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"Again a neat clean cheap homestay found: Hotel Melati Victor I. In the middle of the district Cakranegara. Today a day to visit the Mayura water palace and the Negeri Museum. A day of culture and dust because the streets are busier than accustomed to Lombok and dusty. First we walked through the market to Mayura and the Pura Meru and after a sign Nasi Goreng Hong Kong and an hour of rest, we took the taxi to the museum. Although we were the only two visitors there, it was interesting."

Streetview Cakranegara

          Cakranegara is one of the three sister cities of Mataram, Ampenan and Cakranegara. Together they form the capital Mataram of the Nusa Tenggara Barat region, which next to Lombok encompasses the neighboring island of Sumbawa. The city was the royal capital of the island of Lombok during the days of the Balinese Karangasem rulers and therefore has a number of attractions to offer. She does not look as sterile as Mataram, with its representative government buildings and wide streets. Cakranegara is still very old and very busy. The streets are full of small shops and workshops, including many Chinese shops, since the Chinese community has always been very large here.

Cakranegara is still the commercial center of the island. In the rush hour you are in the center of Jakarta, the colorful confusion of people and vehicles of all kinds is intoxicating. If you want to immerse yourself in the culture of Lombok and still want to buy some nice souvenir, you certainly visit the large market (Pasar Besar) of Cakranegara. In addition to many goods and delicious food for the daily needs of the people here are also traditional dishes from Lombok to try and find all kinds of articles of artists and craftsmen.
Such a market is of course a very special destination, because Indonesian markets differ considerably from western shopping centers.


The market

Lombok is known for the production of high-quality hand-woven fabrics. If you want to see how they are produced and painted, you can do that in the large web factory in Jalan Hasanuddin. Ideal is a visit in the morning, because then most looms are in operation. Many of the fabrics are produced for export to Bali and its markets. There are also markets for pottery and all kinds of handicrafts in Cakranegara.

The main attraction of Cakranegara is definitely the Mayura Water Palace . It consists of an artificial lotus pond with an open pavilion in the middle. The palace was founded in 1744 by the Balinese rulers in Lombok as the seat of government. During several battles, when the Dutch conquered Lombok, many of the buildings were destroyed, but today the palace is again a place of rest and relaxation and still an impressive testimony to the former power of the Hindu monarchs.

Pura Meru

Right next to the Mayura Water Palace in Jalan Selaparang is the largest Hindu temple in Lombok, the Pura Meru . As the name implies, it is the Meru's (towers), the towers have several floors, which make the temple visible from afar. In addition to 31 smaller temples on the site are three 9-storey Merus, devoted to the Trinity Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma Trinity. The Pujawali festival takes place here every year. It takes five days and is the largest Balinese-Hindu festival on Lombok with countless visitors from Lombok and of course from Bali.

If you continue to follow the Jalan Hasanuddin from the main market, you will first enter the old cattle market in the city. If you turn right just before you reach the racetrack. Horse racing takes place here on Sundays and public holidays, with the jockeys having to be younger than 12 years. Equipped with helmet and glasses, the young riders perform fierce races, accompanied by the cheers and the extensive betting of the spectators.

Also very worthwhile is the area of the blacksmith, who is in a different direction on the way to Lembar. The craftsmen still work with open fires, which are heated with primal bellows. They mainly produce agricultural machinery and often use old car parts and other scrap. All in all, Cakranegara is certainly one of the most exciting cities in Lombok and one or two days can be spent very well.





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