Karang Nini and Bale Kambang
A Legend from Pangandaran

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Karang Nini is a name of a beach in Pangandaran. The location was approximately ten kilometers before you reach Pangandaran.

Most people know it as Karang Nini beach, but few also refers it as Bale Kambang. Both names are derived from the shape of the rocks on the beach. You see karang means rock and nini means a grandmother or in this case an old lady. The way people see it, Karang Nini somehow looks like a woman kneeled. Unfortunately a thunder struck the rock in 1981, splitting the rock into two.

Taking a closer look, Karang Nini is facing another rock, which is called Bale Kambang. There is a famous tale about these two rocks. A Sundanese folklore of a true love story.

The legend of Karang Nini

The #legend of #KarangNini | a love story from #Pangandaran | #ExploreSunda.com

The story began with a young couple who were madly in love. Unfortunately, they never had any children. But it never deterred their love. They grew old together. People knew them as Aki Angga Piara [aki is a Sundanese word for a grandfather or in this case an old man] and Ambu Kolot [ambu is a Sundanese word for a mother and kolot means old, it means an old lady, often referred to as nini].

Aki and Nini lived poorly in their shack. Similar to other villagers, Aki was a fisherman.

The beach where they lived was facing southern sea, which was famous of its big waves. Hence, there wasn't any place in the shore that was safe to anchor any size of boats. Thus, fishermen in this area didn't sail on a boat, they used a traditional fishing pole to catch fish. Usually their favorite fishing spots were on top of the many rocks on the shore.

You know you can't catch many fish if you only go fishing on the shore with a pole. No wonder the fish Aki caught was barely enough for their daily needs. Hence, he had to go fishing everyday.

One day, the weather was bad. Nini was reluctant to let his husband went fishing. But Aki argued that if he didn't go, they won't have any food to eat.

All day long the weather got worse. Worriedly Nini waited for Aki to return home. But he never returned home that night.

On the next day, Nini looked for him at the beach, but she couldn't find him. Hearing the voice of Nini calling her husband, the villagers helped her. Still Aki couldn't be found.

As the last resort, Nini prayed to the Almighty. She begged Him to return Aki, either dead or alive. Her wish was granted. Suddenly, there was a rock floating nearby and she heard a magical voice informing her that the floating rock was her husband's dead body. 

Originally, this floating rock was called bangke kambang [bangke means corpse and kambang means afloat]. But later on people called it bale kambang [bale means a house]. Perhaps because it's where Aki and Nini reunited.

Karang Nini appeared on the shore

Having been told that her beloved husband was dead, Nini sat on a rock facing Bale Kambang and cried earnestly. Nobody could console her. Days and nights she sat there, praying to be reunited with Aki.

One day the villagers couldn’t find Nini. At the spot where Nini usually sat, they only found a big rock. The shape of the rock looked like a woman kneeled facing the ocean. Bale Kambang was nearby. Hence, they believed Nini had been turned into a rock, to be together with Aki. From then on, the rock was named Karang Nini.


Karang Nini beach was just one of the many breathtaking beaches in the district of Pangandaran. Of course the most famous one is Pangandaran beach. But, Batu Karas, Karapyak and Pasir Putih have their own beauties. 

Pangandaran beach.
Karapyak beach, Pangandaran
Batu Karas Beach, Pangandaran.
Pasir Putih Beach, Pangandaran.
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