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Home Tjilik Riwut Bukit Batu (Stone Hill) Hermitage of National Hero

Bukit Batu ( Stone Hill ) Hermitage of National Hero Tjilik Riwut

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Bukit Batu (Stone Hill)

Hermitage of National Hero Tjilik Riwut

Bukit Batu currently known as Hermitage of National hero Tjilik Riwut is located in Central Kalimantan. The provincial government declared the area as a spiritual tourist object.

( Orikame Victoria, Palangka Raya  documentation)

(  Orikame Victoria, Palangka Raya dokumentation)

1. Origin.

There's a long story told on how the Bukit Batu hermitage exists. A resident of Tumbang Liting village named Burut Ules is a bakaji[1]. One day he went by himself to open an area of plantation. Without companion he worked hard, opening the forest, building a resting hut, without forgetting the ancestor's tradition to seek permission from all unseen creatures, the guardian of the area.

One afternoon Burut Ules felt exhausted and had a rest for a while under a hundred year’s tall shady tree. Laying down with his hand under his head, he stared far beyond. The sunlight stroke hard, but under the thick forest, he felt the soft wind touched his skin and he was so sleepy. But suddenly, he was surprised and stood up. He saw seven maidens extremely beautiful flew down from the sky and went down to a lake nearby. At that time, it drizzled, but the sun shone hard. Burut Ules sneaked his way approaching the lake. In his hideout, he peeked. Those girls opened their clothes straight, besaluka[2], and jumped swimming, they were cheerful, full of joy and laughters.

Burut Ules was astonished, he could not blink seeing the scenery. The youngest of the group fascinated Burut Ules the most. He stared at the girl without being noticed. Burut Ules fell in love with her. After being satisfied with the bath and swim, the little group went back to the land, used their clothes and jumped flying back to the sky. From that moment Burut Ules was unhappy and restless. He regretted that he did not hold that youngest maiden when she put on her dress after the bath while they were so near. The regret tortured him that he could not either sleep or eat well.

One day under the strong sunlight, it drizzled. Burut Ules hurried himself hiding behind the bush. He waited and watched the lake where his beloved had a bath. His effort and waiting was not fruitless. In a moment, from the sky his sweetheart and her siblings flew down to the lake. Burut Ules's heart almost stopped. Slowly he took a deep breath to calm himself.

Then Burut Ules saw the repeated scene as he witnessed before. The seven maidens opened their clothes as soon as they arrived, then they had their bath, swam and were full with laughters. But, when they returned to the land to take their clothes, at that time Burut Ules suddenly appeared among them and hugged instantly her sweetheart.

The panic surrounded the little group and all of them hurried using back their clothes and jumped back to the sky leaving the little sister in fear, in the tight embrace of Burut Ules.

When all her elder sisters had left, this youngest maiden asked Burut Ules, “Why are you seizing me? What is my mistake? What do you want? If you want to kill me, please do so since I will not resist."

Burut Ules could not answer all those questions, he only replied very short that he loved her and wanted to marry her. The youngest maiden hugged him back and they became officially husband and wife.

Afterwards, Burut Ules was busy hiding her wife's cloth that she used when they first met. He's worried that his wife would leave him if she used it back. He gave his wife a new dress made of wood bark. In brief, Burut Ules' wife was pregnant and when the baby boy was born, he was called ....[3].Burut Ules lived happily with her son and wife.

One day arrived a strong, brave, black, tall and big young man visiting the family. Burut Ules' wife presented the young man as one her brothers on a visit. Burut Ules welcomed him with pleasure, he even let the man spend the night at his house.

However, after a while, Burut Ules was suspicious because both always went together to the lake for the bath, swam happily and only two of them. The baby was left out in the hut. A jealousy rose inside him. But each time Burut Ules asked her, the response rest the same that the man was merely her brother.

A notice was given for not taking a bath together on the lake, but they continued swimming together. Burut Ules started to be angry.

One day, in the right moment, Burut Ules stabbed the big black young man with his spear until death. In an instance, the young man's body disappeared. Although he hid the spear, his wife still found out the truth.

When Burut Ules returned home, he found his wife standing on the hejan[4] with their only child on her arm. When she saw his coming, she spoke with full of sadness and told him that she was so sad and disappointed that her husband did not trust her anymore and even coldly murdered her brother. That's why she insisted to go her origin and brought their son with her.

Before leaving, she left a message that if Burut Ules' descendants need assistance then their only son would always be ready to assist. Also she said, if their child had grown up, he would not be able to live in mother's world since his father and mother came from different world. In his adult age, he would return to his father's world. After saying all those words, bother son and mother vanished from Burut Ules' view. He was terribly sad. The late regret was useless. Burut Ules tried to wake his life from the sad lost. He spent his days working hard until he's exhausted and fell to sleep, worked, worked and kept on working. Thus, all his time was spent for working on the farm, catching fish and all other works.

