Pelabuhan Ratu-A Fishing Town with Mystical Attraction.

Pelabuhan Ratu.

Pelabuhan Ratu, which the name means Seaport of the Queen, is a beautiful fishing village in West Java located in the regency of Sukabumi at shoreline of southern Java sea, around 120 km away from Jakarta.

Many people from surrounding cities like Bandung and Jakarta come to Pelabuhan Ratu to enjoy different atmosphere which they don't find in their cities. Pelabuhan Ratu is famous for its beautiful beach, challenging sea for surfing, fishing village and its big fish market where various fish are auctioned at the seaport nearby every day, and of course the famous legend of Nyi Roro Kidul which gives magical magnitude to Pelabuhan Ratu.

The winding road leads to Pelabuhan Ratu
The winding road leads to Pelabuhan Ratu | Source
Source
Beautiful terraced paddy fields at Cikidang,  Pelabuhan Ratu.
Beautiful terraced paddy fields at Cikidang, Pelabuhan Ratu. | Source

Surfing.

Pelabuhan Ratu, due to its location as a part of Indian Ocean, has waves which surfing enthusiasts see them as challenging for surfing activities. If you see this as an attraction also you can go to Cimaja beach, a few kilometers to the west of Pelabuhan Ratu. According to Globalsurfer.com, waves at Cimaja beach are point break and have occasionally barreling types with average length of ride 100 to 200 m so that the condition is ideal for intermediate surfers.

Fisherman boats.
Fisherman boats. | Source

Nyi Roro Kidul

There are some folktales regarding Nyi Loro Kidul who is considered the Queen of Southern Java Sea. Most fishermen believe that it is at Pelabuhan Ratu the kingdom of Nyi Roro Kidul is located and reigns all parts of south Java sea.

Nyi Loro Kidul is described as a beautiful mermaid wearing a crown on her head and dresses in green kebaya (female traditional dress) with lower part of her body resembles a snake's body.

The legend of Nyi Roro Kidul began in 16th century when Mataram Kingdom ruled Java with Prince Senopati as the leader. As a condition for totally ruling the Java island, prince Senopati and all his heirs had to marry Nyi Roro Kidul before they married to their mortal wives. This was to make sure that the queen would become the first wife of the princes from generation to generation.

To honor this marriage, fishermen throughout Java celebrate the queen's birthday on every 1st of Suro (Javanese calendar) which takes place in April.

Fishermen and people along the south coasts generally believe that green is Nyi Loro Kidul's favorite color and is always referred to her, so that people along the coasts avoid wearing green clothes when they fish or go to sea since it is considered a submission to the queen and will never be able to go home.

Quiet fishermen village, they mostly take a rest before they go fishing at night.
Quiet fishermen village, they mostly take a rest before they go fishing at night. | Source
Some fishermen during break time.
Some fishermen during break time. | Source
Another fun activity at Pelabuhan Ratu, fishing with fishing rod .
Another fun activity at Pelabuhan Ratu, fishing with fishing rod . | Source
One of the views when Pesta Laut is held.
One of the views when Pesta Laut is held. | Source

To show their respects to the queen, people who live in cities along southern beaches regularly hold ceremonies. Although the ceremonies are not solely intended for glorification to Nyi Roro Kidul since the activities are considered a deviation from their religion teaching, on every 6th of April people at Cisolok, Pelabuhan Ratu wrap the ceremonies in cultural events called Pesta Laut or Sea Party which are meant to thank God for His lavish protection and fishermen's gratefulness on their successful fishing along the year as well as praying for their safe fishing activities in the year to come instead.


One of the programs in this Sea Party is the parade of decorated ships to open sea in order to float a bull's head wrapped in white cloth as an offering for Nyi Roro Kidul. Those who believe superstitious values see that if the sacrifice sinks into the sea fast indicates that the queen is happy with the present and guards the sea to be safe and gives plenty catching in the year to come.

We may believe it or not since only God Almighty has the power to control mother nature.


People waiting for the last sunset of 2011 at Pelabuhan Ratu beach.
People waiting for the last sunset of 2011 at Pelabuhan Ratu beach. | Source
A picture of Nyi Roro Kidul created  by a famous artist the late Basuki Abdullah inside Room 308.
A picture of Nyi Roro Kidul created by a famous artist the late Basuki Abdullah inside Room 308. | Source

Nyi Roro Kidul's magical image also gets attention from Pelabuhan Ratu tourism sectors specially those who have an eye for making it as promotion. For those who love mystery should spend the night at the four-star Samudra Beach Hotel, a hotel built by the first president of RI voluntarily spares one room, room no. 308, to be kept unoccupied and reserve it for Nyi Roro Kidul !. They set the room with some furniture, a bed with green cover and the walls are also covered with the same color. A big picture of her hung on the wall and also an incense burner lain on the floor have made the atmosphere inside the room feels so magical.

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Comments 8 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Your photos are breathtakingly beautiful! That tradition of honoring that sea queen called Nyi Roro Kidul is interesting. Many fishermen around the world have legends or traditions like blessings of the fleet, etc. Enjoyed reading this! Up, interesting and beautiful votes.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

Nyi Roro Kidul is the true legend of Indonesia. We certainly connected her with the mystical things. I believe that this queen is exist and lead the unseen world in Java. Pelabuhan Ratu is one beautiful place for recreation in West java though I never came to this place in person. But I must visit Pelabuhan Ratu one day. Thanks for writing and share with us. Rated up!

Prasetio


agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia Author

Hello Peggy, I'm glad you like my experience visiting Pelabuhan Ratu. Thank you for reading.


agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia Author

Yes Pras, you should visit this fishing town someday to find the mystical attractions of this place. Thank you very much for enjoying this hub.


Bbudoyono profile image

Bbudoyono 4 years ago

Very beautiful pictures. Voted up.


agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia Author

@Bbudoyono : Thank you very much pak. Yes, Pelabuhan Ratu offers the beauty of its nature too.


Akhir Sharif 3 years ago

I always wanted to go to Pelabuhan Ratu because of the mystical attraction that somehow connected with the Kraton of Solo. I am 50 -50 Malindo; dad is from Solo and my mum Malaysian. I want to go to Pelabuhan Ratu during Pesta Laut. When is the event scheduled for 2013?


agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 3 years ago from Indonesia Author

Hi Akhir Sharif,

I am so glad to have your visit. Yes, Pelabuhan Ratu is identical with its mystical attraction and If you want to see the Pesta Laut/Sea Party you'd better come in April (I'm not sure yet about the date). Thank you reading and commenting.

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