Central Part Of Bali
Taman Ayun Temple
Taman Ayun temple means beautiful garden temple is a Royal family temple that was built in 1634 by the King of Mengwi. In 1937 the temple was restored and enlarged. The pool surrounding the complex gives floating impression to the temple. A smaller pool with lotus flower is built within the inner sanctum. There are many shrines and few of them called meru are buildings which has multi roofed structure. The middle part of the temple is occupied with impressive high building for kulkul (the hollowed wooden bell) meanwhile the outer part is beautified by trim gardens.
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. Many beautiful lands, interesting historical sites and not to mentioned art villages can easily reach even by walking. Neka museum, Antonio Blanco, Arma Museun are the famous musem in Ubud.
The center would be noted by former Ubud palace that is located across the art and traditional market of Ubud. 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.
Ubud Traditional Art Market where the existence is not far different from other markets available in the tourism area. This market as a society economics center of Ubud and it is apposite to the existence of Ubud Empire that is called Puri Saren. The market is unfolding from west to easterly divided become two group with different purpose. There are two markets available at the same area those are one block at the Westside is for a traditional artistic market and another block located in the east as an everyday traditional fundamental market requirement. This market is opened every day about at 08:00 until 18:00, even some from them still open until nighttime. While the traditional market for the fundamental requirement is opened everyday at 06:00 – even before that there is morning market started at 04:00 morning.
Gunung Lebah Temples
Pura Gunung Lebah sits across the street from Museum Blanco, or more accurately, across the street and the other side of the bridge to Museum Blanco. Pura Gunung Lebah has some brightly colored statues, painted in traditional gold and red. You can visit Pura Gunung Lebah very easily as it is next to the road and only 5 minutes from downtown Ubud. Be sure to bring a sarong and sash.
The Ubud Monkey forest is a small nature preserve on the southern outskirts of Ubud (see map). Along with its lush surroundings and a beautiful temple are hundreds of monkeys — Balinese macaques, to be more specific. They’re very tolerant of people, but are famous for stealing food and sunglasses from tourists, so you have to be careful around them. Monkey Forest is itself quite pleasant, with tall shady trees, forest and the lovely Pura Padangtegal Agung, at the rear.
Jalan Monkey Forest
The main street is Jalan Raya Ubud, which runs east-west through the center of town. Two long roads, Jalan Monkey Forest and Jalan Hanoman, extend south from Jl. Raya Ubud. Puri Saren Agung is a large palace located at the intersection of Monkey Forest and Raya Ubud roads. The home of Tjokorde Gede Agung Sukawati (1910-1978), the last “king” of Ubud, his descendants currently live there and dance performances are held in its courtyard. It was also one of Ubud’s first hotels, dating back to the 1930s.
Tourism to Ubud has a focus on culture and nature. In contrast to main tourist area in southern Bali, Ubud has forests, a river, and cooler temperatures. A number of smaller “boutique” style hotels are located in and around Ubud, which commonly offer spa treatments by the foothills or treks up Ubud’s mountains.
About 15 minutes driving from Ubud, there is a small village named Tegalalang. Along this village there are many kinds of workshops which display many handicrafts in reasonable price. The craftsmen are too creative as they can make almost any thing that tourist have in mind with various art materials The amusing view of Rice terraces which well known as “Ceking” is also located in this village.
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.
Kintamani (Batur Volcano)
Kintamani is the most favorite tourist destinations in Bali with the active volcano of mount Batur and beautiful lake which is located at Bangli regency of Bali, about 1,5 hours drive from Denpasar. The village of Kintamani well known by the peoples after its volcano mount batur as the most active one in the island. Ranks of restaurants are spread on the rim of old caldron of panulisan mountain. Its served a buffet lunch with Indonesian food.
Generally, all tourists who pay a visit to this place will arrive in the day time where they can enjoy the panorama while having lunch in the restaurant. Down of the old caldron live local people who survive from agriculture industry especially vegetables. Across of the lake Batur is the Bali Aga Trunyan village which is inhabited by Aga peoples who still keep retain own traditions heritage.
