Lombok in Indonesia is famous for its beaches, volcano and varied landscape. Read further for information on Lombok Island.
Lombok Island in Indonesia - Though less developed than Bali, in recent years Lombok has given Bali a run for its money in the realm of tourism. Lombok has wonderful beaches, volcano and varied landscape. It is an ideal place for those looking for a private holiday away from the hustle and bustle of a normal tourist spot.
History of Lombok
The earliest recorded society on Lombok was the relatively small kingdom of the Sasak. The Sasak people were agriculturalists and animists who practised ancestor and spirit worship. The original Sasak are believed to have come overland from northwestern India or Myanmar (Burma) in waves of migration that predated most Indonesian ethnic groups. Not much is known about Lombok before the 17th century, at which time it was split into four regions; Pagasangan, Pagutan, Mataram and Cakranegara, each ruled by a Sasak king. This disunity was exploited by the neighboring Balinese. Balinese princes ruled Lombok from the mid-18th century until the 1890s, when the Dutch sided with the Sasaks and defeated the Balinese in bloody battles. Under Dutch rule, the eastern islands of Indonesia were grouped together as the Lesser Sunda Islands, administered from Singaraja, Bali. When Sukarno proclaimed Indonesia's independence on 17 August 1945, the Lesser Sunda Islands were formed into the single province of Nusa Tenggara. In 1958, the province was divided into three separate regions - Bali, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara.
Climate of Lombok
Lombok has tropical climate with average temperature ranging between 28°C and 34°C. There are two main seasons: wet (from October to April) and dry (from May to September). Humidity is high throughout the year.
Best Time to Visit Lombok
The best time to visit Lombok is surprisingly during the rainy season (October - April) when humidity decreases and the landscape is lush and green. The dry season (May-September) can be particularly hot and dusty.
Lombok Tourist Attractions
Gili Islands: These small coral-fringed islands are famous for their white sandy beaches and are an ideal place for those interested in sun and sand. The place also offer wonderful opportunities for snorkeling. The absence of automobiles and hawkers add to the pleasure.
Kuta: Kuta is an upcoming beach resort of Lombok. The place offers quiet and laidback atmosphere to the tourists.
Museum Negeri Nusa Tenggara Barat: This modern museum has exhibits on the geology, history and culture of Lombok and Sumbawa, and is worth visiting. If you intend to buy any antiques or handicrafts, have a look at the daggers, silver or gold-threaded cloth, basket ware and masks.
Pura Lingsar: Located 6 km east of Mataram-the capital of Lombok-this large temple complex, built in 1714, is the holiest place on Lombok. The temple combines the Balinese Hindu and Wektu Telu religions in one complex. The Hindu temple in the northern section is higher than the Wektu Telu temple in the southern section. It's an especially fascinating place for those interested in Wektu Telu, Lombok's indigenous religion.
Taman Narmada: Laid out as a miniature replica of the summit of Gunung Rinjani and its crater lake, Taman Narmada derives its name from the sacred Indian river, Narmada. Its temple, Pura Kalasa, is still used and the Balinese Pujawali celebration is held here annually.
Rinjani: Rinjani, the highest mountain in Lombok at 3,726m, is an active volcano. The volcano is a popular destination for hikers and treks to the caldera are common. The hot springs located on the northeastern side of the caldera are thought to have amazing healing powers.
Senggigi: Senggigi is the most developed tourist spot on Lombok. It has beautiful beaches and good snorkeling facilities.
Shopping in Lombok
Intricate palm-leaf wedding trunks and armoires with mother-of-pearl inlays is one of the favorite shopping items in Lombok. Bone, wood, and bamboo are good buys, along with ikat and songket, a fabric with silver and gold thread running through it that was traditionally used for sarongs worn by royalty.
How to Reach Lombok
Mataram is the capital city of Lombok, and is served by an International airport. It is also possible to reach Lombok by ferry from neighbouring Bali.