Explore The Historical Monument of I Gusti Ngurah Rai’s Landing

The historical ancient monument marking the landing site of I Gusti Ngurah Rai's forces in Pekutatan, Jembrana.

Sep 9, 2023 - 04:59
Sep 9, 2023 - 21:38
Explore The Historical Monument of  I Gusti Ngurah Rai’s Landing

Monument Statue Boat (Source: Editorial Collection)

Pekutatan - It's no longer a secret that the island of Bali offers a multitude of tourist attractions that showcase its breathtaking natural beauty. From beautiful beaches to majestic volcanoes, there are countless stories within it. Within the charm of nature, there are also stories and histories that have been immortalized and revered, ensuring that these histories remain eternal for the people of Bali.


When it comes to history, some tourist attractions have historical traces that now stand as legacies. During the period of Bali's struggle against the Dutch colonial rule led by I Gusti Ngurah Rai, numerous monuments were built as a form of tribute to the heroes of Bali.


Well, in Jembrana Regency, there is one ancient historical monument that you must not miss when traveling along the Denpasar-Gilimanuk route. This old monument is located on the coast of Pekutatan, Pekutatan Village, Jembrana Regency. The monument looks beautiful when viewed in the evening, bathed in the golden light of the setting sun, showcasing the beauty of our heroes' struggle in the past. However, it's unfortunate that many people are not very familiar with this monument. One of the reasons is the geographical location of the monument and the "lack" of information about the history behind this old monument located by the beach.


Jukung Statue Monument (Source: Editorial Collection)

This monument is often referred to as the "Patung Jukung I Gusti Ngurah Rai" or the I Gusti Ngurah Rai Boat Statue. The monument depicts the landing of I Gusti Ngurah Rai's forces in West Bali, accompanied by three warriors. These three warriors are also portrayed on the monument. The three warriors who accompanied Ngurah Rai on his journey were Wayan Ledang, I Gusti Putu Wisnu, and Cokorda Ngurah, all of whom were members of the TKR (Tentara Keamanan Rakyat or People's Security Army). At the top of the monument, there is also an inscription that reads, "On April 4, 1946, After Returning from Duty, Reporting to the Leadership of the Republic of Indonesia in Yogya." However, this inscription is no longer legible as it has been covered with moss over time.


This landing event began with I Gusti Ngurah Rai and his troops launching a Cross-Sea Expedition from Bali to Yogyakarta to plead with the central government, which was then based in Yogyakarta. They embarked on their journey through Celukan Bawang, Buleleng, using a fisherman's boat and arrived in Banyuwangi, East Java, on January 1, 1946. From there, they continued their journey to Yogyakarta in disguise to avoid detection by Japanese soldiers. In Yogyakarta, I Gusti Ngurah Rai and his entourage met with President Soekarno, Defense Minister Amir Syarifudin, and Chief of General Staff and Commander-in-Chief Sudirman. The culmination of this meeting was the appointment of I Gusti Ngurah Rai as the Commander of the TRI Sunda Kecil Regiment.


After successfully receiving support from the Central Government, the group returned to Bali and arrived at Pekutatan Beach in Jembrana on April 5, 1946. From that point, they proceeded to Banjar Munduk Malang, Dalang Village, Tabanan. This landing event served as the basis for the government to build the monument, which is now approximately 70 years old.


The landing of I Gusti Ngurah Rai's forces, which had a significant impact on Bali's struggle against the Dutch, is a source of great pride for the people of Pekutatan. This pride led to the construction of the "Patung Jukung I Gusti Ngurah Rai" monument. In fact, the beach, originally named Pantai Pekutatan, was renamed Pantai Jukung, demonstrating just how proud the community is of this boat-shaped monument.


This monument often becomes a tourist attraction frequently visited by foreign guests in the vicinity of Pekutatan Village. The access to the monument is very easy to find by following Pantai Pekutatan, which is surrounded by captivating coral formations that please the eyes. The best part is that there is no entrance fee to access the monument, except during the Galungan and Kuningan holidays when a parking fee of Rp 2,000 for motorcycles and Rp 5,000 for cars is charged. During the Galungan and Kuningan holidays, there is a festive atmosphere resembling a night market. Local residents gather at the beach to enjoy the beauty of the coastline with the historical monument in the midst of it.


When you visit, you will also witness the bustling activities of fishermen as they prepare to set sail on their boats. The best time to visit Pantai Pekutatan is around 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM local time, as you will be treated to the breathtaking view of the sunset.