Tirta Gangga Water Garden

This water garden was built by the King of Karangasem, Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem in 1948. The architecture is the combination of Balinese and Chinese style. It’s located in Ababi village, Abang District, about 83 km from Denpasar and 6 km from Amlapura (the capital city of Karangasem).

Tirta Gangga was originally the bathing and resting place for the king of Karangasem and numerous pools still exist in the complex. In the north of the complex, a large natural spring shoots out of the ground believed to be sacred and directly derived from the River Gangga. It was totally destroyed by the Mount Agung eruption in 1963 and being abandoned for years.

Today after some renovations here-and-there people starts to come (especially the local) while they still use the spring to irrigate the rice fields for the whole region, and for every ceremony local use to take the water from here.


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Climbing Mount Batur

Except for its water sport, Bali also has panoramic views on its mountains for adventurous activities. One of them is climbing the Mount Batur.

Mount Batur perches on the Kintamani teritory, Bangli. Its height reaches 1717 m above sea level. This mountain retains a uniqueness of its own, namely the crater mesuring 13.8 x 10 km and denotes one of the most extensive and beautifull all over the world. To get an experience of seeing the sunrise from this climbing, the right time for climbing should be started at 03.00 in the morning.

Climbing starts from the songan Villag, Kintamani. When you entering the climbing teritory you will be welcomed by black sedimentary rocks that are naturally furnished by fertile alang-alang grasses growing lushly. Considering its fresh air, the climbing activity will come refreshing to a great extent.

The mountain climbers are estimated to arrive at the top around 05.00. Indications of the sunrise come into view then. While taking a rest and watching the sunrise, you can have a breakfast that has been prepared. If you are lucky, the alluring panoramic view of the Lake Batur, traditional village of Trunyan and Mount Rinjani in Lombok are also discernible from the peak.

Being satisfied and while watching the magnificence of this panorama, it's the time to resume the journey to go down. Toya Bungkah Village is the point of finish within this passage. If on the way up, you encounte the row of black sedimentary rocks and alang-alang grass, on the way down you will be welcomed by pine forest as well as sandy descending track until you get at the point of origin.

Fatique that is felt during the climbing now vanishes when you arrive down there and just releases the sight to the Lake Batur spreading in this village. More than that, a hot water pool can also be found at one of the corners around the lake. It is the natural pool of which water is derived from the cracks among the stones at the fringe of Lake Batur. Through it's not categorized into an extreme adventure, please be careful at all times and obey all of the existing regulations for your safety.


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Bali Dances and Performances

There are several other dances that could excite you. Dance and drama have historically played an important role in Balinese society. Balinese dances are famous all over the world and the Balinese themselves take them very seriously.

Birthdays, weddings, and temples festivals are all occasions for dramatic performances and dance is inextricably linked with the Balinese religion. Through this medium, people learnt about the tales of the Ramayana, Mahabrata and other epic stories from Balinese history.

Barong and Rangda dance
This is basically a story about the struggle between good and evil. Good is personified by the Barong Keket, a strange, fun-loving creature in the shape of a shaggy semi-lion. Evil is represented by Rangda, a witch. Ultimately, the two characters engage in battle, at which point the Barong's keris-bearingRata Kiri Kanan follower rush in to attack Rangda. The witch, however, uses her magical powers to turn the keris knives in upon their owners, who fall into a trance and start trying to stab themselves. The Barong uses magic to protect his followers from the knives. In the end, the Barong triumphs and Rangda retreats to recuperate her strength for the next encounter. All that remains is for a priest to help the keris dancers out of their trance, with the help of a little holy water. The Barong and Rangda dance is a very powerful performance and is not taken lightly by those involved

Kecak Dance
The Kecak is an unusual Balinese dance for a couple of reasons. First, there is no musical accompaniment. The gamelan is not there. Rhythm is provided by a chanting 'monkey' chorus. The polyrhythmic sound of the chanting provides the name, 'Kecak'. The story line for the Kecak is taken from the Ramayana. Prince Rama goes hunting for a golden deer and his beautiful wife is kidnapped by the evil Rawana. Story is secondary in this performance, though. If you want to see the story of the Ramayana, you should see a Ramayana performance. The Kecak is a triumph of style and mood, rather than story. Watch the faces of audience members. More than any other Balinese dance, the Kecak turns every viewer into a child, wide-eyed and transfixed.

