SURROUNDED by white sandy beaches with a crystal clear turquoise water Lombok is viewed by many travelers as the other world paradise beside Bali. Since tourism booming in the end of the 1970s Lombok has renowned for the beautiful beaches, majestic mountains and its lush tropical forest.
But we are not going to discuss about it. Lets talk about Pura Lingsar a unique Hindu temple in Lombok, a symbol of tolerance and harmony between two different ethno-religious. It is the site where the traditional Sasak-Muslims (waktu telu) share a worship places with and Balinese-Hindus for hundreds years.
The temple complex is located in Lingsar, Narmada, West Lombok, about 10 kilometers east of Mataram the capital city of West Nusa Tenggara province. Today Pura Lingsar not only a worship site, the temple also is a popular tourist destination.
The temple was built around 1759s, during the reign of The King Anak Agung Gede Ngurah, a Hindu-Balinese ruler of Karangasem Dynasty. The Kingdom controlled the west and parts of north and central Lombok from 1740 to 1894.
Balinese-Hindus are the second largest community in Lombok, they came to the island in the early 17th century when the Karangasem Kingdom invaded West Lombok and colonized the whole Lombok Island in 1740.
The Kingdom attracted the Lombok people’s sympathy by allowing them to practicing their religious beliefs. The Muslim community was allowed to perform their prayers in Kemalik. The Hindus King also built Ulon Temple in Kemalik.
The temples is the part of The Kings project to harmonizing relationships between The Sasak-Muslims as the majority and the native tribes of Lombok with the minority Hindu-Balinese settler. Today, Balinese families have been in Lombok and lived alongside the Sasak for more than five generations.
Inside the Pura, there are Kemaliq a building sanctified by Sasak-Muslims and Pura Ulon and Pura Gaduh the temples consecrated by Balinese-Hindus. The buildings stand side by side, and in front of each is a jabe or courtyard.
The temple stand on 2,5 hectare land in Balinese style with a red brick candi bentar (Balinese split gate) and twins pool at the right and left side. Inside the complex, Pura Gaduh, Kemaliq, and Pesiraman are connected by two Kori Agung (the roofed tower gate). At the yards, there are three rectangle pavilion (bale-bale) sustained by six wooden poles and zinc-shaped of limasan roof. Because of its uniqueness, the Lingsar temple complex has since the 1990s been declared a cultural conservation site.
Perang Topat a Celebrate of Harmony
Perang Topat ceremony is one of the best sample how the Sasak-Muslims and Balinese-Hindus live together and share a same ritual site ini Pura Lingsar. Perang Topat or topat war, a fight using Ketupat/Topat (rice caked boiled in a coconut leaves), is a religious ritual as well as a cultural event annually in Lingsar.
Although the tradition is termed a “fight/war,” it is not violence and hostility. This “war” is meant to be a celebration of the harmony and friendship that has developed between the two religions in Lombok.
The village holds its Perang Topat on the 15th day of the seventh month of the Lombok Sasak calendar (October-December). In the Balinese Hindu calendar, this corresponds to the 15th day of the sixth month, or purnama sasi kenem (the full moon of the sixth month). On this night, Hindus celebrate odalan, or the anniversary of the founding of Lingsar village, by holding their pujawali ceremony.
Meanwhile, the Muslims commemorate the epic journey of Raden Mas Sumilir or Datu Milir a Muslim scholar from Demak, Central Java, who brought Islam to Lombok in the 15th century. The words pujawali, literally meaning a prayer for a saint. Muslims observe the pujawali ritual and Hindus perform the odalan at the same time and on the same site in Pura Lingsar.
After several religious ceremonies, the festival participants divide themselves into two groups. The teams come face to face and do a fight enthusiastically by throwing ketupat to each other.
When the battle ends, they clean all the ketupat scattered in the temple area. They bring the ketupat home and then spread it in their rice fields and fishponds. They believe that the ketupat brings blessings for soil fertility and abundant harvests.
The tradition has been passed down from generation to generation is re-enacted to strengthen harmony between Muslim and Hindu communities. Battles are usually synonymous with anger and violence, a physical clash between two parties in dispute. But the Perang Topat in Lombok, is an event that gives no impression at all of being hideous or hateful.(LPG)