Bali’s City & Sites Info – A thru F

Alas Kedaton Monkey Forest – This 10 hectares monkey forest belongs to the Kukuh village, Marga district in Tabanan region. The average density of trees here is at 400 trees per hectare, inhabited primarily by long tailed grey monkey (macacus fascicularis) and flying foxes (big bats). The Alas Kedaton Temple located in the middle of the forest was built in 11th AD, then restored in 1660 AD during Mengwi Kingdom era. This temple is dedicated to Shiva (as Dalem Kahyangan) and Durga, his wife (as Dalem Kedaton) and its anniversary (odalan) that lasts only one day is held every 210 day on Anggara Kasih Medangsia-20 days after Galungan festivals.

Amed is a sleepy fishing village in the far east of Bali Island. It features a kilometer-long black sandy beach and hills riding up behind, although the stench of drying fish can rather detract from the scenery. Much of the area around here is lined with salt manufacturing, but you only see it taking place in the dry season. Amed is known for its beautiful underwater world, which is also becoming one of the great spot for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Bangli– It's dated back from the 13th century and it was never one of the major Balinese kingdoms but it played a crucial role at pivotal points in Balinese history. Originally set under the rule of the Majapahit dynasty based in Gelgel, and then broke away from Gelgel to become a separate kingdom. By the 19th it was involved in long running conflicts with neighboring states. In 1849, Bangli made a treaty with the Dutch, giving its control over the defeated north coast kingdom of Buleleng, but Buleleng rebelled and the Dutch imposed direct rule there. In January 1909, Bangli became a Dutch protectorate rather than face complete conquest by neighboring kingdoms or the colonial power.

Pura Kehen is the state temple for the regency of Bangli and it is one of the finest temples in east Bali, a little like a miniature version of the mother temple Besakih. It is terraced up the hillside with a great flight of 38 steps leading to the beautifully decorated entrance with a frightening Kala Makara, the demonic one who catches harmful spirits to prevent them from entrance leads into the outer courtyard of the temple containing a massive banyan tree with a Kulkul/warning drum built among the branches. Chinese porcelain plates-a common feature of ancient temples and palaces were set into the walls as decoration, but most of the originals have been damaged or lost. The temple has an 11-roofed meru and 43 altars. The huge three-compartment, Padmasana throne in the north easternmost corner are dedicated to the Hindu trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Siva.

Banjar Hot Spring or Air Panas Banjar This hot spring is located in the village of Banjar, 19 west of Singaraja, approximately 1 kilometre west of Buddhist Monastery, 1 kilometre uphill beyond Banjar’s local market. There are two warm water (+38° C) pools here. The first pool is smaller and higher than the second one. The pools are fed by the 12 hot water springs located 50 meters higher up. From the springs the water flows through installed pipes and eventually flows out through eight of sculptured dragons’ mouths. These hot springs are beautifully landscaped with lush tropical plants. You can relax here for a few hours and have lunch at the restaurant, or even stay the night and really indulge yourself. A non-profit institution “Yayasan Yeh Panes Nirmala” runs this Banjar Hot Springs.

Batubulan means "Moon Stone". It is the home of the famous Barong dance troupes, and respected across the island for its superb stone carvers. The local sculptors are specializing in free-standing images include all sorts of demons and deities, mythological and religious figures as well as pigs, monkeys, fish and people using the distinctive rough gray larva stone known as paras, whose texture gains great character after a few months exposure to the elements, and smooth, almost crumbly sandstones which comes in gray, yellow and pink hues. In this village, it is worth to visit its Pura Puseh built in an unusual design which include a five-tiered gateway tower inspired by Indian religious architecture, and a number of Buddha images not normally associated with Bali's Hindu temples. The rest of the icons and decorations, however are characteristically and flamboyantly Balinese. Four statues of Wisnu poised on carved pedestals embellished with Tantri tales guard the temple and the grimacing Bhoma head overlooks the main gateway.

