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Kertha Gosa the Palace of Justice

kerthagosa palace of justice
The Kertha Gosa pavilion is an example of Balinese architecture located on the island of Bali, in the city Klungkung, Indonesia.

The Kertha Gosa Pavilion at Klungkung Palace was first built in the early 18th century by Dewa Agung Gusti Sideman. The first function of the pavilion was for the court of law in 1945.

Kertha Gosa was repainted in the 1920s and again in the 1960s.

BALI ANJANI VACATIONS provides accommodations, hotels, villas, Tour Packages and General Information for your holiday in Bali and Beyond

kertha gosa klungkung

The people who discovered the pavilion knew there was an extensive history behind the pavilion. The discovery of Kertha Gosa pavilion was only known by people writing about it here or there to others outside of Bali.

The Kertha Gosa Pavilion has the story of Bhima Swarga painted around the ceiling. Bhima Swarga is a Hindu epic referenced form the Mahabharata. The story at the Kertha Gosa Pavilion is not the whole Mahabharata but one small section called Bhima Swarga.

Kertha Gosa means ‘the place where the king meets with his ministries to discuss questions of justice’. The story of Bhima Swarga is elaborate and all-embracing. Bhima Swarga in Balinese means ‘Bhima goes to the abode of the gods’. Swarga literally means to any place where the gods happen to reside, Heaven or Hell.

Bhima, the second oldest of the five Pandava brothers, is forced by his mother Kunti with the mission to rescue from Hell the souls of his earthly father Pandu, and his second mother, Madri. After saving Pandu and Madri from Hell, Bhima must secure them for Heaven. Throughout Bhima’s journey to Heaven and Hell he is accompanied by his two loyal servants (the clown characters). These made up characters are highly important to the story Bhima Swarga because the ordinary Balinese can relate to the characters in the story Bhima Swarga because the characters represent ordinary Bali.

The ceiling of Kertha Gosa is painted in a traditional Balinese style called wayang, meaning ‘shadow figure’. Paintings in the wayang style are related closely to shadow theatre art, relating to the Mahabharata and Ramayana stories. Wayang style paintings have been faithfully preserved that it continues today to reflect Bali’s Hindu-Javanese heritage in its traditional iconography and content. Iconography was used a lot in Bali’s culture. Iconoclasm is used because the Balinese people wanted to represent living things through pictures and shadows; it was prohibited to represent any living entity.

The Bhima Swarga painting in the Kertha Gosa Pavilion is a moral epic, depicting wisdom and perseverance and the ultimate virtue over vice. Today huge audiences listen to the epic just as it was hundreds of years ago. It is said, “He who with fervid devotion listens to a recitation of the Mahabharata attains to high success in consequence of the merit that becomes his thorough understanding even a very small portion thereof. All the sins of that man who recites or listens to this history with devotion are washed off.”

Dewa Agung Gusti Sideman took greatness in supervising the design and construction of his palace in Klungkung - an example of Hindu-Balinese architecture. Kertha Gosa architecture took shape of a mandala - a Buddhist influence domed-mountain shape. Mandalas help people further their enlightenment; pure forces of good come from a mountain.

Kertha Gosa’s first major function pertained to court of law and justice. The Kertha Gosa pavilion was the meeting place for the raja (Hindu prince) and Brahman judges (Kerthas) to discuss issues of law and human affairs. Whether or not the king instructed his court painters to decorate the ceiling at the time Kertha Gosa was built is impossible to know.

Moreover, it is impossible to know whether or not the story of Bhima Swarga was the first painting in the pavilion. The earliest and only record of paintings at Kertha Gosa dates from the year 1842 and is written in a lontar book (a book that holds prayers, history of Bali, and epics).

Also it is not documented whether the paintings were a permanent feature of the pavilion or if it was for a temporary reason of celebration. It is possible that the raja might have wanted the story of Bhima Swarga since it deals with moral and social questions and with justice in general. These paintings furthermore, have been supervised by I Gde Modara, the most important painter at the court of Klungkung during this period.

