August 05, 2008


(PART – 2)

In the Islamic kingdom period, there are 3 main characteristic of the government city. They are Palace, Mosque and Garden. The Garden of the Banten kingdom is believed to be Tasikardi. It is about 2.5 km from Surosowan Palace.

Driving from Cilegon for about 7 kilometers, we turn left in Kramatwatu intersection. Our first destination was the Tasikardi. It is an artificial lake that was built at period of Sultan Maulana Yusuf (the 2nd sultan of Banten) and then Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa (1651-1682) built the clean water distribution pipeline for the resident’s need. It is also said that the bottom of this lake (reservoir) covered by red floor tile. In language terminology, “Tasik” means lake while “Ardi” means artificial. In its time, the lake with artificial land completed with garden was provided as recreation place for the family member of sultan.

Arrived at Tasikardi, it could be seen from the roadway on the right, it is big reservoir with green big trees surrounding on it. Getting closer to that lake, our eyes caught up on water bikes that swam across along the lake. Unfortunately, the water of Tasikardi is brown dark color, dirty and the surrounding is poorly maintained. It is really hard to imagine that long time ago, in the sultanate period, this artificial lake was beautiful, along with its park so it was used for recreation place of palace members. In the middle of the lake there is squares area which is an artificial land/garden about 5 acres, where the sultan and family used to visit for recreation. The ruins of building, park and bathroom still can be seen here.

Tasikardi Park was used to welcome guest from Netherlands in the period of Sultan Muhammad Syifa Zainal Asyikin. One of the guest was Cornellis de Bruin, which was in this reception he had been shown the tayuban dance performance. This situation was captured in the painting that displayed in the Banten Museum now day.

Not only used as the recreation place, the water of Tasikardi was being used for irrigation and fresh water supply to Surosowan palace. No wonder that along the road from intersection of Kramatwatu, we could see rice fields in our right and left side, just like green and gold-yellow thick carpets. When most of rice field in Cilegon and Serang nearly dried due to long-dry-season, near Tasikardi you’ll find the opposite condition.

The water from Tasikardi also was the main supply of fresh water for the palace resident. Before entered to the palace, the water has been refined through three steps. The water flow via terracotta/clay pipeline to the first refiner which was called as Pengidelan Abang (Red Refiner), than the water from Pengidelan Abang transferred to Pengidelan Putih (White Refiner), and last the water being refined in Pengidelan Emas (Golden Refiner) before it was transferred to Surosowan palace by terracotta pipeline system. Don’t imagine that the color of the refiner is the same as each name. The name just indicates that the red one was dirtier than the white one, and in the golden one, the water was the cleanest. These pengidelan were the white-four sides building which have a cubic measure of length + 20 meters, width + 7 meters, and height + 3 meters. The principal of this refinery are precipitation and filtering.

The three buildings of refiners could be found between Tasik Ardi and Surosowan palace. You can find the first one near Tasikardi, about 500 meters, just in the right side of the road. The pengidelan were laid down in parallel, connected to the royal pool and golden fountain. The architect of this sophisticated plumbing system at the time was Hendrik Lucaszoon Cardeel, the one who also involved in the development of Surosowan palace and the great mosque.

To enter this area, you have only to pay Rp. 2000/person (about 0.25 USD/person). Inside, you can find some rest area made from bamboo. You can also take a walk to go around the lake/reservoir, enjoy the dense of leaves on your right and left side.

On the day of our visit here, there wasn’t many people seen here, or maybe it was still early in the morning. Usually, this area always crowded by young people, especially in the Saturday night. People come here for dating, fishing, family gathering, etc. This are also full in the Lebaran day (Islamic day, after fasting month), most people gather here since the ticket is cheap enough.

Continue – Surosowan Palace, the sultan’s residence

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow I think that good news for me.
I allways have dream to visit this place...