Legong Dance
The story derives from the history of East Java in the 1 2th and 1 3th centuries: when on a journey the King of Lasem finds the maiden Rangkesari lost in the forest. Rangkesari's brother. Prince Daha, gathers an army together to rescue his sister. Princess Rangkesari then tries to persuade Laksmi to let her go to avoid a war, but he denies her her freedom. On his way to battle, Daha is attacked by a raven, a bad omen, and is later killed in battle. The dance only takes the story up to the point where the king departs for battle, and it is performed by three people, two Legongs and their attendant, the "Condong". The Legong is a very classical and graceful dance, and is always performed by pre-pubescent girls, often as young as eight or nine years old.

Baris Dance
A warrior dance for a group of a dozen or middle age men, its purpose is to protect the visiting gods at temple festival from evil spirits. The dancers wear headdresses with a triangle of white clothe at the back. This dance requires great skill, with the artist having to display the whole range of inner emotions, mainly through facial expression

Shanghyang Trance Dance
The Sanghyang is a divine force that enters the bodies of the entranced dancers. There are a number of dances, but the most common are the Sanghyang Dedari and the Snghyang Jaran. The Sanghyang Dedari is performed by two girls, and is very similar in style to the Legong; the main difference is that the Sanghyang Dedari girls are supposedly untrained and can keep in perfect time with each other, even though their eyes are firmly shut. The accompanying music is provided by a female choir and a male Kecak choir.
In the Sanghyang Jaran, a boy dances around and through a fire, riding a coconut palm hobbyhorse. This is a frequently called the "Fire Dance", for the sake of tourists. In both dances, a priest is always on hand to help bring the dancers out of their trance-state at the end of the performance.

Calon Arang
An exorcism drama aimed at the local village witches (leyak, celuluk) and performed when a new temple is dedicated.The part of rangda is taken by an experienced older aktor becouse the performance involves the witch going into an entrance rage, possessed so Balinese believe by the spirit of the actual Rangda. The end of this even id unpredictable and a Rangda can occasion run amok. The purpose of the performance is to placate the rangda by demonstrating her power, and thus gain her co-operation against the lesser witches in the village

Mask Dance
In Bali, masks are considered sacred objects, and are revered as such. The best ones are traditionally carved on auspicious days, and the dancers who wear them are believed to be possessed by the spirits of the masks. Characters can be identified from the shape of the features; noble characters always wear full, refined masks; while evil is represented by bulging eyes and garish colours. The characters are silent, but communicate using complex gestures of the hand, head and body. The story lines usually follow popular myths, or episodes from history


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Villages of Bali

The idea of balance is central to Balinese philosophy and way of life. Nature and Man meet and complement each other.

The villages are a study in order. Hidden behind the same mud walls, there will be the same red tiles of the same family pavilions with, again thirty meters apart, the same thatched puppet houses: the family temples (sanggah/merajan). Then, there will be a big tree, two slit logs hanging from its branches, with a couple of shrines under its shade and a nearby hall: the banjar (neighbourhood) community hall. An atmosphere of calm, order and collective belonging prevails.

The basic Balinese territorial unit is desa (village), whose surface covers both the wet land of the ricefields, and the dry land of the compounds and related gardens, temples and roads. To the wet land, correspond the irrigation units or subak, and to the dry and inhabited land, the community wards or banjar, each with their temples and organisations.

The Balinese desa (village) is typically host to a set of three village temples, the kahyangan tiga, each related to a focal aspect of the village's symbolic life: the origin with pura puseh (navel temple) located mountainward, where the tutelary gods of the village and its founders are worshipped; the territory itself with the pura desa, located in the centre of the village, where meetings of the village assembly and the rituals of fertility are held; the temple of the ded (pura dalem), located down ward, where the forces of death and the netherworld are worshipped, and near which burials take place. Besides these territorial temples, there is also a temple for each banjar (bedogol or pura banjar), a temple for each subak, and the various temples of the local sub - clans (pura dadia or pura panti), each of which with its own calendar of festivals.

All temples of the kahyangan tiga are of paramount importance in the local rituals. Most ceremonies, at the level of the household or of other local temples, cannot take place before a "notification offering" (pejati) of the kahyangan tiga. The most important though, is arguably the pura desa, or village territorial temple, as evidenced by the honor shown to its god, the Batara Desa, who is usually given the forefront position during the village processions of gods. The village community (desa pekraman) corresponds in practise to the congregation of the pura desa, whatever the other affiliations. It is headed by the bendesa adat.

