In fact, the Nature Park of Bukit Sari located at Sangeh village, Badung, or about 20 km north of Denpasar, retains a mystery. The nutmeg forest flourishingly grows in the forest area of 14 acres with approximately 700 inhabitants of monkey has a unique story and is considered to be haunted. Indeed, the nutmeg trees dominate the vegetation in the forest. This kind of plant species is estimated to have reached hundreds of years old. Even, there is a tree of 350 year old. On that account, local people really respect and do not dare to cut down the rare tree.
According to Operations Manager of Bukit Sari Sangeh, I Made Sumohon, the nutmeg forest at Sangeh was quite unique. It was said that long time ago there was a plan on the making of recreational park in the Mengwi Kingdom. To beautify the park, some nutmeg trees were brought in from Mount Agung. To hide and avoid from being known by people, removal of the trees was executed at night when people were sleeping soundly. However, there were still people who encountered the trees. As a result, the nutmeg trees stopped in the region where it is then the so-called Sangeh. In Balinese language, sang means ‘people’ and ngeh means ‘to see.’
The nutmeg trees grow very beautifully and straightly, while the timber has good quality for building material. Many people try to plant the tree elsewhere, but their effort always failed. “We’ve done the development of nutmeg tree by planting its seedlings but failed. The tree will not grow outside this Sangeh forest area,” said Sumohon.
Sumohon then recounted a strange incident occurred about two years ago. An old enough and brittle nutmeg tree whose condition curved over the Bukit Sari Temple. Due to its old age, many people worried if the tree would topple over the temple building so local people wanted to cut it down. “But, no one dared for fear of getting bad luck,” he said.A few months later, the tree fell down by itself towards the southwest. Surprisingly, the tree should fall down exactly at the main temple building, but in reality it fell down toward a vacant place.
In the eastern part of the forest area grows a milkwood pine tree known as the Lanang-Wadon (male-female) tree. It is named so because the lower part of the tree is hollow so as to resemble female genitalia. While in the middle of the hole grows a rod downward looking like male genitalia.
The tree grows right in front yard of the Sangeh tourist area. In Bali, this milkwood pine tree has many privileges because its timber is often taken advantage to create a mask of sanctified effigies, sacred objects. People asking for this milkwood pine tree should seek an auspicious day based on Balinese almanac. Then, the request must also be accompanied with offerings as a means of asking permission. (BTN/015)