MOUNTAINS IN GREATER BANDUNG: Mount Putri Lembang, the Myth of Dayang Sumbi and the History of the Dutch Fort
Mount Putri Lembang offers beautiful scenery, adventure, geological landscapes, and history. Local residents feel its beneficial impacts.
Penulis Gan Gan Jatnika16 September 2023
BandungBergerak.id – “And so the Princess Nyai Dayang Sumbi ran towards a mountain, her heart thrashing and rebelling, unwilling to marry her own son.
Sangkuriang chases her frantically, his footsteps gradually becoming closer and louder, causing the princess's heartbeat to grow erratic. Dayang Sumbi asks for guidance from the Supreme One to be saved from Sangkuriang's lust.
The guidance led Dayang Sumbi into the middle of a lush forest, where she transformed into a flower known as the Jaksi Flower.
Sangkuriang then arrived at Mount Putri. He was certain that the princess he was after had ran in this direction. From its peak, he looked around. His gaze darted in every direction, searching for any sign of Dayang Sumbi's whereabouts. His keen eyes pierced through the thickets of bushes and forests. Being a highly learned man, he used his inner vision as well. But who he was looking for was nowhere in sight. Annoyed, Sangkuriang decided to pursue Dayang Sumbi to the east. He suspected that Dayang Sumbi might have ran in that direction.
Dayang Sumbi was saved from Sangkuriang's pursuit; the mountain had successfully protected her. She then chose to remain a resident of the area - as the Jaksi Flower. The mountain then became known as Mount Putri.”
The very famous folklore about Sangkuriang and Dayang Sumbi is indeed closely related to the toponymy or the naming of several other places in Bandung Raya. In addition to Mount Tangkuban Parahu, there are other mountains also related to this story, one of which being Mount Putri Lembang.
Furthermore, the two mountains are located close together. The distance between the peak of Mount Putri Lembang and the peak of Mount Tangkuban Parahu is only 5-6 kilometers away.
Finding the Whereabouts of the Jaksi Flower Tree
The story of the Jaksi Flower has piqued the interest and curiosity of many. What exactly does the Jaksi Flower look like, and is its tree still there on Mount Putri Lembang?
Through online search results, people have discovered photos of these flowers and the shape of its trees. The next step: discover its whereabouts. Unfortunately, finding it is proven to be a challenge due to the vastness of the forests at Mount Putri.
However, thanks to the information provided by local residents and officers stationed at the entrance to Mount Putri's tourism area, the location of the Jaksi flower has been discovered. It is commonly believed that there has only been one Jaksi flower tree, and its location is hidden inside the forest.
Regardless of the myths surrounding the Jaksi flower and Dayang Sumbi, discussing this particular flora is still rather fascinating. At first glance, its appearance is similar to a forest or beach pandanus, but it also resembles the Cangkuang tree (Pandanus furcatus). However, if you pay attention to the shape of the leaves and stems, there turns out to be many differences.
The leaves of the Jaksi flower tree, which can grow up to more than 4 meters long, are longer than those of the Cangkuang tree or other pandanus types. Its propagation, however, is rather challenging and as a result, there is only a small number of these trees in Mount Putri Lembang. Fortunately, its presence still remains.
Potential for Nature Tourism, Geology, and History
Gunung Putri Lembang has significant tourist potential. It offers many potential tourist attractions, adventures, geological landscapes, and even historical value.
Mount Putri offers adequate campground and hiking trails for adventurers. Visitors who are unable to bring camping equipment can borrow them from camping equipment rental services.
The air in this area is refreshing and there is a very charming view of the sunrise. Not to mention, the thin fog that covers the Lembang basin gives us the impression that we are above the clouds.
From the Geger Bintang Matahari Monument, we are able to view the surrounding geology. This is a vantage point from which we can view far to the east, south, and west. The Patahan Lembang landscape, which stretches for about 29 kilometers, is visible in front of us: from Mount Palasari's peak as the highest point in the east to the Ngamprah and Cimahi areas in the west.
Those who are passionate about history will love visiting Mount Putri Lembang, since it has a relic from the Dutch colonial era, which is a still-intact fort. Despite the fact that it appears to be concealed in the earth and certain parts of it are covered in shrubs, this Dutch fort can still be observed and studied.
It is said that this Dutch fort was built during World War 1 and fell into the hands of Japanese troops during World War 2, which was around 1942. This fort is closely related to the war between the Japanese troops and the Dutch troops, known as the "Tjiater Steeling" incident. At that time, the Dutch troops made a military move error because they presumed that the Japanese troops would attack from the south. The Japanese troops apparently attacked from the north, specifically from Subang: the Japanese landed at Eretan Beach, Indramayu, before moving on to seize the Kalijati airfield in Subang.
Location and Access
"Mount Putri" of Bandung Raya is not only found in Lembang. A "Mount Putri" can also be found in Cililin and on the border between Bandung and Sumedang.
Mount Putri Lembang has a peak that is part of the Cikole Village administrative area. Meanwhile, the mountain's feet are spread across three villages: Jayagiri Village, Cibogo Village, and Cikole Village. These three villages are located in the Lembang District of the West Bandung Regency.
According to the RBI (Rupa Bumi Indonesia) map issued by the BIG (Geospatial Information Institute) edition I-2001 with a scale of 1:25,000, Mount Putri Lembang's peak is 1,587 meters above sea level (MASL). Located at its peak is a monument known as the SESPIM Polri Monument.
This location is accessible through the Gunung Putri tourist gate, which is located at the end of Mount Putri Lembang Road. From Lembang Square, we can turn left or north, then turn again to enter Gunung Putri Road. After that, we just have to keep going till we reach the end of the road.
An alternative route to Mount Putri Lembang can be taken from the west, or from Jayagiri, at the foot of Mount Tangkuban Parahu. It is additionally accessible from Cikole, Lembang.
A Small Note on Management
Perhutani RPH Lembang, which is an Indonesian state-owned enterprise operating in the forestry sector, manages the Mount Putri Lembang tourist area in collaboration with the local LMDH - an organization consisting of people living in villages in forest areas, and Karang Taruna. Their management can be deemed successful, and additionally, the number of tourists visiting Mount Putri Lembang has exceeded the target.
This success has benefited the residents of the area. The existence of shops along the road to Mount Putri as well as parking lots managed by residents, is proof of this. A few residents who set up a small business on equipment rental services is now become prosper as well.
At Mount Putri Lembang, management of waste and other facilities are relatively good. Sadly, graffiti vandalism has littered the walls of the Dutch fort. This problem is unfortunately, still unresolved.
The potential of the villages around Gunung Putri Lembang as producers of vegetables and fresh cow's milk can be optimized even further. The abundance of decorative plants, which may be common for local residents, could potentially be made use as an excellent business prospect, since many tourists are interested in bringing them home as souvenirs.
* Translated from this article by Maureen Amara Prasetyo (SMA Santa Angela Bandung)