Batur– This area was formed 30,000 years ago by a gigantic volcano. The village of Batur used to be down in the crater but a violent eruption in 1917 killed thousands of people and destroyed more than 60,000 homes and 2,000 temples. Although the village was wiped out, the lava flow stopped at the entrance to the village temple. Taking this as a good omen, the village was rebuilt but Mount Batur erupted again in 1926. This time the lava flow covered all but the loftiest temple shrine that's dedicated to Dewi Danu the lake goddess. The Dutch administration anticipated the eruption and evacuated the village up on the crater rim, and the surviving shrine was also moved up and placed in the new temple of Pura Ulun Danu. Spiritually Mount Batur is the second most important mountain on Bali for the Hindu followers.

PURA ULUN DANU BATUR is the second most important temple on the island after the mother temple Besakih. It is one of the highly venerated directional temples. The temple honors the Goddess of the lake Dewi Danu who controls the water for the irrigation system throughout the island. The different temples in the complex thus reflect a concern with not only the invisible world, but the world of living as well. Parts of the major shrines are; PURA PENATARAN AGUNG BATUR is the principal temple, with the five main courtyards. The dominant shrines are the merus, an 11-tiered one for the lake goddess and three 9-tiered ones for the gods of mount Batur, mount Abang, and Ida Batara Dalem Waturenggong, the defied king of Gelgel dynasty who said to have ruled from 1460 to 1550. The Chinese looking shrine is for Ida Ratu Ayu Subandar, the patron saint of commerce. Another 3-tiered meru is for Ida Ratu Ayu Kentel Gumi who protects the crops from disease. PENATARAN PURA JATI is related to the source temple on the western edge of the lake. PURA TIRTA BUNGKAH is related to the hot spring down by the lake. PURA TAMAN SARI and PURA TIRTA MAS MAMPEH are concerned with agriculture. PURA SAMPIAN WANGI is dedicated to such crafts as weaving, sewing, the making of offerings and ceremonial cakes. PURA GUNARALI is where adolescent boys and girls can invoke help to develop their natural abilities. PURA PADANG SILA consists of forty-five stone shrines for the gods and goddesses of Pura Ulun Danu Batur. PURA TULUKBIU just next to Pura Ulun Danu is another relocated temple. Tulukbiu is the old name of Abang, the second highest mountain in Bali at the southern edge of the summit of Mt. Abang. ERUPTION of Mt. BATUR – it has erupted more than 20 times since 1800, major eruption was in 1917, August 3rd, 1926, September 1963, May 1964, March 1974, and August 7th, 1994.

Bedugul– High in the central ranges of west Bali, a cool mountain retreat nestles in the crater of an extinct volcano. Here placid Lake Bratan, source of life-giving water for the springs, rivers and rice fields below. Verdant tropical rainforest blanket the hills, which at 1400 m above the sea level provide temperatures several degrees lower than the plains (11° to 30° C). On the western shore of the lake, dramatic PURA ULUN DANU BRATAN projects into the water. It is the temple of the lake goddess who is revered as a source of fertility, built by the king of Mengwi in 1633. It consists of four compounds.
BOTANICAL GARDEN – a large expanse of tropical rainforest in the foothills of Bukit Tapak was set aside by the government in 1959. It is covering an area of 129.2 hectares. More than 650 tree species have been recorded in the park, and there are 459 different wild and propagated orchids, including some rare ones collected from nearby forest.

CANDI KUNING is one of the best markets for buying tropical spices, variety of vegetables, flowers and fresh fruits.

Bedulu was once the capital of a great kingdom with a semi-mythical pig-headed king, Dalem Beda-Hulu. The legend relates how Beda-Hulu possessed magical powers. He used to sit and meditate, removing his head to reach the beyond. On one such occasion, an unnatural disturbance occurred and the king was forced to get a new head quickly. A pig happened by and its head was taken to place on then neck of the king. Thereafter the king was forced to sit on a high throne and forbade his subjects to look up at him. Beda-Hulu means "he who changed head".

PURA SAMUAN TIGA: temple of the meeting of the three. The name is possibly a reference to the Hindu trinity, or it may refer to the meetings held here in the early 11th century.

Not far away from Bedulu there are the Yeh Pulu reliefs and Goa Gajah.

GOA GAJAH: the famous "Elephant Cave". It overlooks the Petanu River and consists of a Siwaitic rock-cut cave, a bathing place, a monks' chamber, a number of Buddhist rock-cut stuppas and statues, and several foundations. It is known as the 11th century Buddhist hermitage.

