East Bali Land Tour
This Bali trip uncovers the hidden beauties of East Bali where the Karangasem kingdom still lies today. Our first stop will be one of the 9 most important Balinese temples and so-called guardian of the East – Pura Luhur Lempuyang. The complex consists of several temples with the highest one located at 1715m above sea level and some 1700 stairs leading to it. Luckily for you, we will climb only a couple of dozen stairs that lead to the Lempuyang temple itself. Through its main gate, you will have a picturesque view of Mount Agung. This place is certainly known thanks to famous mirror pictures of Bali scenery and you are welcome to take yours here, too.
Next stop will be the royal bath of Tirta Gangga. Built in 1946, this mix of maze, statues, and ponds used to be the King’s summer house and today is a perfect place to just enjoy and relax for both locals and tourists. It is a very popular Bali destination thanks to the beautiful atmosphere of a well-kept garden and opportunity to take a picture as you are feeding large carps in the ponds. The direct translation of the name Tirta means blessed water and Gangga comes from the Ganges, the holy river in India. At certain ceremony days, people from nearby villages will come in colorful processions with offerings and the sounds of the gamelan music.
The hidden beauty of East Bali
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We will have lunch near the Tirta Gangga and afterwards, we will head to Ujung water palace. This marvelous complex used to be a getaway place for the Bali royal family to enjoy their days off. It consists of three large ponds connected with charming pathways, bridges and buildings made combining the Balinese and European architecture. This place also has a beautiful view on mounts Agung and lush green vegetation on the north side and sea on the southeast.
Our last stop before returning to our diving resort in Padangbai will be the village of Tenganan. It is one of the last few places where the Balinese still hold on to their special Bali traditions, unlike any others. You will be able to walk through the village, study the traditional architecture and learn about local arts and crafts. You can enter almost every house and find here local craftsmen busy with carving wooden masks, creating basketry products or weaving cloths.
- It is believed that the majority of Balinese temples are made based on the architecture of Pura Lempuyan.
- The temple is considered as the part of six holiest places in Bali, providing spiritual balance to the island.
- Lempuyang temple represents the direction of East and white color associated with purity.
- Bali has more than 20,000 official temples excluding private temples that can be found in each household.
- Since 1970, Bali has a regulation stating that buildings cannot be higher than 15 meters – which is the approximate height of coconut tree.
- The Tirta Gangga Water Palace is a usual destination of colorful ceremonies with offerings, umbrellas, and traditional music.
- As much as 80% of the island’s population lives in the south of Bali. The western part has still parts with uninhabited jungle where until the 1940s lived wild tigers.
- Tirta Gangga used to be an exile for people who practiced black magic. However, the kind decided in 1909 to rebuild it into the leisure complex for the royal family.
- The Tirta Gangga has been heavily damaged by the earthquake and the restorations finished in 2004.
- Kastala village has an unusual tradition of so-called Pandan leaf wars. During this occasion, the young men fight each other with lashes from leaves equipped with sharp thorns. Even though it sounds scary, this is a friendly duel between young men and beloved occasion for visiting.