Mount Batur is located at Kintamani and it has erupted about 24 times since year 1800 and still active up to now. Since the mount erupting, it has impacted to the local society life around this mount, like removing altar (Temple), improve or repairing the village and re-arrange the tradition. Lake Batur is the biggest lake in Bali and functioning as irrigation source to all farmers around it and it is also for all Bali society generally.
Pura Ulun Danu Batur
Originally, it was located at the foot of Mount Batur. Due to the violent eruption of Mount Batur in 1926, the temple was re-built and moved along with the villagers to the highest rim where it stands today. All was destroyed except for the most important shrine dedicated to the Goddess of Lake and Rivers, Dewi Ulun Danu.
Pura Ulun Danu Batur is the second most important temple complex after Besakih – mother temple in Bali. On the far left inside the courtyard stood a red-domination shrine – dedicated to the patron saint of commerce and administrator of the Gods – a living proof of cultural harmony between the Balinese Hindus and the Chinese Buddhists.
From the location you can also enjoy the magnificent view of Mount Batur. Dewi Ulun Danu worshipped here represents wealth as she takes control of waters in Bali; the reason why people mostly come here for business purpose and why the ‘subak’ (irrigation society) who maintain the temple.
Goa Gajah Temple
Goa Gajah literally means Elephant Cave which is located in Bedulu village about 15 minutes from Ubud.,. Although named by ‘elephant’ it doesn’t mean there is any real elephant live or ever live here. The name Goa Gajah derived from ‘Goa 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 place.
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.
These are thought to date back to a 14th Century monastery. Yeh Pulu is now a small temple, entirely walled on one side by a carved stone frieze 25 meters in length representing an episode from the story of Krishna. The stone relief’s of Yeh Pulu, another ancient work of art of mysterious origins, can be found between Goa Gajah and Bedulu.
Tirta Empul is one of the water spring temple in Bali, it is located in Gianyar regency, about 30 minutes from Ubud. 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.
An archaeological complex lies on gorge of Pakerisan River. To reach the complex visitors must walk down about 6oo meters. 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 hewed 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.
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.
Bedugul is a large complex which is located in 1200 meters high plateau with cool air. It is really famous for its vegetables and fruits farming especially strawberries. The Bedugul area provides the last remaining tropical forest of the island. The Eka Karya botanical garden has 668 species of trees and unique collection of ferns and orchids. This is favorite place of Balinese in enjoying their holiday.
Ulun Danu Temples
Beratan lake is the second large lake in Bali, it is located between the mount Catur and Beratan. Here you can rent a boat or jukung (a traditional boat) to enjoy the wonderful view sorounded the lake with fresh Air. Beside the lake Beratan there is a temple called Ulun Danu temple that was built in 1633 by the king of Mengwi kingdom with harmonic blend between hindu’s architecture and budhi’s architecture. It really a good combination view of lake, temple and mounts.
This market is a large fruits and vegetable center in Bali where the traditional farmers sell their fruits and vegetables and also you can find many kind of exotic flowering plants like orchids, roses, and also art and craft.
Bedugul Botanical Garden or Kebun Raya Eka Karya is the huge tropical garden located in Bedugul, plateau area in Bali. It is situated in the cool atmosphere with rain forest and hill surrounds it. This botanical garden is opened on 1959 and owns 154,5 ha land located Tabanan regency, northwest part of Bali. It is close to the beautiful lake which is called Beratan Lake and Ulun Danu Temple. It is completed by more than 1187 plant types and multifarious of floras. In this area, there is orchid garden with the collection of 320 orchid types from Bali, Java, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Sulawesi and also Irian Jaya. We can also meet the rose garden with the collection of various rose from rust colored until green chromatic.
Pacung is the name of village where the road to the temple branches out in which has restaurants overlooking rice fields where you can enjoy your buffet lunch. However, still more rice terraces and hot springs can be seen ahead, in Jatiluwih village. this would be one of the most beautiful view point in Bali.
Bali is also famous of its natural view of traditional village which has beautiful scenery of rice terraces as its natural. The traditional village farmer’s living will be a great experience while enjoying the real countryside green view of Bali.