It has been touched upon earlier that the founder of Singasari Kingdom was Ken Arok. Ken Arok came from common people, his parents were farmers at Pungkur village. Before becoming the ruler of Singasari, he had lived a complex life.
In the book Pararaton it was told that when he was a baby, he had been thrown away by his mother. Then a robber found him, took care of him, and educated him. No wonder, Ken Arok grew up as a brave, adventurous man who loved fighting.
Later on, he was adopted by brahmana named Lohgawe. From this brahmana, he received religious education and various skills. In Addition, the honorable position of his foster father made him interesting to many parties, including Tunggul Ametung the Regent of Tumapel, who appointed him one of his guards.
As a guard, he was often assigned to escort Ken Dedes, the wife of Tunggul Ametung. Attracted by the beauty of Ken Dedes, he wanted to marry her. However, he had to kill out his plan, he then ordered a keris from a well-known keris maker, Empu Gandring.
In Pararaton, it was mentioned that Empu Gandring was killed with the keris ordered by Ken Arok. Before he died, he pronounced a curse that several kings would be killed by the keris.
Ken Arok lent the keris made by Empu Gandring to his close friend, Kebo Ijo, before Ken Arok used it to kill Tunggul Ametung one evening.
In the trial, the judge accused Kebo Ijo of the killer because the keris that had killed Tunggul Ametung were the keris that Kebo Ijo often wore. Kebo Ijo was finally to death.
After the death of Tunggul Ametung, Ken Arok replaced him as the ruler of Tumapel, and he also married Ken Dedes. The title he used as the ruler of Tumapel was Sang Amurwabumi.
When Ken Dedes was married to Ken Arok, she was 3 months pregnant with Tunggul Ametung’s baby. When it was born, the baby was named Anusapati. From Ken Dedes, Ken Arok got four children, one of them was Mahisa Wong Ateleng.
From another wife, Ken Umang, Ken Arok got three sons and a daughter, one of the sons was named Tohjaya.
After being the regent of Tumapel for a considerably long time, Ken Arok was visited by some brahmana from Daha. They asked him to protect them from the king of Daha.
The brahmana then crowned Ken Arok as the king of Tumapel and gave him the title Sri Rajasa Sang Amurwabhumi. Not long after that, he attacked Daha which was ruled by King Dandang Gendis. In the battle near Ganter, Ken Arok defeated Dandang Gendis and his troops. The whole Daha was then controlled by Ken Arok.
It is stated in the book Pararaton that after Ken Arok was crowned as the king of Singasari, the people who had been meritorious to him during his hardship were given privileges and freed and from certain duties.
Read also: Anusapati and Tohjaya in history