In 2005, Ni Komang Astiti & Dariusman Abdillah published an article on the temples of Nusa Penida in connection to their natural surroundings. For the entire Indonesian article, please click here. Below you'll find the English translation on Meranting Temple by Godi Dijkman, including additional comments in square brackets.
This temple is located near the village of Batukandik and astronomically situated at 8°25" South and 115° 32' 57" Latitude at an elevation of 340m 'dpal'.
Image 11 left. Main inner gate (Pintu Gerbang dalam) of Pura Meranting at Batukandik
At this temple there is a Padmasana construction called 'Sanggah Tawang'. This construction is unique as the padma is adorned with 'pelipid' or 'Pepalihan' [dividing-up; amphitheatre, Shadeg 2007:286]. The motif on the padma takes the form of a simple relief statue with clear breasts. The two arms support a 'stanapadma' [throne], and the position of the legs is wide apart (manusia kangkang). A chicken/cockerel is found on the left and right near the two arms supporting the 'stanapadma'. Hidden behind the head of the 'manusia kangkang' is a small fragmented statue of a woman giving birth, and on the left side there is a statue of a woman breastfeeding her child.
To the east (left) is a simple statue in a kneeling position with two arms stretched forward from its chest like a 'memusti'. This statuette has a broad mouth, normal nose, round large eyes, large ears with wide, round holes in them, hair seemingly tied in the form of a bun. On the left and right back side of the statuette there is a keris; on the lower side of this statuette there is a 'tapakdara' wrapped in a 'pelipit'.
Furthermore, to the right (west) there is a simple statuette in a kneeled position with arms reaching for its belly. This statuette has a broad mouth, large nose, round big eyes, possibly wearing a headscarf. On the left back side, the statuette carries a keris. On the back of the padmasana there is a tortoise head and above it there is a relief of a garuda.
Images above (12-14): Sanggah Tawang (Padmasana) at Pura Meranting; Human statuette on the right side of the Sanggah Tawang (Padmasana) at Pura Batukandik; Human statuette with a keris on its back, on the left side of the Sanggah Tawang (Padmasana) at Pura Meranting, Batukandik
In the Jabo Tengah area of the temple there is a menhir used as a centre for 'pecaruan' ceremonies ('buta kala' ceremony to neutralise the ethereal spirits). Approximately 10 meters to the south there is a flat stone slab measuring L 60cm, and W 50cm (tall). This stone is until this day used for slaughtering pigs when there is a worshipping ceremony connected to agriculture, in order for the seeds to grow well and produce a rich harvest. To the west from this flat stone, at a distance of around 8m, there is an erect stone measuring L 1.5m, W 40cm and D 15cm.
Images left (15-16). Menhir in the Jabo Tengah area used as the centre for pecaruan ceremonies ('Upacara Buta Kala'); Flat stone slab used for slaughtering pigs during temple ceremonies
Surroundings of Pura Meranting
This temple is situated on a mostly flat highland area. Around it are numerous plants and trees, but not as lush as in areas surrounding other temples. Trees growing here are: Angih tree (Azadirachta indica, Neem tree; Indonesian: Intaran; Balinese: Mimba), Rose apple tree [probably: Syzygium jambos, Jambu air or Kelampok] and so forth. These trees are the possession of the local population and hence can be used for private goals. Outside of the temple various kinds of flowers have been planted for use in ceremonies. Pura Meranting is located in a hilly area at a higher elevation compared to the surrounding settlements. Limestone is used as a construction material for the temple, as well as other sacred structures within the temple grounds. For the menhir and flat stone slab coralline limestone has been used.
Surroundings of Pura Dalem
The vegetation of the Pura Dalem is similar to the vegetation of Pura Meranting, and the area sits on a rather flat highland area. Around this temple there are only cultivated garden plants such as banana trees, mangos, Bunut [Fig ssp.], and so forth. The morphology of the landscape and materials used for the construction of the temple is also similar to those of Pura Meranting; this is also valid for Pura Paibon Ibu.
Surroundings of Pura Paibon Ibu
Images above: Rosa apple, Syzygium jambos (Wikipedia)
Pura Paibon Ibu is located close to a settlement, i.e. in the garden or courtyard of local inhabitants. The physical conditions of this temple consist of arid soil, and there are only a few garden trees to be found here. On the temple grounds, various weeds and grasses are planted [?]. The area around the temple is poorly maintained, as domestic animals can freely roam about in an out of the walls. There is no protected (sacred) vegetation here.
- Angih tree (Nusa Penida): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azadirachta_indica
- Rose apple: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syzygium_jambos
- Shadeg, Norbert - Balinese-English Dictionary, Tuttle Publishing, Periplus Editions, Singapore, 2007
- Astiti, Ni Komang Ayu - & Abdillah, Dariusman - Pemanfaatan Sumber Daya Alam untuk Mendukung Kegiatan Religi dari Manusia Prasejarah di Pulau Nusa Penida, Kabupaten Klungkung, Provinsi Bali, Laporan Penelitian Subbid. Laboratorium Artefak dan Ekofak, Bidang Arkeologi Sejarah dan Arkeometri; Jakarta 2005, 43pp.