Besakih Temple

to assemble north, by the astonishing landscapes of Bukit Jambul, goes up more than 900 meters to the top of the slopes of Gunung Agung in Pura Besakih, holiest of all the temples in Bali. It started most probably like sanctuary in prehistoric terrace where the worship and were quoted to the god of Gunung Agung, the element dominating of landscape in the world of Balinese. Above thousand years and moreover, it was increased and added to until it developed in the current complex of approximately 30 temples.

At the 10th century it was apparently a temple of state. According to inscriptions' kept here, an important event took place in the year 1007. If can be only guessed that this was associated ritual of died for the Mahendradatta Queen, the Co-ruier of Udayana which died the previous year. Since the 1 5th century it was the temple of state of the dynasty of Geigel-Kiungkung which built a series of small temples in the honorof itsdeified of the rules. Now it temple of state of isthe for the provincial governments and nationals which deal with all the expenditure. Today, Pura Besakih is venerated by all Balinese like "temple of mother" of Bali.

In the complex of Besakih, the paramount sanctuary is Pura Panataran Agung which raises its merus high on a high bank of the terraces, stages go up from the long point of view to the austere split door. Inside the force the court holds the three-sitted tomb crowning Trisakti, the trinity of Brahma, Visnu and Siwa, during the festivals the tombs are wrapped out of fabric coloured symbolic system of the deity. Important Pura Panataran Agung and two other temples higher to the top of the slope symbolize in the same way Trisakti together. In central Pura Panataran Agung is hung with the white banners for Siwa; towards the line, red banners of vyith of Pura Kiduling Kreteg for Brahma; and Pura Batu Mddeg, towards the left, with the black banners for Visnu. The latter two temples are taken into account near. regencies of Karangasem and Bangli respectively, some other tombs being the responsibility for other regencies. All Bali comes together to Pura Besakih. Religieusement, the unit is symbolized in the padmasana in Pura Panataran Agung, devoted sang Hyang Widdhi, supreme God.

Pura Besakih is most attractive in the times of festival, but it is large and impressing all the times that you go there. The order to the top of the mountain with Besakih, with a stopover in Klungkung to visit the country and to make shopping, takes a full day. To take again the excursion of Bali east, if you remain in Denpasar, it is the best to leave early the morning the next day. By the going beyond by Klungkung before midday, you can choose a site to lunch on the beach or in the shaded countryside and to visit the cave of beater, the villages tshing and Tenganan before Karangasem of attack in the semi one - afternoon. Now that the new road binding Rendang and Karangasem was finished, it is possible to comfortably make in Besakih- Karangaserm the round voyage in day. You can be lucky to arrive in Bali during one moment when the Eastern villages hold of the ceremonies. Festivals, single at these villages, should not be missed, thus to check the calendar of the events to your hotel to find a good time to visit.


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Legong Dance

In Bali, not every one have same understanding of the word "Legong". Until today some Balinese think that legong is any non-dramatic dances performed by woman. One of the cause is the popularity of kebyar dances that become so popular in Bali after legong era. Instead, the word Legong Kraton, means 'legong of the palace', is often used by the Balinese referring to all repertoire of legong.

Despite the fate of legong that fade in popularity many decades ago, after it peaks in the beginning of this century, recently, slowly but quite encouragingly, legong regain it's popularity and dignity once more. This is partly caused by tourism industry and also by the work of individual, organization, or local government, who have special interest to the renaissance of this type of dance-drama.

But one thing is certain, the beauty and charm of this delicate and feminine dance is indisputable. It's not easy to find any dance in Bali and in other places that comparable to the grace and beauty of the legong. Beside the dance it self, many of musical compositions that accompanying it is among the sweetest and most beautiful on the island. Original music for legong accompaniment is gamelan pelegongan, a kind of percussion instruments with bronze keys, cymbals, and drums, although it can also accompanied by gamelan gong kebyar, the modern gamelan of Bali. The dancers start dancing for public at a very early age. Traditionally they are selected among little girls in the village for their suppleness and beauty. They will go on dancing legong until the age of puberty, before they start dancing other type dances. Usually excellent legong dancers are respected as master dancers at older age and some of them also become respected dancing teachers.

'Stage' of the legong, as for many other dances and dramas in Bali, is called kalangan in Balinese. This is an open space with a kind of horse shoe half circle created by the spectators. With a big tree, usually an enormous banyan tree, overshadows the stage, and an elevated beautiful carved candi bentar gate as the back drop, from where the dancers emerge, the stage is complete. Watching legong performance in such a place under a moonlight at night is quite an experience, for some, this also means a revelation...

Up to now, at least eighteen forms of legong had been recorded. Some of them successfully revived only recently. And the others are quite popular that almost in par with kebyar dance. The legong are, lasem, kupu-kupu tarum, jobog, kuntul, legod bawa, smaradhana, andir, condong, and many others.

Some villages in Central and Southern Bali are considered home of the legong. They are, Peliatan, Ubud, Saba, Bedulu, Sukawati in Gianyar area, Binoh in Badung area, Kerambitan in Tabanan area, among others. These villages posses long legong traditions, and most of them still own high quality legong troupes today.

Some of Balinese dances are now labeled as 'classic'. This classic label only presented to an arts form that posses exceptional quality and endurance to survive for many generations, and legong is considered as one of them.

Meanwhile, story of the birth of the legong is no less intriguing than the legong it self. In early nineteenth century, a prince in Sukawati was in a coma condition caused by his ill. In his coma he saw two beautiful nymphs dancing a feminine and delicate dance. Not only he saw the dance, he heard the sound of music that accompanying it as well. Struck by the mysterious and beautiful sight and sound, later after his health revival, together with artists of the village, he transformed his imagination into reality. So, born the legong, another performing arts form, as a gentle touch of the arts to the already arts fertile island.

At first legong, as well as other dances at the time, allows only male dancers. Many decades later, female dancers take place, brought legong dance to the new height as we see today.


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Bedulu Village

Bedulu was once capital of the old Balinese kingdom Pejeng; a long tongue of land between the Petanu and Pakrisan rivers. Today this area is home to some of the most famous and appreciated monuments and relics on Bali, like Yeh Pulu and Goa Gajah. Pejeng was the last kingdom that surrendered to the Majapahit empire from Java, which invaded Bali in 1343. The strong influence of Javanese culture and Hinduism culminated with Majapahit's large escape from Java to Bali in 1515.

