HomeBlogs The Legend Of Sangkuriang
Sangkuriang is a legend from Sunda (West Java), which tells the story
of how the Bandung lake, Mt. Tangkuban Parahu, Mt. Gurangrang and Mt.
Bukit Tunggul was formed. The original story is very long, but I have
shortened it here, focusing on the most important parts.
upon a time, a beautiful lady named Dayang Sumbi gave birth to a boy
which she named Sangkuriang. When Sangkuriang was old enough to hunt,
he took his mother’s dog Tumang (which according to this legend is an
incarnation of a god and also Sangkuriang’s father) and ordered Tumang
to chase after a boar. When Tumang did not follow Sangkuriang’s order,
Sangkuriang became very angry and he killed Tumang. He carved out
Tumang’s heart and brought it back to his mother.
took the heart, cooked it and ate it. When she discovered that the
heart belonged to Tumang, her husband, she was overcome with wrath. She
sent her son away, but not before she hit him with a spoon and left a
deep scar on his head.
Sangkuriang travelled around the world.
After a long while, he arrived back in his village again without
recognizing it. He saw a beautiful lady and fell in love with her.
Little did he know that she was his own mother. He asked for her hand
in marriage and she agreed.
Dayang Sumbi later realized that
Sangkuriang was her son, as she recognized the scar that she had
inflicted. She tried to tell him and break off the wedding, but he
didn’t believe her and insisted to go on with the wedding. Dayang Sumbi
then set an impossible condition that Sangkuriang has to fulfill in
order to marry her: he should build her a big boat and a lake by
damming Citarum river, all within one night, and it shall be finished
by dawn. Sangkuriang agreed to the condition.
He built a boat
from a large tree, and with the help of spirits, he dammed the Citarum
river with landslides. The water eventually rose and filled the plain,
turning it into a lake. When dawn was near, he was almost ready. Dayang
Sumbi realized this, so she prayed for divine intervention. As an
answer to her prayers, the eastern horizon lit up. Deceived by the
lights, cocks crowed and farmers rose for the new day, thinking that
dawn has broken.
Sangkuriang was also deceived. He thought his
endeavor has failed. Angrily, he kicked the boat so that it toppled
over. This boat became Tangkuban Parahu mountain (tangkuban means
upside down, and parahu means boat). The pile of leftover woods became
Mt. Burangrang, and the rest of the big tree became Mt. Bukit Tunggul.
The lake became lake Bandung (which literally means ‘dam’).