06 May 2006

Mataram and Cakranegara (Lombok)


Mataram and Cakranegara. Mataram is the capital of the province, which has in the past decades joined with Ampenan, the port, and Cakranegara to become the province’s biggest urban complex. At the beginning of the 18th century, Mataram was the residence of the crown prince of Karang Asem, a kingdom in southern Bali. The ruler had his seat in Cakranegara.


Lombok’s biggest Balinese temple is the Pura Meru in Cakranegara; it was built in 1720 by Anak Agung Made Karang. Dedicated to the Hindu trinity of Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu, it has three courtyards.


Three pagoda-like places of worship stand in a line from north to south in the innermost courtyard. The one on the north is dedicated to Vishnu and has a roof with nine tiers. The central one is dedicated to Shiva with 11 tiers on its roof, and the southernmost one is for Brahma with a roof of seven tiers. Nearby is Taman Mayura.


Once part of the royal palace, it has an artificial lake set in the middle of a park. A raised path leads from the side of the pond to a pavilion built in the middle of the lake. In former days justice was meted out and religious rituals were performed in this open-sided pavilion.



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