||Until the fourteen century, Bali was ruled Bali by Warmadewa dynasty. The Buddist ruling kingdoms is centralized in Bedulu, five kilometers west of Gianyar town. After Bali conquered by Javanese the capital move to Samprangan, north of the present Gianyar town before it moved again to Gelgel and Klungkung in the east. A long warfare again Sukawati, a dinasty setup by Klungkung related family, faced by the rising Gianyar kingdom since the eighteenth century. During the nineteenth century Gelgel family in Blahbatuh rose again Gianyar kingdom. During the Dutch conquering in early nineteen hundreds, Gianyar was restored
At least there are four stages setup for regular Barong and keris dance
within this stone carving village. There are hundreds or maybe even thousands
of stone carving are offered in the workshops along the village to the
local or foreign consumers. The price of the stone carving maybe not the
biggest consideration for foreign consumers but the shipment cost will.
gianyar town: Rows of huge white statues beautified this regency capital
of Ginyar. A visit to one or two of the single ikat Batik factories will
give opportunity to visitors to observe more of the making process of
the most wore Balinese clothes.
- Goa Gajah
Literally means ‘Elephant Cave”. Although named by ‘elephant’ it doesn’t
mean there is any real elephant live or ever live here. The name Goa
Gajah derived from ‘Lwa Gajah’ which is mentioned in the manuscripts
found in this site. This temple complex was built for the first time
around 11 century based on epigraph found in this site.
A seven meters deep cave with a shape of T-letter is the major
attraction of this Bedulu village’s local temple. The cave it self is
carved in a solid stone hill of the river valley. The main figure of the
carving at the cave entrance is ‘boma’, a barong face, accompanied with
big clapping fingers on its side. Leaf, flower and some horror figures
can be noticed if you give more attention look to the rest of the
carving. Some holes that are considered to be used as meditation or
sleeping quarters can be found in the wall of the cave. Nowdays, those
holes are used to placed offerings whenever there is ceremonies taking
On the left end side of the cave is Ganesha statue, believe it as ‘the
God of knowledge’. Meanwhile on the right end side can be found three
‘linggas’, that each of them dedicated to the three common God
manifestations in Bali, Brahma, Wisnu and Siwa. There are other three
stone carving in the center wall, one of them figuring head and face.
Three other statues of Ganesha, demons and Men Brayut, a legendary lady
with her beloved children, are placed on a high building located on the
left side of cave entrance. It is considered that these statues are 1000
years old. In the middle of the complex, in front of the cave, there is
bathing place that is not any longer used by the local people. The angle
figures within the bathing complex are about similar to common figures
found in India.
On the south part of the complex, there are along flight of step leads
down the lower part of the valley. After crossing a bridge above a small
creek and follow another flight of steps up to eastern side of the
valley, a headless sitting Budha statue can be seen. Another evident of
a close relationship between the two religions.
- Gunung Kawi Tampaksiring
An archaeological complex lies on gorge of Pakerisan River. To reach the
complex visitors must walk about 600 meters from the parking lot to the
ticket counter than walked down on 315 stone steps. Before take a cross
on the bridge at the bottom of the valley make a turn to the left to see
the first stone monument. Another group of stone monument is located on
the left side of the main temple across of the river.
The monuments are hewn in relief on a solid rock hill commonly call
candi. There are shaped like burial towers found all over Central and
East Java. However, there are many theories telling identity of the
royal personages honored here.
One very credible theory suggests the five 'candi' in the main group
were built for King Udayana, his Javanese queen Gunapriya, his
concubine, his illustrious eldest son Airlangga who ruled over East
Java, and his youngest son Anak Wungsu. Reigning over Bali from AD 1050
to 1077, Anak Wungsu is believed to have given up his kingdom to become
a religious hermit.
In the right of the main ensemble of temples is a cloister with five
cells carved out of rock. The cloister inmates most likely were
caretakers of the 'candi'. There's a second hermitage near the main
cloister, consisting of niches around a central courtyard, which might
have served as sleeping quarters for visiting pilgrims. To get into this
part of the temple visitors must take of their shoes.
Should you have a spare time, a walk up north of the temple complex
could be a short nice walking along the rice field and river stream. The
path leads to a small waterfall after 800 meters away and about 1,5
kilometers to Mengening Temple.
- Gunung Kawi Sebatu
This temple differs to Gunung Kawi Temple nor Tirta Empul Temple in
Tampaksiring, even though they are not located very far away to each
other. Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple located is located northwest of the
other two temples in a village of Sebatu, 40 kilometers from Denpasar or
only 20 minutes drive north of Ubud. Sebatu Village is also known for
the creativity of the villagers in creating woodcarving and handicraft
as seen in all the shop along the village
The footfall field and the big banyan tree within the village notes the
center of Mas village. However, since it become a known tourist stop for
fine wood carving, galleries and workshop building are stretched
starting from intersection of Sakah, where a huge baby statue stand in
the middle, until another intersection up north at Teges Village. Small
lanes on the left or right side of the main road are the houses of the
woodcarvers and mask makers. Visitors can enter any houses with sign at
front gates to see the artist at work and get a better price than the
galleries on the main road.
Since the 1930s the subject use for carving slightly change become more
realistic and contemporary such as people with their daily activities,
animals, Buddha's and many other abstract figures. Formerly, carvings
were made only for religious purposes and featured exclusively traditional
characters from the Mahabarata and Ramayana.
