger islands of Nusa Tenggara,
there are many smaller island ready to uncover their beauty and richness. They
represent future challenges for the Indonesia tourism industry.