Blambangan Kingdom, East Java, Indonesia (PART 4)

Pangeran Tampauna (Pangeran Kedhawung) and Tawang Alun (Sinuhun Macan Putih)

In the 16th century, Blambangan was part of Bali. Gelgel kingdom in Bali was ruled by Dalem Warurenggong (1460-1550), could made expansion to East Java, Lombok and Sumbawa. After Dalem Waturenggong replaced by his son Dalem Di Made, one by one regions under Gelgel dismissed., such as Blambangan and Bima in 1633 and Lombok in 1640. In 1651, there was rebellion of Gusti Agung Maruti for Gelgel. When Dewa Agung Jambe replaced Dalem Di Made, Gelgel could re-seize its detached region in 1686. This king then moved the capital to Samarapura in Klungkung.

In the 17th century, Blambangan was led by Santaguna, After Blambangan was conquered in 1636 by Sultan Agung of Mataram, Santaguna replaced by Raden Mas Kembar alias Tampauna in 1637, when the capital still in Lumajang. In 1639, the king moved the palace to Kedhawung nearby Panarukan in Situbondo that his title was Pangeran Kedhawung or Prince of Kedhawung. This explains that Blambangan stemmed from Lumajang, that Arya Wiraraja history could be used.

In the period of Mas Tampauna, Blambangan was always on conquest between Bali and Mataram. The race ceased after the death of both kingdom rulers. Sultan Agung died in 1646 and Dewa Agung died in 1651. In 1649, in his old time, Mas Tampauna meditated in Kedhawung forest to be priest. Mas Tampauna was replaced by his son, Tawang Alun in 1652, According to story, this king meditated and got new title, Begawan Bayu. In his meditation, he received a vision to walk northeastward if there was a white tiger. He should ride the tiger and followed the tiger’s journey to forest of Sudhimoro. Tawang Alun then circle the forest and used the forest as capital, the palace was named as Keraton Macan Putih (White Tiger palace) in 1655. When King Tawang Alun of Sinuhun Macan Putih reigned, Blambangan tried to detach from Mataram. Raffles wrote that in 1659 or 1585 Saka, king of Blambangan was inaugurated (no name written) assisted by Balinese troop, rebelled again. Susuhunan AMangkurat I (Sunan Tegal Arum), the predecessor of Sultan Agung from Mataram, then sent his troop to solve Blambangan-Bali rebellion and succeed to conquer Blambangan capital.

The king of Blambangan – is Tawang Alun- and his followers escaped to Bali. While Mataram troop was led by Tumenggung Wiraguna was caught disease that they returned. Knowing that, Amangkurat decided to punish the tumenggung for reason that he would rebel.

When Tawang Alun reigned, Blambangan region comprised ofJember, Lumajang, Situbondo. In story, Tawang Alun king was an open person as though he was Hindu, he did not prohibit Islam to evolve. His main concern was to fight foreign domination. Before replacing the capital to Macan Putih, Tawang Alun had established a capital in Rowo Bayu (currently Songgon, Banyuwangi), far before Mas Rempeg Jagapati settled in Rowo Bayu. This was caused by the attack of Tawang Alun’s brother Mas Wila who rebelled.

According to locals, Tawang Alun established a meditation site in Rowo Bayu. Tawang Alun was recorded in Dutch archive, in his last period. The Dutch archive wrote that the cremation of Tawang Alun (who died in 18 September 1691) which was spectacular as 271 of 400 Tawang Alun’s wife burnt themselves in fire in that occasions.

The cremation of Tawang Alun can still be found today, located one km from Macan Putih village hall, the size is o.5 hectare surrounded by white wall and its door is narrow only for 1 person passing capacity. The main building similar to that of pendopo with octagonal shape, white floor. The pendopo is believed to be the place where his ash kept, in Macan Putih village, Kabat, Banyuwangi, East Java.

According to Bujangga Manik text, Tawang Alun was used as an administrative area called Padang Alun. Padang Alun was passed by him after visiting Balungbungan (Blambangan) (After crossing Bali) headed to West Java passing the southern coast of Java.

Padang Alun reminds us on Tawang Alun. Padang is similar to Tawang, in Javanese padang means light or open. Tawang means open. We can conclude that in the 15th/16th century, Padang Alun was the alternative name of Tawang Alun. Tawang Alun name was possible used as name over region where he reigned or the opposite. Possible that the ruler of Padang Alun in the period of Bujangga Manik passing this region was Tawang Alun.

Tawang Alun Temple ruins is located in Buncita village, Sedati, Sidoarjo, East Java. Locals believe that this temple was built by Rse Tawang Alun to be dedicated to his concubine Putri Alun. The truth over this story is still investigated, wether it is related to King Tawang Alun from Blambangan.
To be continued…