According to legends the last king of Pejeng, Sri Aji Asura Bumibanten, had supernatural powers. He could have his own head cut off without pain and later put it back on again. But one time the gods wished to punish him; they made his head roll into the river where it was carried away by the water. The servants panicked, killed a wild boar and put the head of the animal on the king instead. The king was very embarrassed by this and hid himself in a high tower, where he denied anyone to see him. The secret was however discovered by a small child, and the king should be known as "Dalem Bedulu", which means something like "He who changes head". It is this name that supposedly gave name to the Bedulu district. A more scientific, but boring, explanation is that the name Bedulu is derived from "bedaulu", meaning "upstream".

Cleaning and packing of the rice before it is sent to the factory for further processing. The wind blows away leaves and other unwanted elements.The Bedulu village, where a majority of the population make their living from agriculture, is located 26 kilometers north of Denpasar, two km northeast of Goa Gajah along the road to Tampak Siring, not far from Ubud. Bedulu belong to the Gianyar district. The surrounding area is beautiful and fertile with large agricultural areas. It is recommended to hire a guide in Goa Gajah and take a walk along the rice fields to Yeh Pulu, which will take about 2 hours. In addition to lovely rice paddies you will see a beautiful landscape, stone mines and temples. You can always do the trip on your own, but to find the correct paths can be difficult.

500m north of the junction in Bedulu village, along the road to Tampaksiring, sits the Museum Purbakala. This archeological museum contains a collection of pre-Hindu artifacts, like stone axes, copper plates, megaliths, bone decorations and more. Some kilometers further north is the Pejeng village with some famous temples; Pura Kebo Edan, Pura Pusering Jagat and Pura Penataran Sasih.

For a good rice harvest the gods has to be shown proper respect in a rice temple. The temple is used once for every harvest.In Bedulu you can, in addition to Goa Gajah and Yeh Pulu, see the Pura Samuan Tiga temple, probably built by the great sage Mpu Kuturan. The name means "the temple were three parties met", probably a reference to the Hindu trinity or meetings held here in the 9th century. Under the rule of king Udayana and queen Guna Pria Dharma Patni, from year 988 to 1011, there was a lot of rivalry between the religious sects on Bali, which led to instability on the island. Six holy men met at the site of this temple in order to unite all the sects and establish basic laws for the entire island, called "desa adat".

The Pura Samuan Tiga temple is located 200 meters east of the junction in Bedulu village. The buildings were destroyed in an earthquake in 1917, but later rebuilt. The current main gate is designed and built by the great artist I Gusti Nyoman Lempad (see Ubud).


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Diving in Pemuteran

It's a long drive from the Nusa Dua/Sanur/Kuta area to Menjangan, which adds up to a lot of time on the road for just a couple of dives. But there is an excellent alternative: stay at the Pondok Sari Beach Bungalows in Pemuteran, which has a professionally-run dive operation, Reef Seen Aquatics, which offers very good diving. Pemuteran is located just a few Milometers east of Meniangan on the north coast, on a little bay.Reef Seen runs its own boat to Menjangan, but divers often prefer the closer locations. The latter are all just a few minutes away. There are five main dive spots, well explored by the operator, each worth several dives. The dive center caters to small groups of divers, especially to those staying for several days, for whom discounts are available. Independent divers, not requiring a guide, can save a bundle on both day and night dives from shore. We highly recommend this (live business, developed by PADI instructor Chris Brown, a pro in all senses of the term, who also takes concrete measures to preserve the marine ecology.

The atmosphere in Pemuteran is quiet and pleasant, and the Pondok Sari Beach Bungalows are very nicely designed: The rooms are spare and decorated with natural woods and clean white sheets on the beds; the bathrooms are open to the sky, and feature dripping Japanese bamboo pipes and smooth black river pebbles. A very comfortable, and romantic place. All the sites Chris Brown has pioneered off Pemuteran are small takas, or bank reefs. He is constantly investigating new sites, however. The diving here is generally good year-round, with very occasional rough seas during the southeast monsoon, May-JuIy. The very best times are from March to early May, and September through January. The rainy season, during the northwest monsoon from January to early March, usually brings heavy rain only in the late afternoon ar at night. Water temperatures almost always are around 28°-32°C. Visibility is good, but not as clear as Meniangan under the best of conditions. There is hardly any current, and this is a good site for beginners.

Napoleon Reef
"Napoleon Reef," is a flat-topped, underwater mound, about the size of a football field. At its shallowest, to bottom rises to about 5-10 meters of the surface. The reef is covered with sponges and corals, including great table-top Acropora reaching a diameter of 5 meters. From the top, the profile follows a gentle slope to 35 meters, with very good invertebrate life. Two enormous barrel sponges serve as landmarks. Fish life is quite good. Large cuttlefish are often seen. Occasionally, manta rays appear to feed across the reeftop. The southeastern point of Napoleon drops down to 35 meters, where there is an excellent deep reef with soft corals and whip corals, dubbed "Cody's Corner."

Close Encounters
"Pertamuan Dekat" (literally the substrate shows a "Close Encounters") takes its name from the big fish here which allow-and even initiate-close encounters with divers: reef sharks, tuna, mackerel, barracuda and jacks, and an occasional large grouper or Napoleon wrasse. Even whale sharks have been seen here on occasion.

Lebar Reef
At Lebar (literally "wide") Reef, steep slopes drop to flat sand at about 25 meters. Out over the sand, coral outcrops appear at 25 meters and again at 35 meters.Both the reeftop and side of the taka are covered with thickets of staghorn Acropora, some with colorful blu tips, interspersed with tabletops Acropora and fan gorgonians.

Kebun Batu
Kebun Batu ("Rock Garden") is just a 5 minute snorkel from shore. Here a huge boul rises vertically from about 18 meters to just 3 meters from the surface. The rock, full of crevices and small, shallow caves, serves as a hotel to many fish. Elsewhere, the substrate shows a mixture of sponges, hard and soft corals. This is a very good night dive.

