Compared to 92 other temples in Banyuwangi, this temple is one of the largest Hindu heritage temples offering the beauty of unique and interesting building architecture. Towards the celebration of Galungan, Kuningan and Pujawali ceremonies this place is visited a lot from outside Java, especially Bali. Most of them take a religious tour which is held by a travel agency or the Government of Bali. But do not get me wrong, this place is not only open to Hindu society, but for followers of other religions who are curious and want to enjoy the beauty of the temple. It is highly recommended for those of you who plan to visit there at the time of the celebration because they can simultaneously see the religious rituals of the Hindu community
Around 1 hour 15 minutes from Ketapang Banyuwangi finding the Great Blambangan Temple is not too difficult. Not going to get lost when in doubt, because some residents on the roadside know it. Arrive at Jalan Tembok - Kemendung, then turn left on the road to the temple, precisely in the area of Jalan Denpasar. The parking area is quite wide around the temple, and there are also facilities for bathrooms and stalls surrounding residents that are neatly arranged. A number of my officials were on standby, some were outside the temple.
One of the Agung Blambangan Pura stakeholders, Mangku Paimin, after leading the congregation warmly welcomed Bali Express (Jawa Pos Group), and was willing to take the time to expose the existence of Pura Agung Blambangan.
"Agung Blambangan Temple, originally a site of Umpak Songo, a legacy of the era of Blambangan Kingdom," said the man whose age is seven.
The name of the Great Blambangan Temple, he continued, was motivated by the history of the development of Hinduism in East Java, where in the eastern part of the era of the Majapahit Kingdom, this region was called Blambangan. He said, the local community believed that the place around Blambangan Village was the center of Blambangan Kingdom. This belief is due to the historical discovery of the Kingdom of Blambangan. In addition, he continued, there is also the Umpak Songo site which is only one kilometer east of Pura Agung Blambangan, Banyuwangi. In ancient times, many residents discovered historical objects when digging land around the site, such as brass bells and various furniture made of Chinese ceramics. Ada also found statues and various other magical objects.
Also found was the Bale Kambang site in Blambangan Village, Muncar. It is said that this place is the secret meeting place of the king of Blambangan. Bale Kambang is now covered in trees. The shape resembles a towering hill. Surrounding it was clearly flat ground like a former pond. Judging from the language, Bale Kambang is defined as a hall built on water. There is also a mention of this hall as the captain of the Empress of Raja Blambangan.
Around Bale Kambang, there are a number of historical evidences that strengthen the existence of the former great kingdom. Not far from the bale, there is a tall, elongated land. The shape is similar to a hill lined up. It is believed that this is the palace wall that surrounds Bale Kambang. This place is made of a large pile of rock. Furthermore, this area is known as Tembokrejo. In addition to the giant wall, many more sites around Bale Kambang. "When the temple was built, it was found an occult well around the temple location, this well is believed to be a former well from the Blambangan Kingdom," explained Mangku Paimin, who had been a stakeholder since 1969.
Mangku Paimin admitted that the well, which is now the source of the waterfall, often shows magic. "Sometimes white bulls appear and a woman in front of Padmasana. "It is often seen by people who have supernatural powers," explained Mangku Paimin, who finally chose to embrace Hinduism in the midst of his parents' Muslim family.
In the Agung Blambangan Temple area, he continued, there were five sources of spring that functioned as warlords, named tirta panca limo panglukatan.
"Those who request to be stricken usually because they are sick and also beg to be blessed by offspring," he explained.
Mangku Paimin, who claimed that he could do nothing, only accompanied and participated in pleading for the ancestors of Balinese (Hindus) who were in a position, so that the petition of the captivating people could be granted.
"I believe in my choice because I have ordered auction. Five days before I was lined up as my guardian, my wife dreamed that my head would be plugged in and decorated with coconut head in Agung Blambangan Temple. And, five days later, it turned out that I was chosen by the residents to be my guardian, "he said.
Of course, this task was very difficult for him, but thanks to the encouragement of his wife's spirit, also considering past history, he finally settled with his decision to worship.
Before being built as it is now, he continued, the temple was still fenced in by bamboo, and security was guarded by the authorities. "Initially surrounded by 40 heads of families, now it continues to grow and there are 16 stakeholders in charge of taking turns," he explained.
