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History of Kemenuh

Kemenuh village has a very strong historical roots in the ancient Balinese era, in the time of the Bedahulu kingdom, Gianyar, on 1337 – 1343 ac, lead by a very powerful and thoughtful king, Sri Astasura Ratnabhumibanten. At the time, this kingdom controlled the areas in Bali, reinforced by its officials and ministers spreading across Bali.

The Kingdom of Bedahulu reinforced by one prime minister originating from Mount Lempuyang, Ki Pasung Grigis, based in Tengkulak Kemenuh.

We can see the remains of Ki Pasung Grigis relics today, the Dalem Gandalangu Temple, in Tengkulak Kaja. Ki Pasung Grigis was a powerful, virtous, men of valor, and immune to weapons, that it was very difficult for the Majapahit Kingdom to conquer him. However, because of Gajah Mada, a prime minister from the Majapahit Kingdom, tricking him by pretending to surrender to Ki Pasung Grigis, who he invited to dine at his place.

While dining, suddenly Gajah Mada’s troops surrounded him, causing Ki Pasung Grigis to surrender. Ki Pasung Grigis was then arrested and pushed into fighting with Dedela Natha, the king of Sumbawa island. Both died in the fierce fight. Ki Pasung Grigis’ followers who were the Bali Aga (original Balinese) forced to run into the woods and the mountains. It is his followers that became the origins of Bali Aga villages in Bali, which still exist until this day, such as Trunyan village in Kintamani Bangli, Tenganan Pegeringsingan village in Karangasem, and villages located in Buleleng , Sembiran, Cempaga Sidatapa, Pedawa, Tiga Was and Padangbulia villages. Currently in Bali there are 2 ethnic groups, descendants of the Bali Aga (the minority) and descendants of the Majapahit (the majority).

The Majapahit kingdom embraced the Hindu-Buddhist believe and its golden age was during the reign of Hayam Wuruk (1350-1389). Majapahit is considered one of the largest nation in Indonesia's history, reigning over Java, Sumatera, the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, and Bali up to eastern parts of Indonesia. Majapahit reached its peak because of Gajah Mada, a smart, courageous, and powerful prime minister (1313-1364).

At the end of 15th century, the Majapahit kingdom collapsed, after ruling over the whole archipelago for three centuries, due to the Paregreg War, a civil war and the invasion of the Demak kingdom that embraced Islam which made many Hindhu believers to flee to the mountainous areas such as Tengger, Bromo, Kelud and Raung (Semeru) in East Java. Due to the powerful Islamic influence, some fled to Bali.

In 1489 AD, a priest, Ida Dang Hyang Nirartha Ida, from Daha or Java fled to Bali with his children to avoid the chaos and the coming of strong Islamic influence. Dang Hyang Nirartha, also known as Dang Hyang Dwijendra or Pedanda Sakti Wawu Rauh (holy priest who had just arrived) took a spiritual journey or dharmayatra to Bali, and he never returned to Java. Dang Hyang Nirartha was a follower of the Siwa Sidhanta belief, which is a part of the Tri Purusa: the three vertical relationships with the Creator including Paramasiwa, Sadasiwa and Siwa. From those 3 aspects, Sadasiwa is the most praised as the Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa or the Almighty God, who is absolute and worshipped by all. The embodiment ofSadasiwa is personified in the form Padmasana in one structure of each temple.

Thus, Dang Hyang Nirartha was the renewal of the Hinduism in Bali, which honours its ancestors in the form of statues and relics. In Bali, Dang Hyang Nirartha built the Dang Kahyangan temples such as Rambut Siwi temple, Er Jeruk temple, Tanah Lot temple, Petitenget temple, Uluwatu temple, Goa Lawah temple, and others. Dang Hyang Nirartha did not only take his spiritual journey to Bali, but also to Lombok and Sumbawa.

Related to the existence of the Dalem Kemenuh temple was from Dang Hyang Nirartha or Dang Hyang Dwijendra's spiritual journey in Bali. It was said that the son of Dang Hyang Nirartha, Ida Kumenuh, was crowned to be the priest in Gading Wani village and referred to as Romo Sinungsung. He then settled in the village with his wife, Patni Yogi Sinungsung priestess.

Dang Hyang Nirartha continued his journey and visited the Gelgel king in Gelgel Klungkung castle. Left by his father for too long, Romo Sinungsung or Ida Kumenuh went after his father, to the Gelgel castle, accompanied by his two sons while his other two sons stayed in the village with their mother. Unfortunately, when they arrived in Gelgel, Dang Hyang Nirartha has gone to another place.

Patni Yogi Sinungsung went after her husband to the Gelgel castle, however, in the middle of her journey, in Tegal Wanasari village, she got paralyzed and could not continue her journey. In that village, two women treated Patni Yogi Sinungsung; one of them was Ni Sengguhu. Patni Yogi Sinungsung's followers continued their journey to find Romo Sinungsung and bring him the news of his wife's condition in Tegal Wanasari village.

Patni Yogi Sinungsung died Before Romo Sinungsung arrived in Tegal Wanasari village. It left sorrow in Romo Sinungsung and his sons, that they held a purification ceremony for her body in the Tegal Wanasari village. He also built the Dalem temple in that village and Meru Tumpang Tiga in that temple. After the procession ceremony, Romo Sinungsung took his four sons to go to the Den Bukit castle.

However, his third son, Ida Nyoman Kumenuh, wanted to settle in that village as a form of devotion to his mother, the priestess Patni Yogi Sinungsung who died in the village, and Romo Sinungsung agreed. Ida Nyoman Kumenuh gradually established the Kumenuh Brahman Wangsa family in that village. Along with the changing time, this village was then called the Kemenuh village.

The location of Patni Yogi Sinungsung's body purification still can be found in the village, located behind the Dalem Kemenuh temple. The Dalem Kemenuh temple itself still exist up until this day, including the resting place of Patni Yogi Sinungsung, marked by 2 large kepuh trees (Sterculia foetida), next to her body's purification area.

Thus is the origin of the Kemenuh village, around the end of the 16th century or the beginning of the 17th century, which was formerly known as Tegal Wanasari village. It can be concluded that the existence of the Kemenuh village is inseparable from the history of the Bedahulu Kingdom with its prime minister Ki Pasung Grigis and the spiritual journey of Dang Hyang Nirartha.


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