Kebun Chris
Kebun Chris ("Chris's Garden") is the dive operators current favorite site. Diving begins just 20 meters from his back door, with hard corals starting at less than a meter's depth and continuing on down to about 10 meters. This reef spreads continues for about 300 meters, parallelling the shoreline.


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Bali Flora & Fauna

Bali has an interesting collection of animal and plant life. The rice terraces are the most common sight everyday in Bali, particularly in the heavily populated and extravagantly fertile south. Balinese gardens are a delight. The soil and climate can support a huge range of plants, and the Balinese love of beauty, and the abundance of cheap labour, mean that every space can be landscaped. The style is generally informal, with curved paths, a rich variety of plants and usually a water feature. You can find almost every type of flower, though some varieties, such as hydrangeas, are restricted to the cooler mountain areas. Orchids are a special attraction, and orchid fanciers should see the collection at the botanical gardens near Bedugul.

flowerThere are various animals you might come across around the island. Chickens are kept both for food purposes and as pets. Balinese cattle are nearly as delicate as Balinese pigs are gross.

Bali certainly used to have tigers and although there are periodic rumours of sightings in the remote north-west of the island, nobody has proof of seeing one for a long time.

Also you can find and visit The Bali's Eco Tourism interest spots such as Bali Barat National Park: Covering an area over 750 km2 on the western tip of Bali. The park's boundaries are open savannah, rainforest, mangrove swamps, coral reefs on Menjangan Island that home to the rare java deer and this place is good for diving and snorkeling.

Bali Bird Park: houses over 1000 birds including varieties from all over Indonesia.
Bali Butterfly Park: breed and preserve many kinds of butterflies.
Botanical Garden: The gradens contain a huge collection of trees, nearly 500 varieties of orchid and are rich in bird life, located at Bedugul.
Sangeh Monkey Forest: The main attractions hre are the hordes of Balinese monkeys that inhabit both trees and the temple, Pura Bukit Sari.
Ubud Monkey Forest: The forest is smaller than Sangeh Monkey Forest but the monkeys are just as wild.
Blahmantung Waterfall: this waterfall is spectacular, especially during the rainy season with dropping over 1000m.
Gitgit Waterfall: impresive 40m waterfall that gushes into deep pool.


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Candi Dasa Beach

A tidy, well-kept, three-km-long European (mostly Italian, French, and Scandinavian) tourist retreat. For many visitors, Candidasa is the perfect blend, everything one would want in a seaside resort-reasonable accommodations, variegated dining, interesting sea sports, warm-water bathing, tranquil nights.

It is a slow and friendly place, where you can pass the hours with locals on the streets and beaches, or find someone to take you fishing, snorkeling or gambling. Walk, read, soak up the sun, and let the crickets and crashing surf lull you to sleep each night.

Candidasa also makes an excellent base for trips to all over east Bali: Tirtagangga, Kusamba, Goa Lawah, Klungkung, Bangli, and eastern mountain towns like Putung and Iseh. For a scenic land tour, rent bicycles or simply walk the gorgeous hill country above town. Visit nearby Tenganan to shop, and for a fascinating look at the ancient rituals of a traditional society.

The name Candidasa is derived from 'Cilidasa' meaning 'Ten Children.' A shrine in the eastern part of the village, on a hillside under a cliff, looking out over a spring-fed lotus lagoon emptying into the sea, was founded in the 11th century. At street level is a statue of the giantess Hariti, a fertility goddess, surrounded by her many children.

Childless couples often come to the temple seeking help from this goddess. A long flight of steps leads to the upper level of the temple, which contains an old 'linga'. Its 10-tiered gateway is one of the few instances of an even-number employed in religious architecture.

On the beach, there is a tide, just like on a normal beach. At high tide predatory waves pound the seawall, chasing beachcombers to higher ground. At low tide, the beach west of the lagoon is only eight meters wide and you can walk as far as 50 meters on the shelf (wear sneakers) and observe rock pools and reef life. During all but the rainy season, the water is crystal clear. Cement walkways and sitting pavilions surround the inland lagoon at the east end of town-the beautiful lagoon, with its tepid water, is also the village bath.

To prevent further erosion, huge horrendous T-shaped concrete breakwaters were built. Because the currents caused by these stone piers are unpredictable, swimming is not advisable. Sunbathing is best on the seawall. Take in views of the rocky Batu Manggar islet offshore, the lighthouse off Padangbai's headland, the looming island of Nusa Penida, and neighboring Lombok. Watch the wind and rain chase fishing craft across the sea. On calm days you can swim out past where the waves break, over the fringing reef about one-quarter km.

Offshore Islands

Candidasa's offshore islands, only 30-45 minutes by boat, offer incredible snorkeling. Off southwest Candidasa, the tiny outcrop of Pulau Kambing-also called Pulau Tepekong-has magnificent coral reefs frequented by a startling array of fish in every size, shape, and color, including small, harmless reef and white-tip sharks.

The island, which measures only 50 by 100 meters, has very steep sides, with no beaches. The water is clear, with visibility up to 10 meters; first-class skin-diving. The northern end of the island is generally shallow, with the top of a southwest sloping wall starting at a depth of 10 meters.

The east end of the island contains many caves, submerged pinnacles, and table coral. The south side is deeper, the top of the reef beginning at about 22 meters. The best section is known as The Canyon, lined with giant boulders, plunging to a depth of more than 30 meters.

Because of the strong downward pull of the current, it's been nicknamed The Toilet. The best time to go is early in the morning when the water is clear and there's little wind. An offering on the beach to the gods is a prerequisite before setting off. Hire a motorized 'jukung'; once you clear the fringing reef it's only a 15-minute ride.

Two other islands in the western side of Amuk Bay are Pulau Biaha (also called Likuan) and Gili Mimpang (also Batu Tiga or Three Rocks)-both present difficult conditions to even experienced divers. There are sharks around, the water is cold, the underwater currents are strong and unpredictable, and waves crashing into the islands create an undertow. Best to go only with professional divers who've been there before. Excellent snorkeling in the vicinity.