The problem of pawisik (occult whispers), he admitted, was often given by him who was a temple which they called the ancestors of Hindus. Mangku Paimin didn't want to swear
what are the characteristics he receives. For matters of noises or magic, picking up information from Mangku Paimin is very difficult, and often changes the subject. However, he should be grateful since becoming my 1969 guardian, there has never been a problem because there is a spirit of devotion and devotion.
"I only begged him. I also can't do anything about kepangkangkuan, but fortunately the government continues to provide training, so that it can slowly carry out procedures as limited as possible., "He admitted. Questions about unique experiences? Mangku Paimin was once asked by a number of residents to petition for nothing, as well as being asked to sprinkle water in all the voting locations of the Village Chief. "It just so happened that the one being asked for finally became the winner. Whether it's a coincidence or not, but I believe that there is a blessing from him who is in the temple, "he said.
There was an extraordinary event that took place in Blambangan, namely the burning of the corpse of Prince Tawangalun who died on September 18, 1691. According to the records of a VOC officer Valentijn, twenty-five days after his death, namely on the 13th October 1691 a cremation ceremony was held accompanied by a procession belapati or masatya by 270 women. The women are his wife and fanatical followers, throwing themselves into the holy fire.
Female fanatics, including his wife, there are 400 people in total. Thus there are only 130 people still alive. Then Pangeran Tawangalun's ashes were placed in the Malecutan forest. The name of Prince Tawangalun (founder of the City of the White Tiger), is indeed fragrant to the people of Blambangan for bringing his people into prosperity and prosperity.
In 1676 Prince Tawangalun succeeded in freeing himself as a vassal from the power of the Mataram Kingdom. Therefore, the people of Blambangan, especially the people of Banyuwangi, still remember him. Some names are enshrined as institutional names, such as the name of the bus terminal in Jubung-Jember Village, Radio Tawangalun, transmitter in Kota Genteng, the name of the holy place of Pura Tawangalun in Pancer, Pesanggaran, Banyuwangi.
The Blambangan region was then under the authority of the Mengwi Kingdom since 1736, and placed Prince Menak Orange as a subordinate king. Menak Jingga is the son of Prince Danureja, and became the last king of Blambangan who was bleeding from Tawangalun.
His younger brother Mas Sirna served as the governor by the name of Wong Agung Wilis (Javanese title, equivalent to Anak Agung in Bali). Furthermore, Gusti Gede Lanangjaya from Denpasar was sent by King Mengwi to appoint Prince Menak Jingga and Mas Sirna.
On the other hand, the relationship between Prince Menak Orange and his regent Wong Agung Wilis was not harmonious. Wong Agung Wilis was suspected of intending to seize power. That is why his position was replaced by Mas Sutawijaya (his own son) as the chief of kiwa and Mas Sutanegara (nephew of the king) as patih tengen. Wong Agung Wilis went wandering to the south coast, to the mountains, to haunted caves and set up pesraman in what is now called Sanggar Village. Thus, Wong Agung Wilis is known as a very sacred and powerful person. The next generation of Blambangan fighters who fought the VOC were believed to be the incarnation of Wong Agung Wilis. In addition, Prince Menak Orange also killed Blambangan Senate named Rangga Satata, for the incitement of his son Mas Sutawijaya.
The news of the killing of Rangga Satata reached King Mengwi. Raja Mengwi was furious then sent an army assisted by Wong Agung Wilis to invade Blambangan. Menak Jingga's manager fled, fled to Mount Gumitir (Merawan), continued to Senthong (now Bondowoso), Basuki, Banger (now Prabalingga), and Lumajang.
On Lumajang, Wong Agung Wilis's delegation met with Prince Danuningrat, and managed to persuade him to be invited to Blambangan Palace. From Blambangan palace, King Mengwi's envoy begged to leave by bringing Prince Menak Orange to Bali. Arriving at Mengwi, this Tawangalun-blooded prince was executed. Prince Menak Jingga aka Raden Mas Sepuh (in Babad Bali called Pangeran Blambangan) was killed at Seseh Beach. This execution by order of King I Gusti Ayu Oka was carried out by I Gusti Agung Kamasan from Puri Sibang and Mekel Munggu.
Shortly before exhaling his last breath, Prince Blambangan condemns Kawyapura or Mangupura (Mengwi Kingdom) will experience periods of low tide. After his death, Prince Blambangan was made Meru Tumpang Solas, which was worshiped by people in the villages of Munggu, Cemagi, and Sibang.