Dewa Agung Gusta Sideman ruled until 1775; he was succeeded by his son, then by his grandson, and his line of descendents continued to reign until the beginning of the 20th century.

In 1908, the Dutch attacked Klungkung, and fire broke out in the royal area. To this day it is said that the fire was started not by the Dutch but by the local people because they were confused with the condition of their society and were rebelling against the raja.

Klungkung was the last Balinese kingdom to fall. In 1909 Kertha Gosa became the official court of Justice for the region of Klungkung. Klungkung had been a unique service to justice; utilizing Kertha Gosa as a court of law - the story of Bhima Swarga played a significant role in aiding justice. Those who had broken the law therefore had been tried. The accused knelt before the dreadful punishments (painting of the story Bhima Swarga) depicted on the ceiling. But if the accused looked higher above the horror of Hell and looked to the panels of Heaven he could find consolation.

In 1960 the entire ceiling at Kertha Gosa was replaced (latest renovation) and new paintings were made, still depicting the story of Bhima Swarga but adding a greater deal of detail. In 1982 eight panels were replaced. The quality of the new paintings was substandard to those from 1960; the colors were subdued.

Until 1982 a visitor could enter Kertha Gosa, but now one must pay an entrance fee. The pavilion floor is surrounded by a wooden fence so that visitors cannot go to the center to look up at the ceiling paintings but can see them only from along the sides.

Kertha Gosa is the most complete example of Balinese art and culture. The most fascinating of all is the painted ceiling in Kertha Gosa symbolizing afterlife.

More Info :
Find Kertha Gosa location on Google Map
Kertha Gosa Gallery Photo
Program to visit Kertha Gosa : Full Day Besakih Tour
Program to visit Kertha Gosa : Full Day Karangasem Tour
Program to visit Kertha Gosa : Tour Around Bali Package
Place of Interest to visit Bali


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MAS Village the center of wood carved

mas center of wood carved
The Village of Mas is located very close to Ubud and is therefore of a similar landscape, but Mas is not as developed in to the tourism market as Ubud and retains a traditional charm and feel.

Mas village is famous in Bali as being one of the main arts and crafts villages on the island. Where Ubud is the village of the painters, Mas is the village of the carvers where some of the most incredible woodcarvings are produced and have been produced for hundreds of years.

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wood carved artist

Carvings range from very small pieces that can be perfect gives up to larger ornaments and furniture and on to incredible elaborate pieces that can be as large as 25 square meters and even more such as murals ad great door arches that are traditionally reserved for temples and stately homes of the Balinese Royalty and wealthy.

Mas is located in the same area as Ubud and therefore it can be included as part of a Ubud holiday and is a wonderful place to drop by at and look round the markets and take in the beauty and quiet that the village Mas entails.

This village is located at around and hour and a half’s drive from the international Airport and is easily accessible from the south of Bali using the By-pass road that leads through Sanur.

Mas is located in the highlands and hill that lead up towards the mountains of the central of Bali and has some of the most amazing views of the island with many large and steep rice padi terraces and tropical woodlands that extend down towards the plains of the south, when looking north the huge impressive mountains are more prominent than anywhere else on the island, this scenery coupled with the incredible culture of the area and low tourist presence makes for an ideal location to take some time out and there are some amazing traditional bungalows that extend into the 5 star class to do this from.

The carving of Mas first began when the Royal Balinese families moved into Ubud and those who seeked work with them tried to offer to sell them goods. The royals then only started to buy and do business with the very best carvers from Mas and the best painters of Ubud and soon all of the islands best craftsmen moved to their prospective villages creating subcultures orientated around there talents.

The carvings themselves differ between representations of the Balinese people often as farmers and in situations that the average Balinese worker can relate to, to amazing decorative carvings for the rich and then also some legends, myths representations of aspects of the Balinese religions and the stories that they entail.

Today there is much to see and enjoy and many surrounding areas of interest in Mas and it can be worth staying to enjoy this area without the crowds on your doorstep. Whether you are an art lover or a couple looking to some time out, Mas will provide.

