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Sri Tanjung : Audience’s Guide  

by on Thursday, 5 March 2009One Comment | 4,001 views

Opening Music
To begin the performance, we present a small musical composition created by adopting characteristics of the music performed on the gamelan slonding.

Scene 1
Nakula’s son Sida Paksa meditates in the forest.


The scene is accompanied by singing of which the words are taken from the kawitan (introductory verse) of the Kidung Kaki Tua (a poetical composition written in the Middle-Javanese language). This verse is written in the pupuh (meter) called sida paksa. To the present day, this single verse is frequently sung in performances of traditional dance-dramas such as the prembon or the arja. Here, the words of this verse are sung to a new melody composed with inspiration from the original melody of the pupuh sida paksa.

Sang tabeya tengsun iki
tan kabrateng sari tulah
luputa ring hila-hila
luputa katangong
ring tulah pamidi
pukulun jati purnaha.

Lord forgive me for how I am,
hopefully I will be free of curses,
and that I shall do no wrong,
so that I be able to reach my goal,
free from all curses,
for the Lord is indeed almighty.

Scene 2


King Sulakrama of the kingdom of Sinduraja is out hunting in the forests with his servant. The cloudy weather is not on his side and the king is not pleased. They meet Sida Paksa, on whom the king releases his anger. Sida Paksa introduces himself and asks to be taken in as the king’s follower. King Sulakrama orders Sida Paksa to go to the village of Prangalas to find the priest Tambapetra to ask for a potion, which can grant the king eternal life.

Scene 3
Sida Paksa, who has reached the village of Prangalas sees Sri Tanjung in the preist’s garden and they fall in love. Sri Tanjung is the priest’s grand-child.

Sri Tanjung

The scene is accompanied by a musical composition which was created based on the grantangan of the first verse of Kidung Jayendria. The Kidung Jayendria, written in the Middle-Javanese language is very unique because in it’s grantangan, all seven notes of the saih pitu (seven-tone scale) observed on the older gamelan ensembles such as the gamelan slonding and gamelan gambang are used, without modal orientation. The verses are not written in accord to a certain pupuh (or is an independent pupuh in it’s own). The saih pitu are sometimes described as genta pinara pitu or the sapta ongkara, which suggest cosmological connotations. In the new musical composition, the notes of the grantangan can be heard on the saran (a type of metallophone). The rindik, tingklik (both types of cylophones made from the bamboo) and the jegogan of the gamelan slonding sound figuration’s which have been developed from the grantangan. The vocal melody stays close to the grantangan, with limited embellishments, in order to stay true to the characteristics of a kidung.

Sri Tanjung

Rakryan sang saksat ajang ta nurideng kawi mango bhranti raga
kinuncang ing masa karttika
mangun hyun-hyun bhramita mango rasmining asangwa lepihan
lam-lamiat ri kahayon tanuksma
ri saka langon pamisraning i masmu riris
lwir wenin ta mangun arsa hritti marmmaran tanuksuma
rum-rumningpater akter idu kilyan
matralon ban gun larapning tatit
angedapingi malimunan
liring tang de arsa
rum ta lwir panjrahning sari sumar
priyaka membangpangras niking tanu
sridhanta minda ri waja rasmining
andullwir gisi-gisyangde ragi.

You, the one before my eyes, make me sick with my longing, my torment,
my love for your sensual body,
my heart trembles, like the fourth moon,
My lust awoken, weak as if under a spell, and cannot control my pen,
my thoughts make me drift, when I see your beauty, so full of secrets,
all beauty becomes One in your face, like a mist of showering jewels,
your hair arouses lost feelings, as it falls softly on your shoulders,
its beauty like thunder, a roaring south-westerly tempest,
raging like lightning,
lighting up the darkness of chaotic nature,
a slight glance of your eyes gives me hope,
spreading the beauty of every luxury,
like beautiful flowers spreading their scent,
the priyaka flower blooms prettily like your shapely body,
your beautiful teeth are like sprays of night -jasmine,
your lips glow like acronodia flowers, that give birth to love.

