Pelabuhan Ratu-A Fishing Town with Mystical Attraction.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.