YEH PULU RELIEFS: chipped away from the sheer rock face, the 25-meter-long series of Yeh Pulu carvings are said to date back to the 14th century. The reliefs are in naturalistic style. Legend has it that the great giant architect-general, Kebo Iwa carved out the enchanting picture-shape of village life and animals, which are interspersed with Balinese Hindu gods, with his fingernails.

Belimbing village lies on the Antosari – Pupuan road, in the midst of the spectacular rice terraces along the way. In the neighbourhood there are also large plantations of cacao, coffee and cloves spices. This is a lovely place to take a rest with picturesque rice terraces that stretches from the foothills to the sea with Mount Batukaru as its nice backdrop.

Besakih the greatest of all Balinese sanctuaries, the most sacred and powerful of the island's innumerable temples. It is perched nearly 1000 m on the southwestern slope of Mt. Agung, offering spectacular views over the whole of southern Bali. It is an extensive complex of 23 separate but related temples. The more important for this temple is the great purification ceremonies of Panca Wali Krama, theoretically held every 10 years, and Eka Dasa Rudra, every 100 years.

Brahma Vihara Arama – Bali's only Buddhist monastery is located in the village of Banjar Tegehe, 18 kilometres west of Singaraja, 2 kilometres south of Singaraja-Seririt main road. This Buddhist monastery is only vaguely Buddhist looking, with colourful decorations, a bright orange roof and statues of Buddha, but it has very Balinese decorative carvings and door guardians. The impressive features are a huge temple bell, donated from Thailand, panels depicting Buddha fables, and Buddha sculptures. It’s quite a handsome structure in a commanding location, with views down the valley and across the paddy fields to the sea. The monastery suffered major damage from an earthquake in 1976 but now is completely restored. It doesn’t advertise any regular courses or programs, but visitors are welcome to meditate in

The convent was built in 1969 and finished in the next year, covering an area of 1 hectare. It was inaugurated in 1973, consists of 5 main parts: Uposatha Gara (on the top in the western side)-used as the training place for the future bhiku (priest), Dharmasala (eastern side)-used for prayer and sermons, Stupa (giant bell like building)-used for holy relic storage, Bodi Tree (the sacred tree) and Kuti-the dwelling place of bhikus and students.

Bukit Jambul is a hill understandably popular for its magnificent views of the extensive coconut groves, cloves plantations and picturesque rice fields, situated in the middle of the Klungkung-Besakih road. Inevitably, several restaurants have appeared here to provide

Candi Dasa is a new beach resort in eastern part of Bali with numerous beachside hotels and restaurants. This is a good base to explore the easternmost part of the island. Most of the accommodations and restaurants here are good value and the ambiance is tranquil. It’s very popular among divers despite it's lack of a beach. There are breakwaters along the beach line to stop the strong erosion.

Ceking – It is located north of Ubud very well known for its spectacular rice terrace view.

Celuk is a center of gold and silver work. Original designs in delicate filigree make Balinese jewelry one of the most unusual styles in Asia. Although individual pieces are elaborate, they have simple origins in their making. Artisans use a tree stump with a protruding iron spike as a pounding base, a bamboo stem to catch the fillings, and a manually operated gas pump for heat. As the
most of the Balinese crafts, gold and silver work is a hereditary trade. Apprentices
begin young, by the time the boys are twelve, they are already producing fine pieces of jewellery.

Denpasar is the capital city of Bali province with population around 350,000 people. It is a "village city" with an aristocratic past that was born from the ashes of the defeated Pemecutan court following the Puputan massacre of 1906, Denpasar became a sleepy administrative outpost during the Dutch time. Since independence, and especially after it was made as the capital city of Bali in 1958 it has been transformed into a bustling city of some 350,000 souls that provides administrative, commercial and educational services not only to booming Bali, but to much eastern Indonesia as well. Denpasar is the most dynamic city east of Surabaya in east Jawa and arguably the richest in the country. As a microcosm of both modern Bali and modern Indonesia, Denpasar is easier to understand than to see. Nevertheless, it awaits the intelligent travelers who want to learn about the future as well as the past, and who wishes to take home more than just a few images. So forget your lens for a while, forget the traditional villages and have a look at the new urban Bali.