Much of the ritual work at the village level is shared among the various banjar, for example, one banjar may look after the pura desa for the upcoming festival and another banjar for the next one. Each banjar redistributes the work entrusted to it to its vision of the kelian banjar or neighbourhood headman. No ritual activity can normally take place without the latter's involvement and participation.

The banjar is a grouping of anything between fifty and two hundred individual compounds. The word banjar originally referred to a row of houses, thus to the physical clustering of compounds into a neighborhood, with a temple and a community. Nowadays, most of these banjars have split, and the banjar community is no more strictly territorial. Two banjars can occupy the same territory, and banjar members sometimes live kilometres away from the core of community.

The banjar makes up an association called the "banjar suka duka" or "the association for the sharing of joy and pain" This refers to the function played by the group in the performing of specific social services or work the ayahan within the larger structure of the village (desa). These bonds are arguably the most important of all found in the network of village associations.

The basic social unit of the banjar is the couple (pekurenan). Only married couples are full banjar members and subjected to the banjar rights and obligations. The decisions are taken by the assembly (sangkep) of the banjar's male members, the krama banjar, which usually takes place every 35 days. The decisions are taken on the basis of unanimity, The banjar is now, since 1979, the lowest administrative structure of the national administration, directly under the authority of the perbekel / lurah (supra - village head) and beyond the traditional village headman (bendesa adat). There are also two types of kelian banjar, the kelian dinas, who is in charge of the administrative aspects of the banjar life, and the kelian adat, who looks after the customary aspects in collaboration with the bendesa adat. They usually work hand in hand, unless the two roles are assumed by the same person.


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Kertha Gosa - Hint of the Greatness of Klungkung Kingdom

If you happen make a visit to Klungkung city, Kertha Gosa constitutes the most prominent tourist object. Historically, Kertha Gosa means a place of discussing anything associated with the security, welfare and justice affairs within the teritory of Bali.

According the chronogram based on Lunar Calculation engraved on the main entrance gate, Kertha paksi-paksi(literally means cakra, crab, bird, bird) that respectively stands for 1, 6, 2 and 2. So, the Kertha Gosa was established in the Saka year 1622 or 1700 AD during I Dewa GDe Jambe ruled the Klungkung kingdom.

The Bali kingdom had reached its golden period in the administration, customary, art and cultural sector when it suceeded to free itself from the status under dominion of Majapahit kingdom (East Java). Majapahit kingdom fell in 1478. At the same time, the kingdom in Bali headquartered at Gelgel. During this era, the Kertha Gosa functioned as a meeting venue of kings from all over Bali. However, after the fall of Klungkung kingdom due to the all out warfare (28 april 1908), the Kertha Gosa functioned as court room of customary and religious affairs.

As a tourist object situated within the heart of the city, the sorroundings of the Kertha Gosa have been equipped with supporting facilities like bus parking lot, art shop, and supermarket and telecommunication services.

Onside you'll find the magnificient Taman Gili building sorrounded by a pond. This building is discernible when you enter the gate. In addition, you can also relish the allure of other objects such as the Semarajaya museum or Main Entrance Gate that continues to stand tenaciously.
The main gate can be interpreted as the largest gate used for entrance and exit. In days of the past, during the kingdom period, it was this main gate that was used as exit and entrance gate for the king. Up to this time, it remains 100% its original condition and has not been renovated yet.

It stands facing the north where it is the same as mountain-ward orientation in Hindu belief representing the sacred place. The Klungkung royal palace is situated right behind the main gate. On the left and right side of the main gate occurs the entry and exit gate, used by or passed through by the chief ministers when accompanying the King. Up to these days, its sacredness stays to be maintained.

At the main gate, there are effigies having a Portuguese look. According to some literatures, those effigies symbolize one of sovereignty forms of the Dutch after it controlled over the Klungkung kingdom. These effigies were made after the Dutch administration conquered the kingdom and denote the triumph of the Dutch.

To show the respect to the remains Klungkung kingdom, every Galungan and Kuningan feast days (once in 210 days), the Klungkung dwellers present some offerings at this place. It means to invoke the safety for the teritory of Klungkung in particular and world in general.


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