Is there any relationship of Blambangan Kingdom to Mengwi Kingdom in Badung, Bali? According to Wikipedia, the Blambangan Kingdom is a kingdom located on the easternmost region of Java Island. It is considered as the last Hindu kingdom in Java in the 16th century, where the only significant Muslim kingdom in East Java at that time was Pasuruan. Other regions were still under control of Hindu ruler. Allegedly, a war had exploded between Pasuruan and Blambangan in 1540s, 1580s and 1590s. In the meantime, the capital of Blambangan seemed to have been conquered in 1600 or 1601.
According to Javanese chronicle and a Dutch writer, François Valentyn, in the 17th century Blambangan was the subordinate of Surabaya. However, people still call the statement into doubt. Obviously, Sultan Agung from Mataram Kingdom (1613-1646) attacked Blambangan in 1633 but he was never able to conquer it. Blambangan was conquered by I Gusti Anglurah Panji Sakti, the king of Buleleng in North Bali. Possibly, with the help of Surapati, the king of Blambangan Tawang Alun could be defeated. Temporarily, Ki Gusti Ngurah Panji Sakti appointed his representative to govern Blambangan. He handed over the authority of Blambangan Kingdom to Cokorda Agung Mengwi after he married to the daughter of King of Mengwi.
After Blambangan was under control of Mengwi, Badung, it was appointed the descendant of King Tawang Alun to rule the Blambangan, namely Prince Danuningrat. To bind the loyalty, he was married to the daughter of Cokorda Agung Mengwi. Before becoming an independent kingdom, Blambangan belonged to the dominion of Bali. Mengwi Kingdom once ruled this region.
Meanwhile, the endeavor of Mataram Sultanate to conquest the Blambangan was never successful. That’s why the Blambangan (and Banyuwangi in general) never belonged to the Central Javanese culture. So far, the region has quite different variety of language from the standard Javanese language. The influence of Bali can also be seen in various kinds of dancing arts originating from the Blambangan area. (BTN/*)
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