Dalem Putih and Dalem Ireng: The Origin of Jimbaran Village

Jimbaran, a village nestled on the southern coast of Bali, is renowned for its natural beauty, particularly its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. The village is also celebrated as a seafood haven, boasting numerous restaurants serving delicious grilled fish. Yet, beneath the vibrant daily life lies a fascinating tale of the formation of Jimbaran village. This story will take you on a journey filled with intrigue and mystery, adorned with unexpected encounters, courage, and a surprising conclusion in the expansive lands of Jimbaran.

Apr 13, 2024 - 00:43
Dec 27, 2023 - 21:02
Dalem Putih and Dalem Ireng: The Origin of Jimbaran Village
Illustration of Dalem Putih and Dalem Ireng along with Other Characters (Photo Source: Author's Collection)

In the past, in the eastern part of Bali, there stood a kingdom known as Klungkung. The ruler of Klungkung, Ida Dewa Agung Sri Ratu Dalem, earned the love of the people for maintaining security, tranquility, justice, and prosperity during his reign. The king had two wives and two sons from his second marriage. The name of the two sons is Sri Ratu Dalem Putih and Sri Ratu Dalem Ireng. Initially, King Dewa Agung deeply loved his second wife and their adorable sons. However, as Dalem Ireng began to stand and take steps, Dewa Agung's attitude changed. He developed a strong hatred for his second wife and sons, while showing excessive affection for his first wife, even though she had not borne him a son.

Illustration of Dewa Agung and his Wives (Photo Source: Author's Collection)

"Uncle Patih, expel my second wife along with her sons! I truly cannot stand the sight of their faces," the king said one morning to his loyal patih.

The patih, shocked by the king's strange behavior, initially resisted the order. However, as a loyal servant and faced with threats, he reluctantly carried out the inhumane command. The patih realized that the king's sudden change in attitude was influenced by the first queen, but he dared not express his opinion. The first queen, who had been childless for a long time, was worried that the power would be inherited by a son from the second wife. Before such a situation could occur, the first queen attempted to influence the king to eliminate the second wife and her sons, ensuring that power remained under her control.

On that day, the patih escorted the two sons and their mother out of the palace. The entire palace population wept as they witnessed their departure, especially seeing the mother struggling to carry Dalem Ireng while guiding Dalem Putih, who walked with difficulty. In the dense forest, the patih, acting as the king's envoy, released the unfortunate family with a sense of pity. The displaced family lamented their fate day and night, unsure of the curse that had befallen them, forcing them to face such a bitter destiny. Under the scorching sun, in thirst and hunger, the mother guided her sons to rest under a shady tree. Near the tree stood a temple called Pura Dalem Klotok. In front of the temple, the mother prayed to the Almighty, seeking strength and protection.

Illustration of Dalem Putih and Dalem Ireng with their Mother (Photo Source: Author's Collection)

Enduring in suffering, the family moved from place to place in search of edible fruits. The mother, who always carried Dalem Ireng and sometimes Dalem Putih, became increasingly exhausted. This was especially true as she had to pick fruits for her two sons. In the midst of despair, at the break of dawn, the mother reluctantly left her elder son.

That morning, after the sunrise, Dalem Putih woke up and was shocked to find his mother and younger brother not by his side. In panic, he called out for his mother and then, in the dense forest, searched for traces while crying out loudly. Suddenly, an old man emerged from behind a tree, causing the child to become even more frightened. Crying, he tried to run away from the place.

"Fear not, little one! My name is Dukuh Sakti. I am meditating in this forest," said the old man after catching him.

Dalem Putih was then carried to his hut by Dukuh Sakti. The old man cherished the child with great happiness. Dukuh Sakti felt grateful to have an intelligent, diligent, and resilient son. Dalem Putih was entrusted with inheriting all the knowledge from Dukuh Sakti. In a short time, Dalem Putih mastered various skills such as martial arts, meditation, chanting mantras, and all the healing knowledge taught by Dukuh Sakti.

Illustration of the meeting between Dalem Putih and Dukuh Sakti (Photo Source: Author's Collection)

After growing into adulthood, Dalem Putih excelled in his knowledge. However, the will of the Almighty separated the two knowledgeable individuals. As Dukuh Sakti approached the end of his life, he delivered a message to his disciple, who was regarded as a son.

"My child! The time has come; the Almighty is calling me. Go towards the southwest. Reside in the area around Uluwatu Temple. Practice the knowledge you have acquired for the benefit of those in need!"

With a heavy heart, Dalem Putih left Dukuh Sakti's hut that was no longer occupied. For him, the hut held significant educational value. Despite the difficulty, he obeyed the instructions of his teacher and departed, traversing dense forests, cliffs, rivers, and hills. The resilient man finally arrived in the Uluwatu area, the southern tip of Bali. There, he began a new life by clearing the forest and establishing a hut.

The presence of Dalem Putih in the new area was soon known to the surrounding residents, especially after they discovered that Dalem Putih was a skilled healer. Many severely ill people were successfully cured by him. The handsome young man was not only known for his knowledge but also for his politeness, diligence, and kindness to everyone. Many beautiful girls were attracted to him, and eventually, he married a virgin considered the most beautiful in the area.

One day, a young man arrived at Dalem Putih's hut. Unfortunately, at that time, Dalem Putih was busy hoeing in the garden, so the guest was only welcomed by his wife.

"Sorry, my husband is working in the garden. If Jero doesn't mind, please wait a moment," Dalem Putih's wife said politely.

Later, the wife fetched her husband from the garden. She assumed the guest was a poor person who was sick, judging by his thin body, tired eyes, and ragged, mismatched clothes. When the couple returned to the hut, the strange guest had disappeared. Dalem Putih and his wife suspected him of being a thief. Their suspicions were confirmed when they saw the chaos and missing food. Dalem Putih became angry and chased after the young man.

After catching him, Dalem Putih angrily asked, "What is your intention in deceiving me?" The young man did not apologize but instead retaliated with a punch. A fierce fight ensued, with no signs of surrender. Unaware, they tumbled into a ravine and got entangled in the bushes.

"What is your name?" Dalem Putih asked after the fight. "My mother named me Dalem Ireng. And who are you?" Dalem Putih was shocked and embraced him, saying, "I am your brother, Dalem Putih," while shedding tears.

Illustration of the meeting between Dalem Ireng and Dalem Putih (Photo Source: Author's Collection)

The two young men who had been separated since childhood reunited in a joyful and nostalgic embrace. However, the meeting had to end with a farewell. Dalem Ireng, accustomed to a nomadic life, chose not to stay with his brother. He felt happy to continue his adventures from one place to another.

Meanwhile, Dalem Putih, at the request of the residents, decided to stay in the new area. Together, they spent days clearing the wilderness north of Uluwatu Temple. The newly opened area was vast, like a sprawling land squeezed between the two seas. This expansive area was named Jimbaran, derived from the word "jimbar," meaning 'broad and spacious.'

The adventures of Dalem Putih and Dalem Ireng serve as a source of inspiration that teaches us about unexpected courage, the strength of steadfast friendship, and the values shaped by each life journey. They demonstrate that courage can emerge from various sources, even from unexpected individuals. Their strong friendship became a support in facing various challenges, while their adventures illustrate that every journey has the potential to shape character and teach valuable values. In this story, Dalem Putih and Dalem Ireng not only confront evil forces to save the kingdom but also learn to acknowledge mistakes, apologize, and support each other. This story inspires us to find courage within ourselves, strengthen friendships, and face every adventure in life with resilience.