Lombok and Its History
In the early 17th century, Lombok’s Sasak princedoms were seized by the Balinese who took control of western Lombok, and the Makassars’ who invaded eastern Lombok. By 1750 the whole island was in Balinese hands. In western Lombok, relations between the Balinese and the Sasak people were relatively harmonious, but in the eastern Lombok, the Balinese had to be cautious and farmers’ rebellions were common.
The Dutch intervened in the late of 19th century. The Balinese were driven out after a series of bloody fights and Lombok became a part of a group island called Lesser Sunda Islands. At the time, people were preferred to suicide rather than surrender at the hands of the Dutch (perang puputan).
Even after Indonesian independence, Lombok continued to be dominated by its Balinese and Sasak elite. In 1958, Lombok became part of the new province of West Nusa Tenggara, and Mataram became its administrative capital.
Tourism took off in the 1980s but was mostly developed by outside investors. As Indonesia descended into economic crisis and political turmoil in the late of 90s, Lombok began to feel the pinch.
Nowadays, Lombok’s tourism potential remains strong. Considered a safe and stable travel destination, Lombok relished the significant increase in tourists’ arrival.
Lombok, an island with exquisite white sand beaches, epic surf, a lush forested interior, and hiking trails through tobacco and rice fields. Besides, Lombok also offers visitors many charms, including its culture that is reflected through the work of the artists. Once satisfied by the nature, spend your day to explore hard-crafted wooden face masks and jewelry, colorful plates and beautifully carved wooden gecko lizards in Lombok Handicraft Centre.
Moreover, sharpen your bargain skill in the Art Market (Pasar Seni) just minutes away from the Hotel where local textiles (sarong, woven fabric, t-shirts) and handicraft. Need some more? Satisfy your shopping desire in some modern shopping centers (Lombok Epicentrum Mall, Lombok City Center, Mataram Mall) where you can find wide variety of fashion, shoes, electronics, sporting goods, cafes, food outlets, etc.
Conceive Lombok heritage at the State Museum of West Nusa Tenggara (Museum NTB) that is housing an impressive collection of geological exhibits, historical artefacts and cultural treasures from both Lombok and Sumbawa. This museum is also referred to as the Lombok Art Museum, since it features such an extensive collection of decorative arts.
Furthermore, catch various religious places, such as Pura Batu Bolong, Pura Mayura, Pura Meru, Pura Lingsar, Pura Narmada, as well as the Islamic Center in the downtown to explore more about the religious view and activities of people in Lombok. At the stated places, you may find some vibrant ceremonies and feel the sacred atmospheres at a time.