Comparing to other carving village, wood carving in Mas village are made
from high quality wood including sandal and crocodile wood. It usually
unpainted, and smoothly carved.
Many Bali's most gamelan orchestra and dancing groups inhibit the
village that located 2 kilometers east of Ubud town. The groups have
performed in many Western countries. It is also the origin of one kind
of Legong dance.
A white heron village located in the north of Ubud. The best time to
visit this natural bird sanctuary is around 5 to 6 PM when the sacred
birds flew back home after a day of ill or fish hunting.
- Ceking, Sebatu
A small but steep rice terraces located 15 minutes drive north of Ubud
offer a postcard quality shot. Bicycling from Ubud and having a light
refreshing meal in one of two restaurants in the area is a nice
Make a right turn after the Ceking rice terrace will lead you to the
wooden Garuda village. The master sculptor of wooden Garuda statues
lives at the end of the village. The rare 3,5 meters high Garuda statue
are found in his place.
A new developed tourist site in the east of Gianyar town, just before
entering Bangli area offers a fascinating overlooking view of the rice
terrace. Pura Dalem Sidan with its intricate and distinctive horror
figures is well worth to visit.
It is known for its art market that become 'a must see' place by
tourists especially the local ones from Jakarta or other area in Java.
Huge number of small stalls occupied the two stories building offer a
lot of cheap souvenirs.
Almost any kind of Bali's souvenirs can be found in here either
painting, woodcarving, clothes, temple umbrellas and other temple
accessories, leather puppet, wind chime, jewelries and others. It is
better for you to prepare a list of souvenirs that you want to bring
back home since you may be stuck in a confusion situation of too
overwhelmed by the huge quantity of souvenirs and finally bring home
200 meters toward west from the Sukawati Art Market, on the right side
of the road, there is another market called 'Pasar Seni Pagi' of 'The
morning Art Market' which only open very early in the morning until
around 7 AM. The crowd of souvenirs retailers from other part of Bali
will come here to get semi -finished product with a very low price.
Many of Bali's most established puppeteers live in Sukawati. In line
with this fact, Sukawati is also the center of Shadow puppets production
center. The leather puppet, 'wayang kulit' are made either of cow or
- Bona Village
One time in 1980s Bona village is the most well known place to see the
Kecak and Fire. Now, it is more known for its bamboo furniture and
handicraft, together with the nearby Belega village.
And endless handicraft stalls located about 20 kilometers along the main
road of this district. The craftsmen are too creative as they can make
almost any thing that tourist have in mind with various art materials.
- Ubud's Monkey Forest
Inhibited by up to 125 monkeys divided into 3 major groups. Comparing
other sanctuaries in Bali, the mammals in here are tame. There are three
local temples settle within the sacred sanctuary.
- The Pejeng Area
The finding of many archeological sites within and beyond this area
become one of the reason for the local government to built an
archeological museum on the southern part of the village. Two most
visited sites by tourist are Pura Penataran Sasih, the temple of a moon
faced bronze drum, and Pura Kebo Edan, the temple of three meters high
ancient stone statue.
- Tirta Empul
This beautiful water spring temple was built around 10th century under
the rule of Sri Candra Singha Warmadewa. The spring that piped to three
fountains complexes is believed to have been created by the god Indra,
who descend to the earth to brought back the life of his army, which was
poisoned by the demon-king Mayadanawa. The water source is located at a
pool on a higher level where water bubbling up and plants growing on the
bottom as well as fish and large ill can clearly be seen.
According to believe of the people, each fountains complex has their
special religious functions. The complex located on most right sides is
for spiritual purification; the one in the middle to cleanse from evil,
meanwhile the left side one is an antidote to poison.
Attributed by its natural and cultural atmosphere, Ubud has attracted
many foreigners to visit or even live in this artisan's village since
1930's. Many expatriate especially foreign or local artists fall in love
and decide to settle in this international village. The achievement of
Ubud as a tourist destination cannot be separated from the effort of
those artists who display Ubud to the world through their work.
Its location in the central of Bali makes Ubud become a good base for
visitors to visit other places all over Bali. Nusa Dua, Kintamani,
Lovina, Amed or Jembrana can be reach by just doing a day tour without
so much tiring of driving. Many beautiful landscapes, interesting
historical sites and not to mentioned art villages can easily reach even
Ayung river that stretch on the west part of Ubud offer a fascinating
view of river gorge are the spot of several most luxurious hotels on the
island. Attracted by the beauty of river valley at least five rafting
companies run their trip on this part of the Bali's longest river. Other
river hill that used as hotel nest are Campuhan river in the middle and
Petanu on the eastern part. Most tourist accommodations are located in
the center of Ubud. The center would be noted by former Ubud palace that
is located across the art and traditional market of Ubud. The
accommodations available suit to any budget and most of them will offer
you a stay at charming cottages or a stay within a family house.
Instead of visiting it on the daily sightseeing tour, the best way to get the real atmosphere of Ubud is by spending couple of night within the area. Besides regularly dancing performance or permanent art exhibition on many fine art galleries, there are dozen of things can be explored. People preparing ceremonies, temple festivals, colorful celebration, dance and traditional 'gamelan' rehearsals, occasional cremation are rarely unseen. It is not a surprising anymore if you see foreigners in their complete Balinese dress involve in these local activities. There are some courses of Balinese dance and music, cooking classes, wood carving, mask making, batik painting or even learn the skill to be puppet masters are available for those who eager to have some of the local skills.