One of the best-kept secrets of eastern Bali is brilliant Pasir Putih, 500-meter-long white-sand beach to the northeast. Ask a fisherman in Sumuh village (east of Candidasa) to take you there, or take a 'bemo' to Perasi where a path leads past 'sawah' to the coast. After 2.5 kilometers, you reach a small temple where the path forks. The left takes you to several black-sand beaches, while the right takes you down through coconut groves to Pasir Putih. Great views of rocky headlands and offshore islands.

Organized trips are best in Candidasa's often-dangerous waters. For instance, a fisherman will take you out just 30 minutes to see dolphins leaping and swimming-surrounding you. Good swordfish (lumba-lumba) fishing, too. Out at sea, it's an impressive view of the hills and Gunung Agung behind Candidasa.


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Balinese Gamelan

The Balinese orchestra is called a gamelan. Strictly the word refers to the instruments, not the players. The Bali-Hindu religion requires the gamelan for the success of the thousands of ceremonies performed every year. There are more than two dozen distinct types of gamelan, each with their own traditions, repertoire and social or religious functions. The music is full of insistent rhythms and elegant patterns. There is hardly any improvisation.

The primary function of gamelan music, as with everything else in Bali, is to entertain the gods and deified ancestors at various ceremonies. There is music at temple ceremonies, weddings, cremations, family temple ceremonies and processions. The players rehearse frequently and memorize the music. There are also secular performances, and of course, many tourist performances too. Often the musicians have other jobs during the day and meet in the evening to practise or perform.


The mainly percussion instruments are played in unison:

These comprise a number of different sized instruments, metallophones that look like xylophones, called gangsas, which have bronze keys that are hit with little wooden hammers which causes bamboo resonators below the keys to vibrate. They may have four to 14 keys and are grouped in pairs. After the keys have been hit by the hammer in the right hand, the left hand immediately grasps the key to stop the sound merging in the next note.

There are a number of single fine bronze gongs, which are hit at intervals with a cloth-covered mallet, to divide up the composition.

These are small bronze cymbals, which add colour and excitement.

This is a long framed instrument holding about a dozen inverted bronze pots, having small knobs on top, bosses, which are hit with sticks by four players sitting alongside, each player being responsible for his own section.

Sometimes there is a second similar instrument, called a trompong, which is played by only one person, whose arms need to be long; this, along with the suling and rebab, are the only instruments which improvise.

These are two sets of double-ended drums, held across the lap, lead the orchestra; in each pair, there is a higher pitched one, designated male and a lower-pitched one, female. The kendang is considered the most difficult instrument in the gamelan.

High pitched flutes, suling, are often part of the gamelan.

The rebab is an ancient two-stringed instrument like a violin.

Usually only five tones are used - a pentatonic scale. All the instruments have unchangeable pitches - except for the rebab. They are tuned when the instruments are made, which means they don't tune up before a performance. There is no universal norm for tuning - the tuner decides on his own, which means that each set of instruments has its own characteristic sound and stays together.

Every pair of instruments is tuned so that one is tuned slightly higher than the other one. When they are hit simultaneously, the difference in pitch, caused because the sound waves emerge at slightly different speeds, produces a third note, called the beat note, that gives a very lively throbbing sound.

The drums lead but they are not visible to all members of the orchestra, so the lead gangsa player often flourishes his hammer to guide the others. The compositions always end with a big gong beat.

The tuned instruments play the melody or a variation of it, while the large gong and smaller gongs, cymbals and drums keep time and furnish a framework for the melody. The higher the pitch of the instrument, the more complicated the music it has to play.

So, the melody, played by the gangsa, trompong, sulings and rebab, is propelled and controlled by the pair of drums and punctuated by gongs. The gongs delineate circular movements of the melody. This contrasts with Western music, which proceeds in a straight line. The structure of the music is akin to birth, death and reincarnation.

Much of the excitement of Balinese rhythms arises out of kotekan, interlocking pairs of gangsa at the upper registers. Two interlocking musical lines sound as one melody. They could not be played alone. They are often played at unimaginable speed. The two drummers also play in patterns that are similar to kotekan.

There are musical instruments on the friezes of Borobudur Temple, near Jogjakarta in central Java. The arrival of bronze from mainland Asia was the necessary breakthrough for music in Java and Bali. Smiths learned how to cast gongs and later forge keys. Then tuning evolved and ways of assembling instruments.

One of the earliest gamelans is the Gamelan Gambuh, still played in a few villages, including Batuan, but more common is a gamelan called the Gamelan Gong Kebyar. This type produces really intense, loud, lively, exciting music, with rapid changes of tempo, full of sudden starts and stops. This is in stark contrast to the older Javanese gamelan, from which it evolved, which is very sedate indeed.

The courts in Bali were patrons. Because of their isolation from each other, there were and remain a great variety of musical styles. The Dutch fostered relations with the kings, but the courts declined in influence following colonisation. Ownership of gamelans increasingly belonged to the banjars and the common people. The Gamelan Gong Kebyar was founded in the North Balinese villages and caught on like wildfire. It is now so familiar it is just called Gong.

Colin McPhee writes in his book Music in Bali that the Gong Kebyar was first introduced in Bungkulan village in 1914 and spread to almost every other village in Buleleng regency by the early 1930s, when it reached the height of its popularity. The word Kebyar derives from byar which means sudden intense sound or flash of light.

In those days it was often performed during a cremation. Consisting of at least 35 musicians and perhaps two or three ensembles, playing over two or three consecutive days, the cost demonstrated a person's social status. There has since been pressure to simplify cremation ceremonies and people now tend to hire smaller groups of angklung or gambang music groups.

In south Bali Gong Kebyar is known as Kakul and in Tabanan as Mongol. One artist from Tabanan, Mario, became famous for his Kebyar Duduk (the seated Kebyar) dance.

In the early 1960s a High School, KOKAR, and a College of Performing Arts, STSI, formerly ASTI, were established in Denpasar and have a high reputation for teaching, research and creating new works.

As with Balinese painting, tourism has provided a new kind of patronage, which has helped finance the purchase of gamelans, whilst civic pride has kept standards high. Ubud and Peliatan are particularly well regarded.

The Bali Arts Festival in Denpasar every June and July features performances from all over the island.


