Ciung Wanara
and The History of Galuh Kingdom - part 1

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The legend of Ciung Wanara is a famous Sundanese folklore. Originally it was told in the form of Pantun Sunda. Since it was verbally told and retold, there are some versions circulated. But, the more important question is: how close the legend of Ciung Wanara to the real history of Galuh kingdom? 

Previous article:  the legend of Ciung Wanara

While the previous article is a retold of the legend, here you will read how the legend and the history intertwine.

Due to the long and intricate history, I divide it into four sections:

  1. We start with Galuh: the beginning and whereabout of this kingdom.
  2. Next, who was Ciung Wanara and whether he was the heir of Galuh kingdom.
  3. Then the history continued with the endeavor of Ciung Wanara to become the king of Galuh.
  4. Finally, the reign of Ciung Wanara and his successor.

Where was Galuh kingdom?

Based on the stone inscriptions found, Tarumanagara kingdom was acknowledged as the oldest kingdom in the land of Java. Its capital was near the delta of Citarum river. The most famous king was King Purnawarman. He built a new capital called Sundapura. This was the first time the term Sunda was introduced. 

The territory of Tarumanagara kingdom stretched from the west coast of Java to Brebes river in Central Java. 

The last king of Tarumanagara was Linggawarman, who had two daughters. His successor was the husband of his eldest daughter, Tarusbawa, the king of Sunda kingdom. When Tarusbawa announced the move to Sunda, king Wretikandayun from Galuh decided to split and announced Galuh to be an independent kingdom.

The territory of Galuh kingdom was between Citarum river in the west and Pamali a.k.a Brebes river in the east. The capital moved a lot, but the most famous one was in Kawali, near Ciamis today. Thus, it was known as the kingdom of Galuh Kawali.

Was Ciung Wanara the heir of Galuh kingdom?

King Wretikandayun from Galuh kingdom had three sons, but the crown prince was the youngest: Mandiminyak. He had an affair with his first brother’s wife. They had a son named Sena. Because of this affair, the king had him visited Mataram. There he wedded  the crown princess of Mataram kingdom. They had a daughter named Sannaha. Later on Sena married Sannaha and had a son named Sanjaya.

Sanjaya, the heir of Galuh and Mataram, married Dewi Tejakancana Hayu Purnawangi, the crown princess of Sunda kingdom.

When Wretikandayun passed away, the throne went to Mandiminyak, who later on passed it on to Sena. But Purbasora, one of Wretikandayun grandson from his first son, revolted and took the throne. Sena ran away to Mataram, since his wife was still the crown princess there. 

Several years later, Sanjaya [the son of Sena] who already became the king of Sunda kingdom, attacked Galuh kingdom, but he didn’t want the throne, he only wanted to avenge his father. Hence, he gave the throne to Permana Di Kusuma, the grandson of the previous king, and appointed his son, Tamperan Barmawijaya, as the king’s advisor.

King Permana Di Kusuma had one wife, Nyimas Dewi Naganingrum, and a son, Suratama a.k.a. Manarah a.k.a. Ciung Wanara. Before he took the throne, he had to wed Nyimas Dewi Pengrenyep, the daughter of Sunda’s advisor. So, on the contrary to the legend, Ciung Wanara was older than Hariang Banga.

Since Ciung Wanara was one of the descendants of Wretikandayun, he definitely was one of the legitimate heir of Galuh kingdom. 

Next:

Would Ciung Wanara be able to avenge his father death? Who helped him? What would be the ending of this history?

Continue reading the history of Ciung Wanara here ...


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One of the legacy during the reign of Galuh kingdom is Candi Cangkuang, a Hindu temple in Garut. Galuh Kawali, where the story of Ciung Wanara originated, is located in Ciamis, a district in West Java. You can see the remains of the kingdom inside the Ciung Wanara nature reserve. Further ahead, you will arrive at the most favorite beach in Sunda: Pangandaran! 

Cangkuang Temple, Garut.
Pangandaran beach.
Pasir Putih Beach, Pangandaran.
Green Canyon, Pangandaran.
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  3. The history of Ciung Wanara part 1