After a while, slowly Burut Ules was able to live his life back after the departure of his wife and child. He remarried with the child of Kutat. From this marriage, two children were born, a boy and a girl. It's believed that Burut Ules never passed away but vanished to another world.

One day in Derep Bay, Tumbang Kasongan a very loud sound of thunder deafened the ear. Flashes of lightning stroke one after the other. Then a humongous rock was lowered from the Sky. It's believed that the son of Burut Ules disappeared with his first wife had become an adult. As promised, in his adult age the son would live in his father's world. The promise had been fulfilled. The rock that came down from the sky was known as Bukit Batu. (Stone Hill) and is believed as his residence, he who cannot be seen by physical eyes, but lives as the King and ruler of the area.

2. Hermitage of National Hero Tjilik Riwut


Riwut Dahiang, resident of the area of Sala river, really hopes for a child boy. This wish was so strong. Although several times already his wife Piai Riwut delivered babies, but the baby boy always passed away in toddler's age. This desire was so strong that Riwut Dahiang made the request in a deep prayer to the Hatalla[5].. Then he went to a sacred place called Bukit Batu (Stone Hill). There Riwut Dahiang did the balampah[6] and requested that he be granted a son. He received a mystical advice (wangsit) that the son he longed very much for would carry out a special mission for his tribe.

On 2 February 1918, the truly expected son was born safe in a Durian farm, Katunen Village, Kasongan, Central Kalimantan.


(  Orikame Victoria, Palangka Raya  dokumentation)

(  Orikame Victoria, Palangka Raya dokumentation)

Since early childhood, the father often brought Tjilik Riwut to Bukit Batu so that it's no longer a strange place for little Tjilik Riwut. After his toddler age, when playing with friends, sometimes Tjilik Riwut just left his friends and went to Bukit Batu. Noone knew what he did there. In his teenage, Tjilik Riwut started to follow his parents' ritual. He went by himself to Bukit Batu. There he did the balampah. He received his first mystical advice (wangsit) that he was directed to go crossing the sea towards the Island of Java. At that time, the communication and transportation from inland Kalimantan to Java were extremely difficult. It's considered as a dream. Let alone going to Java, reaching the city of Banjarmasin located on the same island needs a real struggle. Tjilik Riwut did not recognise the word hopeless. Obstacle and difficulties were challenges for him. He made all the efforts like walking, going through the forest, riding a boat or dinghy, as long as he could reach the island of Java. Finally he arrived in Banjarmasin. In brief, he tried to get a job that could take him to Java. In 1942 in Banjarmasin, at might when everybody was asleep, Tjilik Riwut awoke from his sleep and he woke his sleeping friends. With confident, he told his friends that his father Riwut Dahiang returned to God Almighty that night. All his friends were of course amazed, none of them believed it and thought that Tjilik Riwut was dreaming. Steadily and full of confidence he said once again that it's all true since the Ruler of Bukit Batu just came to see him, convey the message and that since the moment Tjilik Riwut was his closest friend.

Tjilik Riwut asked his friends to take note of the incident all with the date and hour. Djainudin, Essel Djelau and another friend wrote it down although they were not sure that the event Tjilik Riwut had experienced really happened. To verify the reality of that subconscious feeling is only possible if a resident from Kasongan comes to Banjarmasin. At that time the communication was not as easy as today. No phone, no post service available. News came with a person coming from village.

Then a friend came from Kasongan to Banjarmasin, Tjilik Riwut asked immediately about his parent. It's true that at the moment when he felt the sign that his father passed away.

In revolution era when Tjilik Riwut had finally reached Java Island and was even actively involved in the struggle against the Dutch, he managed to go home and did the balampah in Bukit Batu. He prayed for a sign in the struggle against the Colonial. That moment he swore that he would not get married the independence of Indonesia[7]. After balampah, he received a stone in the shape of an earlobe. According to the mystical advice, he could use the stone for listening and monitoring the enemy when the stone was put on the ear lobe. After Indonesia achieved its independence then the ear lobe stone disappeared.

Quoted from "Maneser Panatau Tatu Hiang", Tjilik Riwut, Pusaka Lima, Palangka Raya, 2003.



[1] Possess a high spiritual power

[2] Cloth/Tapih/bahalai/jarik ( Javanese ).

[3] Need a special permit to mention the name.

[4] Round type of wood - used as housing stairs.

[5] The Almighty.

[6] Meditate.

[7] The oath was fulfilled. After Indonesia's independence, Tjilik Riwut got married on 31 May 1948 in Yogyakarta.



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