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Goa Lawah the Holy Bat Cave

goa lawah
Pura Goa Lawah or Bat Cave Temple lies just three km northeast of Kusamba harbor and 9 km east of Klungkung on the left side of dramatic road paralleling the sea with uninterrupted views of sea and Nusa Penida.

As its name suggests Pura Goa Lawah houses a holy cave begins at the foot of rocky cliff and is said to extend all the way to the base of Mount Agung.

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goa lawah

Oral tradition says the cave leads to Pura Goa (cave temple) within the Besakih temple complex some 30 km away. A tale is told how a prince of Mengwi actually entered the sacred cave to prove that he was the rightful descendent of Mengwi King, and emerged at Besakih, but his feat was never duplicated – entering the cave is now forbidden.

The ceiling is alive with thousands of fluttering, squawking, vibrating, long nose fruit bats. The wheeling, squealing bats are drawn again and again into the deep and dusky cavern; the noise is deafening but the sight is awesome. A thick layer of slippery, sickly sweet bat droppings carpets the cave floor, through which bat-gorged pythons ooze in a state of surfeit. Lizards are crawling free in this cave and temple completely ignored by the passing pilgrims and visitors.

Bat excrements also cover the majestically black shrines of Pura Goa Lawah guarding the cave entrance.

This sacred temple was founded in 1007 by the holy Sage from Java, Mpu Kuturan. The temple is one of Sad Kahyangan (six great temples of Bali).

The temple and the cave is an obligatory site of Nyekah (deification of the deceased family member soul) pilgrimage. Balinese believe the cave harbors an enormous dragon, Naga Basuki, the mythical serpent of universe and the caretaker of the earth’s equilibrium.

More Info :
Find Goa Lawah location on Google Map
Goa Lawah Gallery Photo
Program to visit Goa Lawah : Full Day Karangasem Tour
Program to visit Goa Lawah : Full Day  Besakih Tour
Program to visit Goa Lawah : Tour Around Bali Package
Place of Interest to visit Bali


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Tegalalang Rice Terrace

tegalalang rice terrace
Tegalalang rice terrace village is located on the north-south road from Kintamani and Ubud.

Various woodcarvings can be found in this village and its neighbors. Very colorful carvings of flowers, animals and other designs are displayed along the road, and of course a beautiful rice field

Tegallalang rice terraces village have beautiful view with coconut trees and beautiful small river valley. The village well known with the village of handicrafts centre especially for wholesale and export, a long of the road you will see a lot of the shops; they sell variety of painted woodcarving with colorful designed. The painted woodcarving products they sell made from very light wood with reasonable price, they do sell their handicrafts for retail too.

BALI ANJANI VACATIONS provides accommodations, hotels, villas, Tour Packages and General Information for your holiday in Bali and Beyond

rice terrace tegalalang

Tegalalang village is famous with rice terrace, but now on the way go to Tegalalang village both side of the road you find many shops with selling woodcarving. The first example of Balinese landscape is the rice-field. This is a typical scene in Bali. The terraced rice-field is typical of the beauty of the Balinese countryside

Note the harmony of colors, the vivid green of the coconut groves and the pale blue of the sky. Wet rice agriculture (sawah) is the basic and most important activity of Balinese life; Rice is the major crop and the staple food.

During the growth period of the rice, the fields are periodic flooded. The Subak or irrigation cooperatives, regulate the allow of water and maintenance of irrigation networks. The water from single dam may be divided into douses and even hundreds of channel to irrigate the terraced Sawah, note how many-terraced field are served by this one particular manual serves.

More Info :
Find Tegalalang village location on Google Map
Tegalalang Village Gallery Photo
Program to visit Tegalalang Village : Full Day Kintamani Tour
Program to visit Tegalalang Village : Half Day Ubud Tour
Program to visit Tegalalang Village : Tour Around Bali Package
Place of Interest to visit Bali


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Goa Gajah the Elephant Cave

goa gajah elephant cave
Goa Gajah the holy elephant cave is located in west side of Bedulu countryside, Blah Batuh Sub-district and Gianyar Regency. It is about 27 km from Denpasar town.

