25 July 2011

Kingdom Jenggala, River Brantas, and Ken Dedes

1) Kingdom Jenggala was one of two kingdoms (with Kingdom Kahuripan), which was equally-splitted by King Airlangga in favor of his two sons. He divided the kingdoms to show that he fairly treated the children and in order to prevent possible quarrels between them. King Airlangga asked a notable religious leader, Mpu Barada, for helping him realize his dream. Mpu Barada, a "brahmana" with great supranatural power, flied to the sky and poured water (namely "Tirta Amerta" or "holy water") to the ground, along the border-line to divide the territory into two equal portions. These two territories were then named Jenggala and Kahuripan (or Kadiri, the present day Kediri). History tells that the drop of "Tirta Amerta" magically turned into a river. The river was eventually known as River Brantas.

2) In early development, both Jenggala and Kahuripan grew equally, but as time went by, Jenggala could not grow as fast as Kahuripan. Even, Jenggala was extinct and became part of Kahuripan and no longer a kingdom. The fall of the Kingdom Jenggala was believed due to its inability to adapt the "agricultural characteristic". It is reasonable because this kingdom was situated closer to the coastal area than Kahuripan. At time, agricultural way of life dominated the Java Island, where these kingdoms were situated. It is interesting for archeologists as well as historians to find out the ruins of the Kingdom Jenggala. Nowadays, the kingdom's heritages, such as inscriptions or letters on "lontar" leaves have been rarely found.

3) Mataram, either Hindus-Mataram or Islam-Mataram, was one of the most notable kingdoms in the history of Nusantara (Archipelago). The name "mataram", according to a source, was derived from "metarum", a name of tree, which people also call it "nila". The fruits of this tree were used for coloring clothes. Another source stated that "mataram" may be derived from the word "tarumanagara". Tarumanagara was a kingdom situated in the present day West Java.

4) King Purnawarman of Tarumanagara used to ask for building a river dam at River Bagasasi. Now the place is known as Bekasi, one of regencies under the provincial territory of West Java.

5) Ken Dedes was welknown as the most beautiful princess in the era of Kadiri. She issued kings of Singhasari and Majapahit by her marriage to Ken Arok, the founder of Kingdom Singhasari. After her death, Ken Dedes was illustrated by a statue of "Prajna Paramitha". The statue is believed as the most beautiful statues inherited by the era of Singhasari and Majapahit. Unfortunately, "Prajna Paramitha" you find at "Museum Nasional Jakarta, Indonesia" is only a specimen because the original one is kept under the authority of the Dutch government at Leiden Museum, the Netherlands, which colonized the former "Dutch East Indies" for more than three centuries.

The above texts may be subject to change because a history must be studied in an in-depth analysis. History does not have an absolute conclusion because it must depend on those who tell it from his or her own point-of-view.

(Source: history interview and discussion on-coffe-dinner between Tiyo Widodo and Adrianus Kris, Semarang, 25 July 2011, according to many references).

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