Telaga Raden Bisa - the well that heals

Continuing on my series on the interesting aspects of the places in Brunei - today I will focus on Kampung Tanjung Nangka. And for those who are Brunei-geography challenged, Kampung Tanjung Nangka is just a couple of miles further up from the Jalan Tutong junction to Jerudong which makes it around 19 kilometers from Bandar.

As usual, the kampungs in Brunei either have a few names for it in the past or the kampung itself has many placenames and one got chosen to be the name of the village. I wrote about Kampung Lambak previously which is an example of the latter. Kampung Tanjung Nangka has 3 previous names, none of which survived.

No one really knows the origin of the kampung. When you think about the location of it and the history of Brunei, you will be surprised to actually find people wanting to stay there to begin with in the past. The first of the three names of the Kampung is Kampung Temiang. Temiang is the Brunei word for one of the bamboo species of which a lot of that bamboo grew in the kampung previously. Another name was Kampung Kayu Tinggi which is derived from an extraordinary tall tree around the area. The bark of the tree is said to be coloured red, green and black and of course, no one knows the identity of the tree. The last name is Kampung Binjai Kumit. Binjai is the name of a local fruit, the same family as the mango. In this case, the Binjai tree belonged to a man named Kumit. Again the tree was said to be extraordinary - its fruits nicer, its size bigger and the tree taller than the usual binjai trees.

The final name Kampung Tanjung Nangka was derived from a Nangka Tree found in the area. Again the tree was said to be much bigger than the usual Nangka Tree (it was said that the girth was twice a man's hug), the fruits much bigger and described to be as big as the Chinese salted eggs vase and can weigh as much as 50 katis (30 kg). The tree became so famous that many people around the outlying area came to see it. A few people got attracted to it and decided to stay there in the hope that the area might be lucky for them.

The kampung also has an interesting story about a water well called Telaga Raden Bisa. An orphan family whose mother died soon after giving birth to the youngest child once stayed there. The children were called Raden, Ugang and Musa. One day, while boiling sugarcanes to make sugar, the father found a plant growing in the fire called pohon balik angin which is said to bring fortune to those who owned it. The children divided the various parts of the plant - Raden took the roots, Ugang the stalk and Musa the leaves - and the father suggested that they eat the parts.

When they grew up, Raden became very toxic to other people but not his family. He can poison people by touching them and when he walked, the grass will die. He became known as Raden Bisa. Ugang became a very strong man and Musa became a hardworker and they both left the village to become wealthy. Raden Bisa stayed on to the consternation of the other villagers and they petitioned to the two brothers to ask him to leave the village as he became too toxic to the point that he could no longer even go into the river as the fishes will die. He agreed to leave the village and live in the forest.

In the forest he felt so lonely and asked his brothers to end his life. The brothers complied only after he threatened them. They killed him by spearing him. It was said that his blood trickled into the nearby waterwell. Villagers later discovered that the water from the well now polluted by Raden Bisa's blood instead of becoming poisonous, can heal many illnesses if they bathe and drink the water. The well is still there but you do have to search for it.


Zul-Fadly said…
So this well is in Kg Tanjung Nangka? My future brother-in-law happens to live there. I'll see him later this afternoon to ask him about this Telaga.

Very interesting description this morning Mr BR.

Amaze us some more and Good Morning
Anonymous said…
Really? I live there. How true is this? Plus where is this well? How long ago was this? Or the Nangka tree even. Where is it?

Fact or myth?
Maurina: The tree and the well are facts - I got this story from an interview that the History Centre did as a project way back in the late 1980s. The tree would be towards near the river - there is another long story as to how they discover it so I did not have time to go into it - something about creating a parit to drain the paya and after a while they came back and discover that land or a mound had formed etc and that's when they found the nangka tree. The well is also somewhere near the forested area. If you have time, check out the Brunei History Centre publilcation in the UBD library of around 1990 or 1991. It would have the research that they did inside the publication. Most people who live in Tanjung Nangka are towards Jalan Tutong now.
Anonymous said…
More! More! =D
Anonymous said…
thumb's up
Anonymous said…
Believe it or not......

1. Total World Population: 6.5 Billion

2. Total Muslims in the world : 2 Billion

3. Total Smokers in the world : 1.15 billion

4. Total Muslim smokers in the world :400 million

5. Largest Cigarette maker is Phillip Morris

6. Phillip Morris donates 12% profits to Israel

7. Total Muslim money to Morris $800 million DAILY

8. Average profit margin is 10%

9. Average profit for Morris is $80 million DAILY

10. Thus $9.6 million of Muslim money goes to Israel every single
DAY .......yes DAY!!!

Pass this on to all the Muslims you can and don't help funding the
Jews to kill our brothers.

May ALLAH forgive us all.

Anonymous said…
I wonder if anyone has ever tried drinking the water inside the well ah. Does it really work as a remedy to all illnesses? heee

A very very interesting post.
Me said…
How did that smoking comment come up?? heheh for those of you who want to stop smoking, help is at hand, will be posting leaflets on smoking cessation clinic in brunei. Unfortunately the leaflets are in malay, since the clinics are in Brunei, ad the high number of malay smokers, I think only a handful of people will complain about it written in malay

Interesting to see the Telaga can stop addictions, to smoking and other stuff

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