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Perancak Temple

From Rambut Siwi coming one folows the signpost. Briefly before Delodberawah a statue with a crocodile stand in the cemter of the road. Crocodile is a landmark of Jembrana.

In the small fishing village Perancak is located beautiful sea Temple Pura Gede Perancak. Here is before many centuries hired Dang Hyang Nirartha, which crossed Bali. The Temple is at present again reconditioned. An oblong pond frames the rear part of the temple and its road turned side harmoniously.

At the present of Nirartha's arrival became the area around Perancak of Gusti Ngurah Rangsasa controlled. This led a out Curving, viceful live. It forced the pious Man to pray in it;s temple for it. Follows as Nirartha of its demand wanted, the temple itself broken down. Gusti Ngurah Rangsasa seized there upon it frightened the escape. the village inhabitants built the Temple and dedicated it Hyang Nirartha and its teaching hired.

Once a year in July here, the traditional Harvest Thanks Celebration, fischer instead of, which is framed by Gamelam (balinese traditional music) and Balinese Dances.


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Handicraft Products from Klungkung

Kamasan is a village in Klungkung Regency popular with visitors because of the unique works of its painters. Located about 41 km east of Denpasar City 2.5 km to the east of Semarapura Capital City of Klungkung Regency, many of its population are also engaged the production of other sorts of attractive traditional articles such as ‘Wayang Kamasan’ puppets, highly sought after by tourists.

Because of it’s position it is not surprising that Kamasan Village plays a dominant role as one of the most important handicraft centres not only in Klungkung Regency but also as far as Ubud (Gianyar Regency), and throughout this ‘Island of the Gods.’ It is a centre for Kamasan-style classic puppet painting and all kinds of metal works made of gold, silver, copper and bronze.
Whoever goes along this village’s main street and lanes to visit to local house, will hear hard knocking sounds of hammers striking iron, announcing there are smiths busy welding metal materials such as gold and silver to produce designs top order.


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Tooth Filing Ceremony

Called 'mapandes' in High Balinese, 'matatah' in Common Balinese. The reason for filing is to control evil human characteristics (sad ripu): greed, lust, anger, confusion, stupidity, jealousy, ill-will, and intoxication by either passion or drunkenness. This important life-cycle event usually occurs when a Balinese boy or girl reaches puberty-at a girl's first menstruation, when a boy's voice changes. If not then, it must definitely take place before marriage; sometimes filing is incorporated into the marriage ceremony. After filing, a father's duties to his female children are generally regarded as complete.

Before a cremation the teeth of a cadaver may be filed. Why? Pointed teeth are likened to those of ferocious witches, demons, wild animals, savages, or, almost as bad, dogs. A person's canine teeth, regarded by the Balinese as animalistic fangs (caling), are filed flat so the child may become fully human, able to reign in the emotions. It's believed a Balinese may be denied entrance into heaven if the teeth are not filed because s/he might be mistaken for a wild creature. In the old days the teeth of adolescents were also blackened with betel nut to distinguish them from the white teeth of animals.

'Mapandes' is a costly affair; invitations must be issued, musicians are hired, the fee of the 'pedanda' is paid, elaborate offerings are carried out, and a banquet is prepared for guests and villagers. Because of the great expense, it may be delayed until enough money has been saved. A number of families may participate in a mass toothfiling in order to share costs, or it may be held simultaneously with some other costly ceremony such as a cremation or wedding. The 'banjar' often determines that financial help should be extended to the lower castes to enable them to participate. To view the maximum pomp and ritual, attend a toothfiling ceremony sponsored by a Brahman family, where as many as 14 people may participate and expenses could top Rp35 million.

Toothfiling represents the evening out of the extreme and 'kasar' (rough) aspects of one's personality as one enters adulthood. Toothfiling also adds the person of the six evil animal passions that Balinese believe everyone possesses to some degree: laziness (alus), love of sensual pleasures (raga), love of luxury and splendor (dewasa), love of worldly goods (tresna), indifference (indra), and resoluteness (baja). Though representatives from each caste are in the toothfiling ceremony, a girl of the lower caste will be asked to lie on a platform at a lower level than her upper-caste sisters, and she wears less lavish ceremonial clothing. The most important event of adolescence, Balinese endure it with not a sound of complaint. After the filing, youths of all castes can go on to lead healthy, well-adjusted lives as a part of Ball's tightly knit family, clan, community and society.

Filing is scheduled on an auspicious day and performed by a specialist Brahman priest on a special platform. For the occasion makeshift bamboo shrines with gay, colorful offerings of rice, sweet cakes, flowers, and fruits are erected within the compound. All attendees dress in traditional clothing, and the customary white cardboard box of snacks and bottle of sweetened tea is handed to all that enter.

Having spent the previous two or three nights praying while confined in bale built for the occasion within the high-caste family's compound, from two to 100 initiates are assembled, dressed in white and yellow to signify holiness. Girls wear precious 'kemben' (breast cloth), the finest the family can afford, with garments as ornate as those of legong dancers. Boys wear a 'songket' from the armpits to the knees, a 'kris' protruding from a yellow sash in the back.

The ceremony begins with the 'pedanda' sprinkling holy water and blessing the group with mantras. Offerings are placed before the gods of sexual love. The initiates lie down on the richly draped bamboo platform wide-eyed and frightened, clutching their pillows as close relatives ring around. Incense is lit, mouthwash placed at the ready, files and whetstones blessed to cleanse them and render the operation painless. Magic symbols (aksara) are inscribed on the teeth.

The "dentist" (sangging) first places a small cylinder of sugarcane in the corners of the mouth to prop the jaws open and prevent gagging. The front two upper canines are filed so they're even with the upper incisors; it's important to effect an even line of short teeth. The actual filing requires about five to 10 minutes. A mirror is provided to allow the patient to observe the progress of the ritual. Filings are spit into a yellow coconut. Tears may roll down their cheeks, but the filees seldom cry out.

Sometimes members of the family sing a 'kekawin' about Arjuna, the brave young hero of the Mahabharata epic, to bolster the spirits of their loved ones, someone else may recite Kawi translated into vernacular Balinese. To lighten the atmosphere, the 'sangging' may joke with the filee as he files.