Furthermore, Ki Gusti Ngurah Kaba-Kaba along with his brother Ki Gusti Ngurah Kutha Bedha, was appointed by King Mengwi as ruler of Blambangan, replacing Prince Menak Orange. It is called Kaba-kaba because it comes from Kaba-Kaba Village, Kediri District, Tabanan. Both of them after being appointed as Kings and patih by King Mengwi, immediately left for Blambangan with a force of 300 soldiers, led by Ki Tumbakbayuh and Ki Gajah Gulingan.
They departed through Seseh Beach until Blambangan was welcomed by retainers. This Balinese ruler was in Lemah Bang (now Rogojampi, Banyuwangi). At the beginning of his reign Ki Gusti Ngurah Kaba-Kaba violated the message and mandate of King Mengwi.
Appointment of Mantri Ki Mas Anom and Mas Weka by Ki Gusti Ngurah Kaba-Kaba has a certain exhibition. Ki Gusti Ngurah Kaba-Kaba was fond of Banyuwangi women. The two mantri were ordered to provide Banyuwangi girls. Mas Anom feels sad, every day and night only women are talked about by the ruler of Bali.
Mas Anom was worried about leaving his house, because his wife at home was often harassed. Not the horns of Ki Gusti Ngurah Kaba-Kaba with his patih Kutha Bedha, really deviated from his mission. The Blambangan people were increasingly not sympathetic to the power of the Mengwi Kingdom, especially when news was heard that Prince Menak Orange (Raden Mas Sepuh) was killed at Seseh Beach.
The hatred of the people of Blambangan to the rulers of Bali is mounting. Mantri Wedana Mas Anom turned around. He led the Blambangan army to invade the residence of Ki Gusti Ngurah Kaba-Kaba with his Patih Ki Gusti Ngurah Kaba-Kaba, Kutha Bedha. Seeing his strength was not balanced, the two Balinese rulers decided to do puputan. Ki Mas Anom succeeded in beheading the two rulers of Bali. While his wives committed suicide as a sign of loyalty and prevented him from becoming a wife of a boyongan alias booty.
Ki Mas Anom then handed over the two chiefs of the former ruler from Bali to VOC Commander Lieutenant Edwin Blangke. Since then the victory for the VOC victory began to appear. Balinese who fled and hid in the forests were led to the VOC headquarters and killed. Thus ended the rule of the Mengwi Kingdom, then Blambangan entered a new phase under VOC rule. Then the VOC appointed Sutanagara and Wasengsari as regents and deputies.
The two new leaders of Blambangan were forced to convert to Islam by Kumpeni to distance Blambangan leaders and people from the latent influence of Bali. While the Blambangan people themselves were very anti-Mataram, because they were reminded of the destruction of their territory by the army of Sultan Agung, the King of Mataram. The VOC found it difficult to find regent officials who were truly loyal to him. The Sutanagara regent was dismissed, Kartanagara was appointed as his leader. Kartanagara also served briefly, he was replaced by Ki Mas Rempeg. The reign of Ki Mas Rempeg was a popular resistance, called the War of Bayu. Bayu War was the war of the Blambangan people who were supported by Balinese troops against the VOC, namely Madura and Mataram.
A VOC soldier named Serma Van Schaar was killed, his body was cooked and eaten together by the Blambangan army. While the head piece was stuck on a piece of wood, it was displayed around the people of Blambangan.
This news made the VOC angry. The VOC responded by arresting and drowning people suspected of carrying out the action. The next Blambangan Regent who was appointed by the VOC was Mas Alit Wiraguna. At the behest of the VOC, Regent Wiraguna carried out an expulsion against Hindu Balinese priests. The period of the Regent of Wiraguna was also not spared from the resistance of a number of Blambangan fighters who were still religious with the Balinese people, although the resistance was of a smaller scale.
The VOC was dissolved on December 31, 1799 and was replaced by the Dutch East Indies Government, which controlled Blambangan until 1942. During that period, Britain had interrupted control of Blambangan in 1811 - 1816. From 1800 - 1942, the resistance of the people of Blambangan had subsided. The island of Bali has also been controlled by the Dutch through Puputan Klungkung since 1908.