The story of the formation of Lembongan Island

The story of the formation of Nusa Lembongan begins with the tale of I Renggan, a young man of Dukuh Jumpungan descent, a sage, and a maritime expert with extraordinary powers. With the blessing of his grandfather, I Renggan used a magical boat to strike the island of Nusa, splitting it into Nusa Gede and Nusa Cenik. However, when attempting to hit Mount Agung in Bali, he was cursed by Ida Hyang Toh Langkir, causing his boat to be stranded on Nusa Ceningan and resulting in the split of Nusa Cenik into two islands, namely Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan. I Renggan settled in Nusa Ceningan, meditated, and achieved moksha, leaving behind a revered legacy at Pura Bakung.

May 24, 2024 - 13:44
Jan 13, 2024 - 13:11
The story of the formation of Lembongan Island
I Renggan Illustration (Photo Source: Private Collection)

Bali is renowned for its numerous exotic tourist destinations, and one of them is Nusa Lembongan. Nusa Lembongan boasts beautiful and unique beaches. Behind the beauty and uniqueness of this island lies a story of its formation. The narrative revolves around a young man named I Renggan, the son of Aji Dalem Sawangan and the grandson of a sage named Dukuh Jumpungan. Dukuh Jumpungan was an expert in maritime affairs, technology, and was renowned for his extraordinary powers. Dukuh Jumpungan was considered an incarnation of Lord Shiva, who descended to Earth along with his consort, Goddess Uma.

Dukuh Jumpungan (Photo Source: Private Collection)

Lord Shiva descended to Earth on a high plateau in Nusa Penida called Puncak Mundi. He transformed into a male sage named Dukuh Jumpungan, while Goddess Uma became a female named Ni Puri, eventually becoming his wife. Dukuh Jumpungan, being a sage with extraordinary powers, created a magnificent boat.

Dukuh Jumpungan contemplated that Nusa Penida, surrounded by vast seas, needed a fleet like a ship to navigate the ocean. Thus, a beautiful and large ship was created. The ship was descended from Puncak Mundi and brought northwards towards the ocean, passing through Tukad Bodong. The boat was used to sail and enjoy the beauty of nature along with his wife.

He also had a son named Dalem Sawang. Dalem Sawang had two sons, I Renggan and I Renggin, who were also grandchildren of Dukuh Jumpungan. All the powers of Dukuh Jumpungan were passed down to one of his grandchildren, I Renggan, who was also fond of meditation. I Renggan, like his grandfather, enjoyed sailing and traversing the oceans. With his powers, I Renggan could create weapons such as spears, daggers, and other weapons, matching the magical abilities of his invincible grandfather. I Renggan was also the captain of the boat created by Dalem Jumpungan.

With his powers, I Renggan could transform land into the sea using the boat he commanded. Due to the magical boat created by his grandfather and his inherited powers, I Renggan developed a desire to showcase his magical abilities, causing everything he sailed past to be destroyed and vanish without a trace. This led to I Renggan's intention to strike the island of Nusa. Before executing his plan, I Renggan performed Samadhi yoga to seek the blessings of his grandfather, Dukuh Jumpungan. Finally, his intention received approval and blessings from Dukuh Jumpungan. The place where his grandfather gave his blessing to his grandson is now the site of a temple called Pura Penida.

After obtaining the blessing, I Renggan, along with his crew, struck his boat onto the island of Nusa, splitting it into two parts. The split gave rise to a seawater flow or loloan that separated the two parts of Nusa, and this loloan was eventually named Loloan Nusa Penida. The divided parts of the island were named Nusa Gede and Nusa Cenik.

With this success, I Renggan felt proud and celebrated his achievement with a festive boat journey across the ocean with his crew. I Renggan continued sailing across the seas and eventually arrived in the waters of Padangbai. It was here that I Renggan decided to strike his boat onto the island of Bali, heading north to split Mount Agung. Beginning his intentions, I Renggan created turmoil among the people of the island of Bali, causing a plague from Padang Bai that attacked the people, making them fearful. Additionally, I Renggan entered a deep meditation, showcasing his spiritual power by summoning flying pests, similar to insects or pests that could attack crops on the island of Bali.

The people of Bali felt panic and fear. Upon learning of this, the ruler of Bali residing on Mount Agung, Ida Hyang Toh Langkir, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, retaliated against I Renggan's attack by creating fire and burning the flying pests (crop pests) summoned by I Renggan. The multitude of insects burned into ashes formed a hill.

I Renggan Ship Hit by a Storm (Photo Source: Private Collection)

Undeterred, I Renggan, with his magical powers, created a massive earthquake and prepared to strike Mount Agung from Padang Bai, Karangasem. Ida Hyang Toh Langkir became immensely angered and cursed I Renggan, causing his boat to drift and sink. Thus, a turbulent wind was created, tossing I Renggan's controlled boat into the middle of the sea and rendering it uncontrollable. Consequently, the boat eventually stranded on Nusa Cenik. The rear part of the boat submerged, while its sail was carried westward by the wind, and the boat's hull collapsed onto Nusa Cenik, splitting it into two.

Bakung Temple (Photo Source: Private Collection)

The split was separated by the sea, and from the fragments of Nusa Cenik emerged two islands Nusa Ceningan located to the south and Nusa Lembongan to the north. After his boat stranded and was damaged, I Renggan himself settled and meditated on Nusa Ceningan in the Bakung area. Consequently, a temple named Bakung Temple was established in this region. Due to his dedication, I Renggan achieved moksha here, and Bakung Temple continues to be the sacred site associated with I Renggan, bearing the title of Ratu Gede Ngerurah.