After consulting with his girlfriend, wife, or mother, a boy may decide he still possesses too much animality and lie back down on the bed for more filing. Occasionally, there are requests for just a few token, symbolic strokes of the file.

When the filing is finished, the astringent betel pepper leaf (base) is rubbed on the ends of the teeth, then the 'pedanda' places various other soothing, healing tinctures on the end of the initiate's tongues. The coconut shell receptacle of filing debris and saliva is then buried behind the ancestral shrine lest it be occupied by evil spirits.


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Drama Mask

Dramas masks are used in four traditional Balinese Dramas and processions: the Topeng, which enacts stories from the times of the old Balinese kingdoms and establishes a link with the ancestor world; the Barong, which involves giant puppets and animals that serve as protective spirits enabling a village to ward off evil; the Wayang Wong, which performs the Ramayana, a great Hindu epic dramatizing the triumph of virtue over vice; and the Calonarang, which challenges local witches by appealing for the support and protection of Durga, the Queen of Witches and Goddess of Death. A chapter in this book is devoted to each of these dramas and a final chapter describes the mask-carving process.

The three types of masks used in these dramas depict humans, animals, and demons. Human-looking masks can be full face or three-quarter face, or can have a movable jaw. They are expected to resemble certain character types rather than specific people. Heroes and heroines are stereotypically handsome, with refined features matched by the movements of the dancers. The coarser a character is, the more the features are exaggerated: eyes bulge, mouths and noses thicken, and teeth are fangs. Color also reveals character.

Balinese masks and dramas have been influenced by other Asian cultures and reveal the relationships to the art forms of other countries. Javanese mask, whereas Barong Brutuk masks, from the aboriginal Balinese village of Trunyan, are similar to masks found on the Indonesian islands of Sulawesi and Sumatra. Demon masks bear a strong similarity to their counterparts in Nepal and Sri Lanka and to the Nagales masks of Central and South America. Balinese drama is similar in style to Italian commedia dell'arte, and the half masks of the Balinese comic characters are like traditional commedia masks. The animistic Barong masks resemble the old sacred animal masks worn during certain rituals by Bhutanese monks, and the most important mask in Bali, the Barong, Ket, is believed to be based on the Chinese dragon.

Animal masks are mythological rather than realistic. Conscious of the distinction between humans and animals, the Balinese emphasize the difference by designing animal masks that seem closely related to demons, even for magically powerful and god-related animals like the heroic and delightful Hanuman, the white monkey of the Ramayana epic. Birds, cows, and even frogs have gaping mouths and horrendous protruding fangs. Protuberant eyes with wide black pupils stare from golden iries in masks that can hardly be called attractive, despite their elaborate crowns and fancy earrings.

Perhaps the most exciting masks are those of the witches and what are called low spirits. The low spirits, who can be troublesome if not appeased, are sometimes described by Westerners as demons. This is inaccurate, since low spirits also have the power to perform good deeds and provide protection. The Balinese do not separate the supernatural from the natural. The spirit world is a living force that must be recognized and appeased through rituals and offerings. Because the Balinese grant the masks powers that befit their roles in society, the masks of witches and low spirits are the largest and most grotesque of all traditional masks. The imposing wigs on most of these masks magnify the head and stature of the wearer. A basket device attached inside the construction hold it to the wearer's head. Since the arrangement is relatively unstable, dancers often hold their unwieldy masks while they perform.

The Balinese classify the masks of heroes, clowns, and demons according to their qualities. The dashing heroes (often incarnations of gods), beautiful queens, and virtuous kings are described as "halus", a Balinese word meaning "sweet," 'gentle," and "refined." Demons, animals, and brutish types, including antagonist kings, are referred to as "kras", or "strong," "rough," and "forceful." There are certain distinctions in between, which usually encompass the clowns and servants.

Possessing exaggerated expressions and dehumanized features, the clowns and rustics of Balinese drama, known as "bondres" characters, are at once grotesque, humorous, and intriguing. Portrayed as being of low caste, they manifest a plethora of deformities. Some theorists believe that the harelips, crossed eyes, hunchbacks, bask teeth, and other disfigurements mirror the genetic defects found among the people of Bali. To understand how the Balinese audience can find humor in the misery of deaf, blind, lisping, and keep in mind the Balinese custom of turning horror into humor and laughing at distress, in the early twentieth century, Western vaudeville, minstrel, and variety shows sometimes exploited physical deformities, and even racial characteristics, for humor.

The favorite clown in Balinese mask performances are two brothers who translate the archaic Sanskrit text of the traditional drama into Balinese vernacular spiced with bawdy dialogue and physical comedy. The brothers are called the Penasar, from "dasar', the people who tell the root of the story or "the basic ones." The older is the hefy, pompous Penasar kelihan; the younger is the smart-mouthed Penasar Cenikan. They move across the boundaries of time, from the ancient past to the present, to convey the plot of the drama. The Penasar, who are said to represent common people and appear in most mask dramas, serve as attendants to the central characters. After their master enters the drama, the brothers are referred to as "parekan", meaning servants to a high-caste person. As clowns, they have no social status and are free to travel between the world of the audience and the formalized drama on the stage. In he tradition of all good fools, they act as social gadflies who gently lampoon human foibles.


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Melanting Temple at North West Bali

This is another beautiful temple located at North Bali, somewhere in the Pulaki village. If you travel from Denpasar, you will arrive in three hours. If you go to the west via Negara ( a town in West Bali) you will pass the Bali Barat National Park which is ideal trekking place.

Another tourist spot is Labuan Lalang, which located close to Menjangan Island, a popular diving site. The Melanting temple is located further north. You actually need to go away from the normal route to reach the temple. If you stay at Matahari Resort at Pemuteran village, you can tour around in nearby villages such as Pulaki Temple and Melanting Temple.

Many Balinese visit this temple especially traders as the Goddess Melanting is popular among the Balinese traders as the one to turn for good trade. Although it is popular among traders, all the Balinese, regardless of their profession actually can go to this temple. The god or goddess is merely a manifestation of the One Almighty God. And because of His function, The God is called by different names.