Scene 4


Feeling as if they are floating in the sky, Sid a Paksa and Sri Tanjung suddenly becomes aware of Tambapetra’s presence. Sida Paksa states the reason of his visit, but the priest is not able to provide what Sid a Paksa asks for. He hands to Sida Paksa a different potion to present to King Sulakrama. Shyly, Sida Paksa asks for permission to take Sri Tanjung as his wife. The priest gives his blessings.

Scene 5


Sida Paksa and Sri Tanjung return to Sinduraja. In the Kidung Sri Tanjung, there is a panggalang (introductory passage at the beginnings of different sections of the work) which describes Sida Paksa and Sri Tanjung’s journey and their arrival at the kingdom of Sinduraja. Here a part of the panggalang has been given a melody to be sung to instrumental accompaniment.

Scene 6
At the kingdom of Sinduraja. Sida Paksa and Sri Tanjung meets King Sulakrama, and Sida Paksa presents to the king, the potion which had been given by Tambapetra. It is obvious that King Sulakrama is taken with Sri Tanjung’s beauty, making Sri Tanjung nervous. King Sulakrama is absorbed in his thoughts as he sees Sri Tanjung take her leave.


A ceclantungan (improvisational prose) expresses Prabu Sulakrama’s infatuation with Sri Tanjung.

Gumuruh ikang hredaya iki,
mapa sang wasa wasitweng nagara,
tan wruh maring nagareki hana widyadari,
wyartha wirya wibhawa sang natha iki,
yan tan sidhda amarigraha Sri Tanjung sang saksat dewi.

My heart beats,
why does the one who rules the kingdom,
not know there is a nymph in his own kingdom, there is no use in power,
ifl am not able to marry Sri Tanjung.

His servant watched the king act as if he was crazy and he comes up with an idea to separate Sida Paksa and Sri Tanjung. Sida Paksa is called and given a new order. He was to go to the god Indra’s heaven to ask for gold and white cloths which the god Indra had borrowed from King Sulakrama. Sida Paksa is given a letter to deliver to Indra, and departs on his new mission.

Scene 7
This scene is presented as a wayang (shadow puppet theater).
In seven days, Sida Paksa had already arrived at Indra’s heaven. The journey would have taken seven years were it not for the the Anta Kusuma, a sash given to him by Sri Tanjung, which enabled him to fly. The Anta Kusuma was a gift to Sri Tanjung’s father Sahadewa from the goddess Durga as a sign of her gratitude when in the past, Sahadewa had set the goddess free from a curse which was put on her by the god Siva.


To illustrate Indra’s heaven, a verse from the Kidung Sri Tanjung is sung in a stylized way. The melody follows the musical characteristics of the pupuh adri, the meter in which the verse is written.

Widhadhari padha ayu-ayu,
adyus maring taman,
pancuran rukmi angrawit,
angilo maring banyu,
den atap sisinom ipun,
tuhu ayune rupane,
Ki Siddha Paksa prapta wus,
hana ta ring wijil pisan,
lango mulat ring kaswarggan.

The beautiful nymphs of the heavens,
are bathing in the garden,
the fountain is made from gold,
and the nymphs are reflected on the water,
they are arranging their hair which is very fair,
they are indeed breathtakingly beautiful,
Sida Paksa had arrived at the gates of heaven,
and when he saw the place of the gods,
his heart beat because of its beauty.

Sida Paksa explains to Indra the reason of his arrival and hands over the letter from King Sulakrama. The contents of the letter makes Indra furious, for without Sida Paksa’s knowing, it was written in the letter that the carrier of the letter was on a mission to wage a war against the heavens. Sida Paksa is attacked, and when he thought that he could fight back no more, he calls to his uncles, the brothers of the Pandawa. This makes Indra realizes who Sida Paksa is, and the two are united. Sida Paksa spends seven days in Indra’s heaven with the nymphs.

