Jembrana is a regency (kabupaten) of Bali, Indonesia. It has an area of 841.8 km2 and a population of 220,000. Its regency seat is Negara.Jembrana, the least populated and most peripheral of Bali's eight regencies, has been whimsically hailed as the island's "Wild West". A rugged strip of land bounded on one side by "Bali Barat National Park" (see the chapter on Buleleng) and on the other by the crashing surf of the Indian Ocean, Jembrana is despite being well off the beaten track, an important agricultural area and a busy conduit for overland traffic to and from Java.
Some of Bali's oldest remains of prehistoric humans have been found in the Jembrana regency. Legend tells that sparsely populated West Bali got that way because its early in habitants were cursed invisibility for having violated the daughter of a powerful priest.
A ruling family related to the Gelgel house was established here in the mid 1400s, but a dispute among its two founders led to civil war and a destruction of the court. For a while the area was considered to be marginal part of the Badung Kingdom, and a prince from Sulawesi set himself up as ruler during the 17th century with little problem. Most of Jembrana includes the forests, mountain, and coasts of the west Bali National Park and Reserve.
Visitors must obtain the necessary permit and guide at the park headquarters in "Cekik". You might be lucky to see the rare white Bali starling bird, or maybe hear the roar of the Balinese tiger, long thought to be extinct. Excellent diving and snorkeling can be found around "Pulau Menjangan"(Menjangan Island), with the "Banyu Wedang" hot springs nearby on the coast.
Catch a ferry to Java Island at "Gilimanuk" port. Close to the district capital of "Negara" is the temple of "Gede Prancak" near a waiver, while further east the "Rambut Siwi Complex" has magnificent ocean views, and there is an excellent surfing beach at "Madewi", tourist area, visitors may have a night in Madewi Beach Cottages, a standard accommodation with swimming pool and other style of cheaper accommodation as home-stay are available. In the capital town of Negara, many accommodation are available too.
Bigger is better in Jembrana : huge bamboo xylophone of the gamelan jegog accompanies martial arts and dances. "Kendang Mebarung" competitions of large oversized drums are sometimes held. Exciting makepung bull races take place in the village of "Banyu Biru" (blue water) and "Delod Brawah" during the dry season. "Joged bumbung groups" with flirtatious dancers accompanied by smaller bamboo instruments are popular around "Tegal Cangkring".
Jembrana has always been a somewhat isolated regency and largely unaffected by events on the rest of the island. Its history is tied to Buleleng after the Dutch overran that Regency in 1849 and assumed control of Jembrana at the same time. Due primarily to settlement by Bugis people from Sulawesi, the influence of Islam is stronger here than anywhere else in Bali, and visitors will notice a relatively large number of mosques.
INTERESTING TO VISIT :
- Blimbingsari and Palasari. West of Negara moving towards Gilimanuk, the terrain becomes quite rugged and there are some great views into the West Bali National Park. The whole area is sparsely populated, and two areas of some interest are the villages of Blimbingsari and Palasari. The former is a protestant community and the latter catholic, and both were carved of out the jungle by trailblazing Christian pioneers. The communities, whilst Christian, are heavily influenced by Balinese culture. There are epic plays and dances for example which substitute the normal Hindu characters with those from the Bible. Both villages are well signposted from the main coast road between Negara and Gilimanuk at the village of Melayu. There is also a large reservoir at Palasari from where there are great views of the surrounding hills and mountains.
- Buffalo races (Mekepung) in Delod Berawah about 9 km east of Negara town. Thought to originate in Madura, Mekepung were originally held as part of the harvest festivities in Negara. The colorfully decorated carts and buffaloes race on a four km course every 2nd and 4th Sunday morning starting at 7AM. Certainly the main attraction in Negara.
- Bugis Houses. Look for the architecturally very distinct Bugis houses all around Negara, but especially in the Loloan Timur area. Those visitors who have been to southern Sulawesi will have a sense of deja-vu.
- Madurese style fishing boats. These very colourful boats adorn the coast south and south west of Negara. The best place to see them in the hours of daylight (they often fish at night) is at the village of Pangambengan which lies about seven km southwest of Negara town.
- Rambut Siwi Temple (Pura Rambut Siwi). This under-visited temple is about equidistant between Negara and Medewi Beach, and it sits on a low cliff-top overlooking a breathtaking panorama of paddy fields on one side and black sand beaches on the other. Two caves overlook the sea, each with a view of the fishermanâ€™s boats and seabirds hovering above. The temple itself was built by Dang Hyang Nirartha, also the founder of Tanah Lot temple. According to legend, he made a gift of his hair to the temple. Hence the name Rambut Siwi, which literally means "Hair Worship". Donation - about Rp 20,000 is right.
BALI REGENCY and MOST VISIT PLACES OF INTERESTING