This cave is built at crevasse edge from the federation of 2 rills that is called Pangkung River, where the irrigation is mixed with Petanu River flow. The federation area of two rivers is called Campuhan. It owns the magical energy on the basis of Rwabineda concept (two different matters) on this basic concept hence Goa Gajah (elephant cave) is intentionally built among two rivers.

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pura gua gajah

At the facade of the cave is a relief of various menacing creatures and demons carved right into the rock at the cave entrance. The primary figure was once thought to be an elephant, hence the nickname Elephant Cave. The site is mentioned in the Javanese poem Desawarnana written in 1365. An extensive bathing place on the site was not excavated until the 1950s. These appear to have been built to ward off evil spirits.

The word of Goa Gajah is anticipated coming from the word of Lwa Gajah, the name of Buddhist Temple or hermitage for Buddhist monk. The Goa Gajah's name is written on Negara Kertagama papyrus which is compiled by Mpu Prapanca on 1365 M.

Lwa or Lwah/loh means the river, and it reflect to the meaning that the hermitage is located at Gajah River or in Air Gajah.

In the year inscription 944 Saka, it is mentioned with the name of ‘ser ring Air Gajah' that is meaning the Subak leader in Air Gajah. The word has mentioned that the hermitage of Lwa Gajah is located in Subak Air Gajah.

There is a relief which is almost looking like the form of mountain on the entrance of this cave. It was carved many designed on the relief like grove with the stick, close leaf, animal for example forest pig, tortoise and specters.

The cave mouth is decorated by the bas-relief with the eye turn around to the right or west side.

There is an article letter of Kediri type from the early of 11 century was written on the wall left side or east side.

There is a pool (Patirthaan) as a place to take the holy Tirtha water for Hindu ceremony which is located in the middle of the cave courtyard. This Holy Pool is previously piled up by land and it has been found on 1954 by Krijgsman from the Ancient Department. The Holy pool is equipped by the statue douche which is parallel arranged in two groups.

This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on October 19, 1995 in the Cultural category.

More Info :
Find Goa Gajah location on Google Map
Goa Gajah Gallery Photo
Program to visit Goa Gajah : Full Day Kintamani Tour
Program to visit Goa Gajah : Half Day Ubud Tour
Program to visit Goa Gajah : Tour Around Bali Package
Place of Interest to visit Bali


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Gitgit Waterfall

gitgit waterfall
Gitgit Waterfall is one of the famous tourist destinations in Bali which is located in Gitgit countryside, Sukasada sub-district and about 10 Km from Singaraja (north part of Bali) or about 70 Km from Denpasar. 

Located in the plateau area with the height about 35 meters and it is surrounded by tropical tree and emits the constantly natural water debit during the year.

It is set at height land about 300 meters above sea level.

BALI ANJANI VACATIONS provides accommodations, hotels, villas, Tour Packages and General Information for your holiday in Bali and Beyond

gitgit waterfall

Waterfall voice around the charming nature was amazing and it was the separate attraction which can be enjoyed by each visitor who comes to visit. There are some plantations protecting the rain forest around the waterfall and in this place we often met the wild monkey to get the water from this waterfall.

The facilities are available at Gitgit Waterfall is consisted of the parking area, restaurant and art shop. It is not far from the waterfall place, there is a place for taking a rest while enjoy the beauty panorama of rice terrace and Buleleng Beach.

In order to visit the Gitgit waterfall, all visitors will follow the walkway down until the spot point. This road is one of the omissions in Dutch era where the local resident uses it to access other regions. On 1975, this waterfall is opened as tourist destinations in north part of Bali. Since it is appointed as a tourist destination in Bali, many tourists from domestic and foreign countries visits this waterfall.

Beside of Gitgit, there is another important spot point like the monument for hero struggle of Singaraja resident who dead on the battle against the Dutch colonialist. This monument is called Bhuwana Pangkung Bangka. This Monument is extant monument and idol of people struggle action against the Dutch colonization.

This monument is located in Gitgit countryside and Sukasada sub-district and about 17 Km from Singaraja Town . It is situated on the hill bank.