Scene 8
Sri Tanjung is sitting in her garden, anxious about her husband’s safety. Suddenly appears King Sulakrama with a sad expression on his face, and breaks the news to Sri Tanjung that Sida Paksa is dead.


Sri Tanjung anakku
Hya’Wa kita sungka’Wa, dening aku dateng ama’Wa ‘Wreta duhkita Sidapaksa kasih ingwang ‘Wus angemasipati
Ri sedenging am’Wanganing ga’We kang ‘Wehakenangk’Wa

Sri Tanjung my child,
Do not be sad, that I have brought you bad news,
Sida Paksa, the man that you care for is dead,
He died while he was carrying out my orders.

Durung hulun amukti kasobagya iki
Hu’Wus lampus amertaning idep

I have not yet held on to this happiness for long,
My love is already gone,


Haywa kita geng hretsalya
Lah suguhakenanghulun kikinangan
Kita rowangangkwa lumocita ri hananta mangke…

Do not be in so much pain,
Serve me some sirih pinang (chewing tobacco and betel nut),
And we shall talk of your lonliness…

Sri Tanjung is almost raped by King Sulakrama.

Scene 9
King Sulakrama is surprised and uneasy to see Sida Paksa return victoriously from Indra’s heaven. He comes to present to the king, things which had been returned by Indra. Not expecting to see Sida Paksa still alive, King Sulakrama tells Sida Paksa about what had happened during Sida Paksa’s absence.


Sida Paksa anaku,
Lulut sihku ri kita angliwati sakengpawehangku ri awaking ngwang,
sawyaranta maka wyaranninghulun,
ngong wastu tan siddha umujarakena.

Sida Paksa my child,
I care for you more than I care for my self
your troubles are mine,
I am not strong enough to speak the words.

Lulut sih paduka sawawa yan wangsulen patikbra dening hurip,
ksamakena punggungningpatik tan wruh angapi wuwus,
lwirning kala anung inatita,
sabwat-bwatning ajnya, tuwi patik lumaksanakena.

Your goodness I return with my life,
forgive me for not being able to understand your words,
like I have done in the times gone by,
whatever your orders are, I will obey without reason.

Sida Paksa,
smjawaning lulut sih ta mareng Sri Tanjung,
binwangning angin sasampurning strimu,
tan kahanan ajerih Sri Tanjung humarek,
anedha matra-matraning lulutku hinarepnya,
mapa linganing ngwang ri wyaraning hatinta.

Sida Paksa,
your sincere love for Sri Tanjung,
has been blown away when wind blew on your wife’s sash.
how dare the woman,
asking for a portion of my love for her,
what can I say of the pain that this must cause you,

Scene 10


Burning with rage and jealousy, Sida Paksa calls his wife. Sri Tanjung tries to explain what had happened since Sida Paksa had left her for Indra’s heaven, but he would not believe his wife’s words.


This dialogue between Sida Paksa and Sri Tanjung is sung to the melodies of the pupuh durma. In Sri Tanjung’s response, there is a hint of the characteristics of another pupuh, the gambuh.
The intensity of Sida Paksa’s rage makes Sri Tanjung realize that her death is near, and she preys.


Scene 11
Sri Tanjung’s spirit is woken and slowly drifts away until it reaches the gates of heaven. The gates open, but are closed again. She is not permitted to enter heaven, because it is not yet time.


A verse in written in the pupuh adri, taken from the Kidung Sri Tanjung has been given a new melody to accompany this scene.

Atma nira Ni Dewi Sri Tanjung,
angungkuli mangke,
kurungane den tinghali,
wlas temen rasan ipun,
sun tilik kagulangalu,
lah kapekana titahe,
yan ta bebeten ring dudu,
lah kari ya ingsun mintar,
lumampah sira alon-alonan.

