The tiny hamlet of Talwa is renowned for its traditional blacksmithing skills. The men of the hamlet supplement their farming income by producing a range of practical implements such as machetes, knives, hoes and spades. Located in Leseng Village, Upper Moy District about 14kms south of Sumbawa Besar, just off the Trans-Sumbawa Highway, spending an hour or two watching the blacksmiths at work makes an interesting stopover.
Temang Dongan Megalithic Site
Hidden between two ridges in the Temang Dongan mountains west of Sumbawa Besar, lies a fascinating archeological mystery; six ancient stone Sarcophagus scattered across three different sites. No one really knows what the origins of the sarcophagus are but according to local legend thy are relics of the ancient kingdom of Dongan who occupied the mountain region. Upon death, the body was entombed in large boulders engraved with human faces and animals. Despite being left to the elements for thousands of years, some of the reliefs are still quite discernible. One quite large sarcophagus bearing a human face has been dubbed “Batu Babung” by the locals, meaning “Doll Stone.”
Access to Temang Dongan is via Pungkit village, about a 1 hours drive from Sumbawa Besar. It takes 1-2 hours to trek around all three sites and reach the top of Temang Dongan mountain. You’ll need to engage a guide from the village to show you to the sites as the mountains are crisscrossed with paths and some of the sites are quite overgrown and easy to miss. Alternatively, there are a handful of Sumbawa based tour companies that can organise the outing for you.
Raboran Megalithic Tombs
The Raboran megalithic tombs are located in the tiny hamlet of Raboran, 4km from Sebasang village and only a short 15min drive from Batu Tering. The two sarcophagus are found on a rocky hill, carefully nurtured by the old widow living in a simple wooden hut adjacent to the site. These sarcophagus have no engravings or cupola.
Tarakin Megalithic Tombs
26km further to the west of the Raboran site and a 1 hour drive over bad roads, Tarakin megalithic tombs site is a bit out of the way. But if you’re really into your archaeology, it could be well worth the effort to visit. There are two tomb sites located in Tarakin mountains at Kuang Amo hamlet near Sempe Village. The first site contains 6 sarcophagus in the form of a square stone slab decorated with human, deer and dog etchings. A kilometre away, the second site has only one sarcophagus with deer and dog reliefs.
Like Tarakin, the Lutuk Peti tomb site is also located near Kuang Amo hamlet but can only be reached by a 2hr trek northwest of the settlement. The sarcophagus here are located adjacent to a ridge at the top of a hill. Engraved with a human face, these tombs have been estimated to be 2,500 years old.