More Info :
Find Gitgit Waterfall location on Google Map
Gitgit Waterfall Gallery Photo
Program to visit Gitgit Waterfall : Full Day Singaraja Tour
Program to visit Gitgit Waterfall : Tour Around Bali Package
Place of Interest to visit Bali


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Traditional Architecture in Bali

bali traditional house
Traditional architecture in Bali derives from two sources. One is the great Hindu tradition brought to the island from India via Java. The second is an indigenous architecture pre-dating the Hindu epic and in many ways reminiscent of Polynesian building.

Even the Balinese temple, it has been noted, is surrounded by a stone wall dividing its sacred precincts from the village very much like Hawaiian and Tahitian places of worship.

BALI ANJANI VACATIONS provides accommodations, hotels, villas, Tour Packages and General Information for your holiday in Bali and Beyond

balinese traditional house

Balinese temples are wonderful places. Typically divided into three parts, one inevitably passes through a split gate or Candi Bentar to enter the first courtyard. Here a second gate rising high with the grinning face of a guardian demon leads to the second division. Inside there are numerous pavilions used for various purposes. In the final courtyard one may find the meru pagoda which may have as many as eleven roofs if the owner or temple is important enough.

The black thatch is from the sugar palm and can only be used in temples. There will also stand numerous sanggah or spirit houses and pedestals which will be full of offerings on ritual days. Everywhere carving in brick, volcanic stone and wood will be apparent. All are ringed by walls.

The Balinese have always spent a great deal of energy and money on their temples for it is the duty to repay the ancestors for the prosperity they have brought for their progeny.

Balinese royalty has always felt it imperative that they demonstrate their prosperity and standing by building magnificent palaces also surrounded by thick walls of brick and stone. The carved wooden doors of these palaces are especially famous of their beauty.

The teak doors of the main palace of Denpasar were so large that they required forty porters to drag them from the capital 7 kilometers to Sanur beach. In the palaces bright colors and gold leaf abound for the display of opulence in even the smallest and most insignificant of details is deemed proof of nobility.

Unlike Europe, Balinese palaces are not single huge buildings but rather a collection of numerous structures each with a special function such as the bale gede, an open pavilion of 12 columns, where the oldest male of the family sleeps.

During important ceremonies - like tooth filing - this will serve as a place to commune with the ancestors and gods who descend from the heavens to partake of the many offerings placed on the beds. As in the temple the four directions of the Balinese compass are critical in determining the lay-out and positioning of buildings.

There is a developed Balinese science of geomancy written in the ancient paling leaf manuscripts. This is known as Kosala-kosali. Through it we can determine the best place to locate a kitchen for instance. Oftentimes when a family is suffering bad luck or misfortune, the first place the balian or witch doctor will look for is any unwitting violations of the Balinese laws of building. The science of building is held to be a sacred knowledge and traditional Balinese architects who might also be rice farmers were known by the distinguished title of undagi.

Another large and important structure is the wantilan or so called cock fighting arena. It is called this because at one time cock fights were frequently held here. It is found near the palace and central market in every traditional village. Nearby stands a kul-kul or slit drum tower to call the members of the village together for meetings. The wantilan is also commonly used for performances. Once built entirely of wood most are made of re-enforced concrete today. The traditional wantilan has also inspired the shapes and forms of many hotels and houses such as the Amandari.

Aside from the rich ornamentation of the temples and palaces, the everyday structures of the average Balinese are as beautiful and elegant as any. Using such natural materials as thatch roofing, bamboo poles, woven bamboo, coconut wood, mud and stone they are organic statements in complete harmony with the environment. Many of these are temporary such as the offering houses set up before harvest in the rice fields.

Others use trees that will actually keep on growing as the bamboo rots and returns to the mother earth. The Balinese have always been particularly adept using the bamboo and behind every Balinese house one can find at least one stand of bamboo.

