The Legendary Banyuwangi


Banyuwangi is one of regencies in East Java Province. Located on the eastern tip of Java Island near Bali Strait on the east. In fact, the Ketapang harbor is the only way to connect to Gilimanuk harbor in Bali Island.

Banyuwangi is the largest regency in East Java. The area is diverse, from the lowlands to the mountains. It is surrounded by mountainous and woody areas to the west; by sea to the east and south. It also near the border area with Bondowoso, there are also series of Ijen Plateau, with Raung peak and Mount Merapi, are both active volcanoes.

Like any other area in Indonesia, Bnayuwangi is the place of some ethnics who are peacefully living under the same roof with different way of life. One of local inhabitant who live in Banyuwangi is Osing ethnic, they are groups which has a distinctly Hindu culture although they can be considered as a Javanese sub-ethnic group. The live on the center part of Banyuwangi and they believe that they are the descendant of Majapahit Kingdom. Other ethnics are about Javanese, Madurese, and Balinese. There are also a minor group of Bugis, Tionghoa and Arab.

Most inhabitant use Osing language, which is the eldest type of Javanese language but it reflected by Balinese language and culture.

Dates back to early history, Banyuwangi history can not be separated from the history of the Kingdom Blambangan. In the mid-17th century, Banyuwangi is part of the Blambangan kingdom, led by Prince Tawang Alun.

Administratively, at this period, VOC was considered Blambangan as their territory region, based on the handover constitution of the Eastern Java by Pakubuwono II to the VOC.

The name Banyuwangi itself, was taken by the traditional folk tale about Princess Sritanjung who has been killed by her husband on the edge of the river because her husband was doubt about his child who was conceived by Princess Sritanjung. By taking her oath Princess sritanjung swore to the husband, if her blood that was flowing on this river smells fishy, then it proves that the child it does not belong to the prince. But if the blood was smells good or [wangi in Javanese language] then this child was belong to the prince. Unfortunately, the blood was smells good and the prince, whose named Raden Banterang, was regret his doubt. After that, he name the river as Banyuwangi or fragrant water. That is the origin story tale about Banyuwangi.

By the cultural diversity among the ethnics that live on Banyuwangi, Banyuwangi become rich in culture, where Javanese, Madurese, Balinese and other cultures had met. This area has got unique arts, traditions and natures. And those are finally make a particular culture from Banyuwangi.

As I mentioned before, banyuwangi has some unique tourism destination include of mountains and beaches, and some of historical sites.

Written by

More detail about Banyuwangi Tourism

Related posts