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Nusa Penida

Once known as the Siberia of Bali, Nusa Penida was formerly a penitentiary island of banishment for criminals, undesirables, and political agitators fleeing the harsh and unyielding reign of the Gelgel dynasty.

The people have their own 'adat', dances, puppetry, weaving arts, and architecture. The dour and cheerless people of the central plateau live in austere one-room huts built of jagged limestone blocks, surrounded by rustic stables, storage sheds, the family shrine (sanggah), and terraced dry fields.

Most festivals and religious events are devoted to appeasing, deceiving, or exorcising the black-faced demon-king Jero Gede Mecaling and his white-skinned wife Jero Luh. Personified in giant puppets (barong landung), these terrifying deities dance and strut through village streets at festival times. Another popular exorcist dance is sanghyang jaran, held during times of catastrophe in the Sakti area of west Nusa Penida.

Dance costumes, body ornaments, and gestures are less elaborate than on Bali. In Cemulik (near Sakti) and Pelilit (in the southeast), the 'gandrung' is performed on Purnama, Tilem, and Kajeng Kliwon. In this dance two adolescent boys dress as women. The group 'baris gede' dance is staged during 'odalan' at Batunuggul, and the archaic 'baris pati' is performed in graveyards during cremations, and the 'baris jangkang' is occasionally trotted out to welcome officials to Sekartaji.

Nusa Penida's most lucrative export is edible seaweed, grown in submarine pens along the northwest and northeast coasts, off Nusa Lembongan and in the channel between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. After drying on the beach and along the roads the seaweed is exported to Hong Kong for processing into agar, a thickening agent used in cooking, and carrageenan used in cosmetics and in crackers, sauces, condiments, and other food products.

A small-scale fishing industry catches mostly sardines and Bali's largest and most succulent lobsters. On the south coast fishermen descend paths to the sea, where they fish from platforms protruding from the sheer cliff walls.

Road from Batumadeg takes you across a plateau for seven km to Batukandik, which possesses 'male' and 'female' shrines. This unique temple also has a prehistoric stone altar, a heavily eroded woman with enormous breasts supports a stone throne on her head, two roosters standing on her shoulders. The Holy Forest of Sahab hides a temple, said to be the exit of a mythical tunnel connecting Bali with Nusa Penida. The hole apparently starts in Pejeng.

Water Sport
As a dive and snorkeling locale, Nusa Penida is at least as spectacular as Bunaken in North Sulawesi. But it's a long and expensive ride, and, once there, cold, strong, unpredictable swells and currents up to four or more knots make conditions challenging and even hazardous. Not the place for beginners.

No dive operators exist on Nusa Penida so finding a well-organized dive outfit on Bali, a knowledgeable guide with plenty of experience in the area, a reliable craft, skilled boatmen, and a good engine are all necessities. The best dive sites, in the channel between Nusa Penida and Nusa Ceningan, are close together and you can move to alternate locations as conditions dictate.

Two of the most convenient sites lie off the 'dermaga' east of Toyapekeh. Fish life, particularly pelagic, tuna, jacks, and reef sharks are common; manta rays collect on the southwest end of the island. The variety of coral along the drop-offs and steep slopes is incredibly rich, but because of deep upwelling the water can be uncomfortably cold, dropping to below 19° C during the Balinese winter. Visibility, up to 15 meters, is quite good.

Nusa Penida's weaving style is called 'tenun Bali ikat cagcag', or by the local names 'cepuk' or 'capuk'. Goods are woven by hand on backstrap looms in the plateau villages of Tanglad and Karang. Distinctive blood-red, brown, and yellow traditional cloths with plaid and rough checkered designs are worn by participants in life-cycle ceremonies. The per meter price depends on the quality of the material and the intricacy of the design.

Getting There
Kusamba is a small Muslim fishing village on the southeast coast of Bali, a six-km bemo ride east of Klungkung. Turn in at Jalan Pasir Putih about 1.5 km east of the town of Kusamba and walk 500 meters to Banjar bias, where you'll see small, bullish outboard-powered outriggers taking on cargo. Boats usually leave twice daily, but only when there are enough passengers.

Another departure point, preferred by Nusa Penida residents, is from Kampung Kusamba about 100 meters from the 'pasar'. These motorized outriggers carry passengers to, among other places, Toyapakeh on Nusa Penida. Make sure you're on the right boat. The 10-km passage takes 45 minutes to one hour, depending on the wind and the choppiness of the water. When you arrive in Toyapakeh, there are frequent bemo to Sampalan. Boats must return to Kusamba by 1400.

From Padangbai the charge is the same. Buy your ticket in the 'loket' to the north of the main Lombok ferry ticket office. The first express ferry departs at around 0630, but you have to wait for it to fill up. And you might wait awhile, what with its 45-passenger capacity.

The crossing takes just 30 minutes, docking at Buyuk just east of Toyapakeh. From there you can hop a bemo east into Sampalan. From Jungut Batu on the northwest coast of the neighboring island of Nusa Lembongan, small 'jukung motor' shoots over to Nusa Penida (45 minutes). Landing at the charming fishing village of Toyapakeh.

'Perahu' sail from Sanur to Toyapakeh (25 km, 1.25 hours) very early in the morning. Check out the day cruises offered by Bali International Yacht Club, tel. 62361-288391, in Sanur, Bali Intan Tours and Travel, tel. 62361-752005 or 752985 in Tuban, and many other outfits that visit the south coast of Nusa Penida. The charge includes free transport to the boat, drinks, packed lunch or Indonesian buffet, and fishing and snorkeling equipment.

Getting Around
Roads cover the island. Good roads run from Toyapakeh to Sampalan and on to Karangsari, and from Toyapekeh to Klumpu. The roads from Klumpu to Batumadeg, Tanglad, and Pejukutan are winding and bumpy but asphalted and traversable. Because of the island's rocky, undulating topography, only motorcycles, trucks, or tough canopied bemo can manage the bumpy, dusty roads of the outlying areas.

Bemo run irregularly between the main villages, connecting north coast towns and inland settlements. From Sampalan, 'bemo' begin carrying passengers out to the villages early in the morning, but by the afternoon the terminal is all but empty.

