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Nyi Roro Kidul: The Queen Of The Southern Ocean

The phenomenal beauty of Indonesia’s the Southern Ocean along with the legend of Nyi Roro Kidul is known well beyond its borders. Its coastline stretches from the seashore of Sukabumi – West Java to Jember – East Java. It offers the finest exotic beauty of an Archipelago. Every beach of the Southern Ocean has its own unique myths and legends. There are seven beaches in this coastline; Palabuhan Ratu Beach in Sukabumi (West Java), Santolo Beach in Garut (West Java), Timang Beach in Bantul (Central Java), Parangtritis Beach in Yogyakarta (Central Java), Sembukan Beach in Wonogiri (Central Java), Sendiki Beach in Malang (East Java), and Papuma Beach in Jember (East Java).

Pelabuhan Ratu Beach
The beautiful Pelabuhan Ratu beach behind Grand Inna Samudra Beach Hotel.

Local tourists frequent these beaches in the holiday season, however, increasing numbers of foreigners have started visiting these beaches. Tourists are not only interested in the beauty of these beaches, but they also want to experience the local culture of the area. Besides their natural beauty, these beaches are also well known for their myths and legends. Especially in the Pelabuhan Ratu area, there’s a very well known legend among the locals, this legend is still believed today and it has become part of the local culture. On certain month the locals still perform rituals in the seashores in the belief of this legend.

The Queen Of The Southern Ocean :

Pelabuhan Ratu area has an infamous legend of Nyi Roro Kidul. The locals still believe that Nyi Roro Kidul is the sovereign ruler of the Southern Ocean today. It is said that several people have seen her in the form of a beautiful woman whose lower half of the body is of a snake, but others claim they saw her in human form but with beauty exceeding any normal human being. The rumour around the locals is that Nyi Roro Kidul is neither good nor bad, she just does whatever she likes. There have been several incidents of people drowning in Pelabuhan Ratu beach and the locals believe that these people were “taken” by Nyi Roro Kidul. The bodies of some victims were never recovered but a few came back alive with strange stories to tell. Those who came back alive swore that they were saved by Nyi Roro Kidul, strangely these incidences happen even in calm waves. Locals believed it was her, took some souls to be her slaves in the deep ocean.

Nyi Roro Kidul
Nyi Roro Kidul (Painting)
The Legend Of Nyi Roro Kidul :

The legend of Nyi Roro Kidul began with a sad but strange story related to a very odd thing that happened. That sad story was about the life of Nyi Roro Kidul before she became a legend. There are different versions of the story, but this one is the most common one, passed on by locals from one generation to another;

Once upon a time, there was a princess whose name was Kadita. She was the daughter of a very powerful and respected king of the Pajajaran kingdom. This is a very well known kingdom in Indonesia, and archaeological traces of this kingdom can be found all over Java Island. There were a total of Eight kings in successions that ruled over the Pajajaran kingdom and Kadita’s father, king Munding Wangi was the sixth king. King Munding Wangi was known to be a very loving father, he loved his daughter very much because she was very friendly and had a very kind heart. Kadita was also famous for her beauty and she was called Dewi Srengenge, meaning The Goddess of Sun. Although The King had a beautiful daughter with a beautiful heart, he was unhappy because he always expected a son. For that reason, the King decided to marry Dewi Mutiara. From this marriage, finally, he had a son. Even though he had a son from Dewi Mutiara, he already made up his mind that one day he will pass on the throne to his daughter because she was the eldest.

Nyi Roro Kidul - Shrine
The shrine of Nyi Roro Kidul in Grand Inna Samudra Beach Hotel, Room No. 308.
Nyi Roro Kidul - Tiara
The tiara's of Nyi Roro Kidul in Grand Inna Samudra Beach Hotel, Room No. 308.

The greedy Dewi Mutiara wasn’t satisfied, she was determined to make her son the next in line to the throne. She devised a plan to force the king to banish his daughter. King Munding Wangi was furious about this. Dewi Mutiara, blinded by her ambitions called upon the service of a dark sorcerer to curse Kadita. She demanded that Kadita be cursed so that her beautiful body be covered in ulcers. The dark sorcerer granted Dewi Mutiara’s request. One day Kadita woke up with her body covered in ulcers and bad odour. The beautiful princess cried in shock and it made the king very sad and confused. No one could cure his daughter’s illness. The King drowning in his own sadness could not detect the evil plan that the wicked Dewi Mutiara had for his daughter. In his weakest moments, Dewi Mutiara was able to persuade the King to send his daughter away to protect his daughter from peoples gossip and rumours.

Nyi Roro Kidul - Bed
The bed of Nyi Roro Kidul in Grand Inna Samudra Beach Hotel, Room No. 308.

Finally, King Munding Wangi sent Kadita away. The poor broken-hearted princess did not know where to go. However, she was wise and had a very noble heart. She didn’t have any bad feelings towards her father and her stepmother. She was sad but wasn’t about to give up, she kept walking and walking for almost seven days and seven nights. She finally reached the seashore of the Southern Ocean. The ocean was so clean and clear, while on the seashore she heard whisperings telling her to jump into the water to cure her illness. At first, she didn’t believe but thinking that she had nothing to lose she jumped into the water and swam. Miraculously, the ocean water cured her illness and all her ulcers, pain, scars, and the bad odour was gone. She became more beautiful than before, her skin was glowing and smoother than ever. The mystical force also gave her the power to command the whole South Ocean and all the creatures in it. She became a fairy called Nyi Roro Kidul or The Queen of Southern Ocean.

Nyi Roro Kidul - Dressing Table
The dressing table of Nyi Roro Kidul in Grand Inna Samudra Beach Hotel, Room No. 308.
Nyi Roro Kidul - Personal Effects
The personal effects of Nyi Roro Kidul in Grand Inna Samudra Beach Hotel, Room No. 308.
Sofa
The sofa of Nyi Roro Kidul in Grand Inna Samudra Beach Hotel, Room No. 308.

Photographer – Roy Singh 

Karina Sari

Karina Sari

Freelance Writer
I love cultures and interested in ancient stuff. Travelling around the world to see those ancient legacies would be my biggest dream to be true.❤️

Listed in – United States Blogs Directory

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