The introduction of cement and other modern materials and the rapid growth of hotels, galleries and new homes have produced mixed results. The opulence and ornamentation of many new hotels are often breath taking. Nowhere else in the world would such wood carvings and stone work be possible. Still the line between kitsch and a good taste is narrow and too often people have failed to appreciate the essence of Balinese architecture that in many cases has become an amazing parody of itself. One hopes that in the future more attention will be paid to resorts like the Amandari and Four Seasons Resort in Jimbaran, who have modified traditional Balinese architecture without tainting its integrity.

For those wishing to build their fantasy home in Bali - the opportunity to create a residence that you could never afford elsewhere is very attractive. Remember though that it is not as simple as it may seem.

If you have love, dedication and a great deal of patience though you might find your lovely new home on the cover of House and Garden or Architectural Digest in the near future. For those truly interested in Balinese architecture, a visit to the Bali Museum in Denpasar is a must. There you will not only find many old traditional buildings but also information as to the local styles, of which there are many. Also if you would like to take a piece of tradition back with you there are numerous traditional rice barns, the original knock down building, available for sale for extremely reasonable prices.

More Info :
Program to visit Bali traditional house : Full Day Kintamani Tour
Program to visit Bali traditional house : Half Day Ubud Tour
Program to visit Bali traditional house : Tour Around Bali Package
Place of Interest to visit Bali


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Alas Kedaton Holy Monkey Forest

monkey alas kedaton
Alas Kedaton is a small forest with the width about 6-7 ha, located in the middle of the rice field in Kukuh countryside, Marga Sub-district, Tabanan Regency, west part of Bali.

The total size of this forest, temple and its supporter facility is about 12 ha.

On the way go to this tourist place, we will see the beautiful nature view where in front of us will meet the carpet of rice field and irrigation voice at the side of road to bear the impression/peaceful atmosphere.

BALI ANJANI VACATIONS provides accommodations, hotels, villas, Tour Packages and General Information for your holiday in Bali and Beyond

In this forest, there is a temple called Alas Kedaton Temple and owns the natural environments that is looked green with its fresh air and create the calm, quite and holy atmosphere.

Alas Kedaton Temple have three yard that are external yard, middle and center yard. In the center and middle yard are encircled by wall and the outside yard is representing a open yard. The interesting point of this temple is the inside yard representing holy yard, its situation lower than the middle yard.

This thing is different compare with the general temples in Bali that are more goes to inside the temple, the more higher the place will be. Beside of that another interesting point of this temple owns four entrances.

The monkeys in Alas Kedaton are very tame and free gallivanting in temple yard, so that the calm atmosphere is sometime solved by noise voice of the monkey, which are playing around and scrambling of food.

The monkeys who dwell in this forest, there are jump up and down in temple wall, take a bath in moat or there is also hang out in few leaves representing impression view. The monkey like as custodian of temple, which are always ready to greet all visitor who are paying a visit to this place.

Beside monkeys, in Kedaton forest also can be met the bats and some other animals. At least 24 types of grove plant have been identified in Alas Kedaton.

The temple ceremony in alas Kedaton temple is carried out every 210 days a year. It is on Anggarakasih Medangsia (Balinese Hindu Calendar) or on every Tuesday where on that time the society do the worship or pray to request the safety and prosperity.

The unique in this ceremony is do not use the fire and do not hence Penjor and also finished before the sunset or before the night is come.

In growth of handling of this tourist destination, Alas Kedaton has several become a training location about tourism nature, environmental handling and agro tourism. Alas Kedaton is many visited by the tourist from local and foreign countries which are generally a lot of paying a visit on August, December until January, while the local tourist generally pay a visit on holiday season and feast day of Ramadan (Moslem holiday) and this place is good to be visited in the day time.

In front of Alas Kedaton temple there are quite a lot small shops selling the handicraft as souvenir, for example clothes, pants and other handicrafts. Others, there are some shops booth selling food and beverage, toilet and park area which is wide enough.

More Info :
Find Sebatu Temple location on Google Map
Sebatu Temple Gallery Photo
Program to visit Alas Kedaton : Full Day Bedugul Tour
Program to visit Alas Kedaton : Half Day Tanah Lot Tour
Program to visit Alas Kedaton : Tour Around Bali Package
Place of Interest to visit Bali


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