by : Fahry Bima 2009
Tetangga Komodo Purba
Despite the dominance of Islam, tradition (adat) remains strong here. Although outsiders call the whole island “Sumbawa”, on the island this term is only used for the west. Sumbawa Island comprises of 4 regencies: West Sumbawa (capital: Taliwang), Sumbawa (capital: Sumbawa Besar), Dompu (capital: Dompu) and Bima (capital: Bima). Each regency has its own distinctive atmosphere and history. Sumbawa Island is three times the size of Lombok but holds just 1 million people. Therefore the island is a true nature paradise. The island stretches 300 kilometres east-west but its width varies from 15 to 90 kilometres.
The two main ethnic groups of Sumbawa Island are the Tau Samawa who mainly reside in the Sumbawa district and the Dou Mbojo who live in the Bima district. The Samawa’s language is close to that of the Lombok Sasaks and Balinese to the west whereas the Bimanese language belongs to the eastern part of Eastern Indonesia. Sumbawa Island has a dominant Sulawesi influence, especially in architecture and the coastal population includes Bugis and Makassarese settlers. The Bima district is distinctively Arabic but a few kilometres east of Bima city, near Wavo, old traditions are strongly followed still today and ancient rituals connected with ancestral spirits are conducted regularly.
Just recently archaeological excavations were conducted on Mount Tambora, Sumbawa’s volcano, discovering a complete city buried under 40 meters of volcanic ash together with ancient Chinese porcelain items.
Mount Tambora erupted in 1815 and was recorded as the greatest eruption in known history. Once the highest volcano in Indonesia, Mount Tambora was truncated to 2,851 meters and the cone holds a huge caldera. A three day trek up to summit leads through dense rain forest and savannah areas. The highlight at the end of the trek is a boat trip to the island of Satonda consisting of the top of an emerging volcano (300 m) with a salt water lake. The island is home to many bird species and endemic fish as well as sea turtles.
The regency of West Sumbawa is most likely the most beautiful in regards of nature. Isolated pristine beaches and turquoise waters line the west Sumbawa coast from Taliwang to Sekongkang. Most visitors to Sumbawa race straight to Bima to catch the boats to Komodo and therefore this area has been completely ignored by tourism with the result that the area is a real paradise for outback adventure. But the visitor is not only blessed with countless sparkling bays, the area also comprises of interesting history and traditional art work such as hand loom weaving and rotan crafts. Traditional dances going back to early Arabic influence and pre Islamic graves can add to the West Sumbawan experience.
Sultan Palaces in Sumbawa Besar and Bima, Dutch heritage in Wavo and Sulawesi style weavings in Dompu as well as first class surfing in Dompu and West Sumbawa are other attractions not to be missed.
Parts of Sumbawa Island resemble landscapes of North Australia and explain the Wallace Line such as Lake Taliwang covered with huge lotus flowers. Large herds of water buffaloes can be observed on lonely beaches and shy monkeys play in rain forests.
Home for Komodo ,The Habitats and The Ecosystem
Komodo National Park has widely known with the home of the giant lizard Komodo Dragon - which has just declare to be one of the latest heritage of the world. Komodo National Park is nestled between eastern Sumbawa and western Flores lie three tiny grass-covered islands Komodo, Padar and Rinca, which together form the Komodo National Park, a protected wildlife reserve. This is the home of the giants lizard known as the "Komodo Dragon" it was thought to be a myth until the turn of the century, when fishermen who were forced by a storm to take shelter on Komodo sight the monsters.
Explore the under water live and its ecosystems which has well known as the best diving site in the world. From beautiful coral, reefs, thousands sort of fishes to the crystal water and beautiful beach are await to visit. Komodo dragons live in one of the driest area in Indonesia, where there are few permanent water sources.
This is the world's largest monitor lizard, varanus Komodoensies, when full grown it measures up to 3.13 meters (10feet 2 inches) in length and weight anything up to 165.9kg (365pounds). They are fearsome creatures with enormous jaws, squat muscular legs and sharp claws. Preying on live deer, goats and wild pigs, they lie in wait hidden in the long grass
Young dragons spend most of their time in trees but dragons over 1.5m long can not climb well. Dragons over 2 meters are too heavy to climb trees. The Komodo dragons are constantly regulating their body temperatures. In the early morning, they must warm-up their bodies in the sun. If their body temperature drops too low, the food in their stomach can rot and cause regurgitation or even death. However, the Komodo dragon's body temperature must not exceed 42 degrees celcius (108 degrees Fahrenheit). When it is too hot, they must rest and seek shade to prevent their body from over-heating. Dragons are most active from 6 - 10am in the morning and again from 3 - 5pm in the afternoon. During the rainy season. Komodo dragons stay in burrows if they are too cold. Komodo dragons sleep at night because it is usually too cool for them to be active. They will sleep where they will not loose too much heat at the edge of the savanna and monsoon forest or in burrows. The average sleeping burrow is only 75cm to 1.25m in length. The Komodo dragons will use the burrows of rodents, palm civets, wild board, porcupine (on Flores) and those made by other Komodo dragons. Nesting burrows are about 2 meters long.
Fossils bearing a strong resemblance have been unearths from chalk deposits dating back 130 million years, about the end of the age of Dinosaurs. The few inhabitants dwelling on Komodo today have built their Kampong on stilts right next to the sea, and survive by dishing, as the land is dry and arid, almost impossible to cultivate. The water surroundings the island are rich in colorful corals, fish and shellfish, but there are nazardous rip tides and strong currents which make diving too risk for the novice.
Dolphins, whales and sea turtles are often seen in the straits between the islands, and a rare species of giants seawater crocodile has been sighted on isolated beach.
Adapted From Website : www.korindo-network.com
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