Sri Tanjung’s spirit,
hovered above her body,
watched down and let our the words,
‘she has suffered so much,
the deeds of a man who has been blinded by lies’
Good bye, I am going away now. ‘
Slowly her spirit went on its journey.

Scene 12
Sri Tanjung’s spirit meets the goddess Durga. With utmost tenderness, Durga brings Sri Tanjung back to life, the child of Sahadewa who had once freed the goddess from a curse.


Scene 13
Sida Paksa, noticing the fragrance which covered the earth, remembers the words of his wife before she died. He realizes of his mistake and stupidity. He goes back to where he has left his wife’s dead body.


Uduh masku kita yayi,
swikarangku ring wasawasitwa,
angde wutani mata mwang hatingku,
ksamakena punggungni ngwang,
tarimanen kakanta ri jro hembananta,

My dear wife, my goddess,
my obedience to the king had taken the better of me,
my eyes and my heart had been blinded,
forgive my blindness,
and take me in your arms.

Sri Tanjung wakes up. Protected by mystical powers, she purifies her husband of his sins.


The first verse of Kidung Rumaksa Ing Wengi is sung in a melody which has been developed from that of the pupuh dangdang. The verses of the Kidung Rumaksa Ing Wengi is believed to have the power to turn the negative into the positive. is sometimes sung by the people of Bali to ask for protection in the context of ritual and daily life.

Ana kidung rumakseng wangi,
teguh ayu luputing lara,
luputa bilahi kabeh,
jim setan ndatan durun,
paneluhan tan hana wani,
miwah pangawe hala,
gunaning wong luput,
geni atemahhan tirta,
maling adoh tan marah ring kami,
guna dudu pada sirna.

There is a song to be sung at night,
there is strength which is free from sickness,
free from all,
jin and setan will not dare,
black magic will not work,
and all that is bad (wiil not come close)
the traits of a free man,
fire becomes water,
robbers will stay afar and will not dare come close,
all that is wrong will be destroyed.


Sri Tanjung orders Sida Paksa to kill King Sulakrama and to bring to her his head.

Scene 14


Ayai Prabhu Sulakrama,
kinabretyaning nghulun awakku ri kita,
maka don santa santosaning wadwamu,
anghing wasa wasitwa anung hana ri kita,
kewala pangayaya langgukjuga,
mangkana teganta,
wang kapracaya kuneng sinirnakenta huripnya.
prabu Sulakrama

I gave you my obedience,
for peace and well-being of your people,
but the power that you have,
is all for your arrogance,
how dare you,
destroy the lives of those that believe in you.


Sida Paksa kita,
tan hana kitajuga ngong iki raja,
tan sayogya kita andrewe,
anglewihi sakeng drewyangku,
pretiwi iki tapakangkwa, tan hana kang dadi langgana,
ambara maka prawretingku, tan dadi kita pareng angisep,
tan hana kang siddha amatyani aku,
apan aku wus anginum sancaya datuning Bhagawan Tambapetra.

Sida Paksa,
without you, I am still a king,
you do not deserve to have,
more than what I own,
the land is mine and no one is allowed to get in my way,
the air is for me to take in, and I forbid you to breath in this air,
no one is able to kill me,
because I have drunk the potion from the priest Tambapetra.


Ksamakena nghulun salah anyarakaken awaku ri kita,
patinta tan wandya kita tarima,
maka don walikakenang kasaktin mareng bumi,
maka don kasantosan ring sarwa bhuta,
tan hana hurip saswata,

Forgive me but I have made a mistake in becoming your follower,
you must die,
in order to return the strength of nature,
for the peace of the people,
there is no such thing as eternal lift.

Sida Paksa and Prabu Sulakrama fight against each other. King Sulakrama, who powers over his land and people with his ego, is not able to win against Sida Paksa who has the truth on his side.

Reference :

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