The best way to get around quickly is by motorcycle. As soon as you get off the boat at Buyuk or wander into the Sampalan terminal you'll be approached by motorcycle owners or drivers. You can either drive or be driven. It's cheaper to drive yourself, though the drivers know all the best places, can introduce you to people, and speak better Indonesian.

Expect a per diem price reduction if you take the motorbike for more than a day. Or wait a few days to meet someone, and convince a newfound local friend to drive you around for free (give a 'donation' to his younger siblings afterwards). Make sure your rental agreement makes it clear who pays for gas and oil.

Try to negotiate a free drop-off at your embarkation point back to Bali or Nusa Lembongan. Two good, cautious drivers are recommended: Nyoman Soma Arsana, who can be contacted by telephone through the Kantor Camat (tel. 62366-231.885), and Made Latoni, at Banjar Sental Kawan, Desa Ped.

Getting Away
Take boats to Padangbai (30 minutes) and Sanur (1.25 hours) from Buyuk, one km east of Toyapakeh. Get there by 0700 to buy your ticket at the Departemen Perhubungan office near the pier. Each boat holds about 30 people. If there are enough passengers, a boat sometimes leaves for Padangbai in the afternoon.

From Mentigi Harbor, one km west of Sampalan, hire boats to Banjarbias, then a bemo into Kusamba where other bemo pass by to Amlapura or Klungkung. The Balinese operate an organized transport cartel that fixes all fares to and from Bali-and there's really no way around it if your skin is white. To their credit, most boats offer life-jackets, hard wooden benches, and double 85 hp outboards.


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Tanjung Benoa

Located north of Nusa Dua, this is a beautiful white sand beach area where visitors can enjoy many types of water recreation and sports such as snorkeling, parasailing, diving, boating, sailing, glass bottom boating and more. This area is an extension of Nusa Dua Resort, with easy access to its luxurious hotels and other tourism facilities.

The beach is renowned for its calm clear waters, ideal for swimming and snorkelling, whilst the outer reefs are great for surfing. Being fairly isolated and some 30 to 40 minutes drive to Kuta, the region is removed from the frantic pace of Kuta and subsequently free from the crowds.

Whilst the atmosphere is relaxed, you will not be short of things to do and the Galleria shopping complex will keep you occupied for hours.
Once upon a time, the Balinese giant and master builder Kebo Iwa decided that the Tanjung Benoa marshes should be transformed into rice fields, so he went to the Bukit and picked up two scoops of earth. While shouldering them along the coast, his pole broke, dropping the earth into the sea. Two islets appeared: the "Nusa Dua."

The marshes were never to become rice fields the bay remained a bay with a long cape, Tanjung Benoa, jutting into it. Nevertheless, Kebo Iwa, who created the area, is now engaged in a new venture - luxury hotel development.

Making Nusa Dua into a tourist paradise was a consciously implemented government policy, designed with the help of the World Bank. Two main concepts underlay the project: to develop an up-market tourist resort, beautiful, secure, easy of access, with the most modern facilities, while keeping the disruptive impact on the local environment as low as possible.


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Beautiful Ubud For Your Bali Vacation

What is it about Ubud that one should visit this beautiful village? Because Ubud has much to offer; from its stunning panorama of Ayung River valley and the terraces rice filed, its most talented artist, its typical traditional market and myriad of shops that line the road is a heaven for shopping, its undying culture, its serene environs and plentiful of nice small hotels and restaurants and many more.

Ubud has no great beaches to speak of, no mountain lakes, and no grand hotels. Yet it has the richness of soil and it is the center of Bali’s art and culture. If you don’t stay in Ubud, or you don’t have much time during your Bali Holiday, a visit is worth because it would offer you a memorable stay in Bali.

Driving out of bustling Denpasar, the tranquil green of rice paddies contrast sharply with the boisterous sounds of the city. Palm-leaf carvings of Dewi Sri (the Rice Goddess) guards over the crops, and small thatch huts dot the rice fields, giving shade to those who work them. Temples and small shrines can be seen along the way, women lay out offerings of flowers, rice, incense and holy water to placate evils spirits and please the good one. Even with the great influx of tourism, village life basically goes on the same. Almost every village on the way up to Ubud specializes in some kind of art form. You can stop off and see the artisans at work in their studios.

Many places near Ubud make beautiful side trips. Morning walk through the villages lead to out-of-the-way retreats. The route to Tegalalang offer beautiful views of terraces rice field and myriad of art studios, Mas, Penestanan and Peliatan, the centers of wood carving and painting, Sayan offer a stunning panorama of Ayung River valley and still home to spectacular view of gorges and palms and rice fields. Campuhan , the place where three rivers meet – a sacred site. There is a very beautiful temple called Pura Gunung Lebah is worth a visit.

To the north is Petulu village is known for many things but the most spectacular is the kokokan or white herons. Every morning at dawn and the afternoon around three or four o’clock, you can see them circling the trees in droves.

To the south a short walk you will arrive at Monkey Forest. To visit it, one must by a ticket. There are hundreds of tame monkeys and a temple stands in the middle of the forest. In the center of town the interesting places to see are the Puri (the court of palace of former kings), here every Sunday morning at 10 o’clock dozen of young girls study traditional Balinese dance. Ubud main market just opposite the Puri offer varieties of merchandises; Produce, dry goods, linens, T-shirts, paintings, wood carvings, even traveling medicine men appear here. Closed to market you can visit Puri Lukisan (Museum of Paintings). Established in 1954, it is dedicated to showing the works of local painters. It is the excellent place to get an overview of the stylistic differences between artists.

Ubud is a picturesque township and visitors have been attracted by its charm and beauty for decades. If shopping is your interest, Ubud has a myriad of shops which line the road to Monkey Forest and the Museum Puri Lukisan. Don’t forget to bargain!!! If art is your interest, in Ubud, Mas and Peliatan, one can study dance, music, painting or a number of other art forms. The best way to meet a teacher is to find a style that appeal to you (by going to galleries and watching performances) and than approach the artist directly about lessons.

So Ubud has many attractive objects can be seen for your Bali Vacation. And do not hesitate to choose beautiful Bali for your holiday. Bali is a small, beautiful island in Indonesia, the ultimate tourist destination in Asia.


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