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A Famed Site for World Divers at Menjangan Island

9 February 2009

Do you want to leave the hustle and bustle of town? Lf yes, this one may be your right choice. Want to escape from daily routines and enjoy the tranquility at the other side of the Bali island? Think about blue seas and forests on a remote small island. Bali island has all this criteria.

Bali island actually has five sister islands, one of them stands at the southwest corner of Bali, and is called Menjangan Island, or the island of deer. The island includes the area of the Bali Barat National Park the home to the rare species of the colorful paradise bird named the Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi), belonging to the Buleleng regency. As this area is a part of the National Park, all species are under control of the park’s authority. Nobody is allowed to take out the ‘content’ of the park in any form, or in any way.

As soon as you arrive at the wooden jetty at Labuan Lalang, a small harbor connecting Bali to Menjangan Island, small fish in the shallow clear water will welcome you. Around you, to the right and left you will see stretching mangrove trees on the white sandy beach. Tens of motorized boats are ready to take you across the sea to explore the Island. To reach Menjangan Island it will take you some thirty minutes by boat. During the dry season from April-October, you will see only brown light views all around you as nearly the whole island is covered with dry grass. Some trees in the bush are experiencing their ‘fall season’. Only a few trees still have green leaves on their branches.

Menjangan Island is best known for its magnificent underwater world. Its endless beauty has attracted so many divers to explore. Exotic coral reefs and colorful fish have proclaimed the area as the most visited diving spot on the island. From the sea, you will see small caves at the edge of the island and the raised padma shrine at the temple complex. A few minutes later, you will arrive at the harbor at Menjangan Island. If you visit the island at midday, you will encounter divers who are just sitting relaxingly on the wooden jetty after exploring the underwater paradise, while others are absorbed in enjoying light meals on their boats.

Be careful when you step up the steep steps. Go slowly and hold on to the pipe rail along the side. Here you will find the unique temple with it’s newly sandstoned-walled temple. The temple is called Segara Giri Kencana. Down here, you will also see a temple with altar shrines that is dedicated to the Great Warrior Kebo Iwa from Bedahulu Kingdom, and at a separate place is the pendopo (Javanese style pavilion) of the Great Warrior Gajah Mada of Majapahit Kingdom in East Java. As its name implies, Menjangan Island is still inhabited by limited numbers of deer. If you are lucky, you will encounter young deer in the temple yard or in the surroundings. Pilgrims constantly visit this remote uninhabited island to pay homage.



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