Puri Agung Karangasem

The location of Karangasem Palace is in the center of Amlapura, approximately 78 km from Denpasar.

Description

As it was mentioned before, the architecture of Puri Agung Karangasem is the combination of three different styles. Balinese architecture can be found on the carving of Hindu's statues and the relief on the wall of the building. The European influence is seen on the style of the main building with its large veranda, while the Chinese architecture is implied on the style of the window, the door and its other ornaments. Puri Agung Karangasem consists of three parts, namely Bencingah, Jaba Tengah, and Maskerdam. Bencingah is the front part of the Palace, where traditional art performance takes place. Jaba Tengah is set as the Palace Garden with a big pond. In the middle of the pond, there is a building called "Balai Gili" or floating building, here we can also find 2 old lychee trees. The third part is Maskerdam, of which the name was given after the name Amsterdam, a city in Netherlands. This building was constructed when the King of Karangasem started opening relationship with the Dutch government.

History

Puri Agung Karangasem or Karangasem Palace was built in 19th Century by Anak Agung Gede Jelantik, the first king of Karangasem Kingdom. This tourist destination is visited for its unique architecture, which is the combination of Balinese, Chinese and European architectures.

Puri Karangasem Historical Society

Puri Agung Karangasem, home of the royal family of Karangasem, covers three palaces built by the last Raja in the early 20th century: Puri Agung, Taman Ujung, Taman Tirtagannga. Stiff Chilli is helping Puri Karangasem in preserving the history both through video oral history and digitalising all written records.

Great Great Uncle Gede Jelantik

“The king’s palace is located at the centre of the city, a huge walled area consisting of grand buildings in numerous separate courtyards. Its inner walls of red brick would have been around 4metres high, towering over everything around with beautiful Chinese porcelain plates set into them. At the main entrances a number mountainous great gates in a kind of pyramid shape topped the walls. These gates were the first of many symbols of the three worlds heaven, earth and hell. Just outside the main gate was an open yard were the king held audiences and staged theatrical performances. Behind the gates the gates were a series of inner courtyards. The nearest to the entrance of these inner courtyards would have been for the kings menagerie : all kinds of beasts from domestic pigs to horses and deer. Other courtyards near that acted as quarters for the royal slaves and concubines, whose modest pavilions typified the dwellings of most Balinese.

Further inside, beyond the lush gardens where ponds enclosed high open pavilions ,were the royal quarters with a monumental central building in brick, which was decorated again with porcelain and surrounded by all kinds of statues. Its doors like the doors of the main gates were beautifully carved woodwork covered in gold. Like the heroic king Rama’s palace in ancient epic the Ramayana, the decorations of the Karangasem Palace were part of its image of wealth and beauty, they were its treasures which “like white teeth, grinning at the inferior beauty of heaven”. Besides the king,the most important inhabitant of the palace was first wife,whose importance was greater even than the powerful chief minister.Such a queen was deliberately chosen as first wife of the king from among many subsidiary or lesser wives. Balinese kings needed a large number of wives to ensure that there would be at least one surviving male heir to carry on the dynasty,but also to show that their power extended over the whole kingdom,for the women taken into the court were not only from aristocracy,but were the sisters and daughters of important leaders on all levels of society.At times polygamy was taken to such lengths that one king of south Bali is remembered as having 800 wives.

The women chosen as queens were of royal birth,which meant that they brought their own power,wealth and influence to the court,and created special ties between the king and other major families of the state. The inner courtyards behind the gates were closed to all but the king ,his wives and family,the chief ministers of state and the slaves and the ubiquitous bodyguards ,armed with arrows,spears,blowpipes and krisses.In front of the main gate,the open courtyard was sheltered by a huge banyan tree and surrounded by small pavilions,each of which was mounted with cannons decorated with silver. The presence in the palace of the different elements of the kingdom,and ultimately of the world was important to the maintenance of Karangasem,the centre of the kingdom.In the royal palace there was a great collection of all types of humanity,including albino dwarfs and foreigners,whose strangeness represented the forces of diversity and difference from the norms of Balinese society, forces which the king symbolically harnessed by including their potentially dangerous presence in the centre of his powerful world.

Not far from the east of the palace was a Moslem community,which is still there and these muslims provided traders for the court as well as interpreters who could speak Malay,the lingua franca of the archipelago. a chief place where the king’s power was reconciled with the will of the gods. To maintain the relationship between ruler and realm the king had to be seen by and to see the to carry on the dynasty,but also to show that their power extended over the whole kingdom,for the women taken into the court were not only from aristocracy,but were the sisters and daughters of important leaders on all levels of society.At times polygamy was taken to such lengths that one king of south Bali is remembered as having 800 wives.The women chosen as queens were of royal birth,which meant that they brought their own power,wealth and influence to the court,and created special ties between the king and other major families of the state. The inner courtyards behind the gates were closed to all but the king ,his wives and family,the chief ministers of state and the slaves and the ubiquitous bodyguards ,armed with arrows,spears,blowpipes and krisses.

In front of the main gate,the open courtyard was sheltered by a huge banyan tree and surrounded by small pavilions,each of which was mounted with cannons decorated with silver. The presence in the palace of the different elements of the kingdom,and ultimately of the world was important to the maintenance of Karangasem,the centre of the kingdom.In the royal palace there was a great collection of all types of humanity,including albino dwarfs and foreigners,whose strangeness represented the forces of diversity and difference from the norms of Balinese society,forces which the king symbolically harnessed by including their potentially dangerous presence in the centre of his powerful world. This was the face-to-face basis of a kingdom where the king and his royal family together with the major lords and all their bodyguards and slaves,The king had to be accessible through audiences in the forcourt of his palace,but he also traveled to different parts of the island making rituals visits to temples,demonstrating that he was a friend of the gods.

Kings in Bali had to control or harness the natural and supernatural elements of the world through all possible symbolic means:through having vast palaces which acted as centres of power,through initiating and preserving laws which came from the gods,and through holding vast rituals in which everyone in the state could be involved.This kind of personal contact and participation involving king and subjects formed an emotional and religious bond between the two that made the state work. [Not far from the east of the palace was a Moslem community,which is still there and these muslims provided traders for the court as well as interpreters who could speak Malay,the lingua franca of the archipelago. a chief place where the king’s power was reconciled with the will of the gods. To maintain the relationship between ruler and realm the king had to be seen by and to see the people.

This was the face-to-face basis of a kingdom where the king and his royal family together with the major lords and all their bodyguards and slaves, The king had to be accessable through audiences in the forcourt of his palace, but he also traveled to different parts of the island making rituals visits to temples, demonstrating that he was a friend of the gods. Kings in Bali had to control or harness the natural and supernatural elements of the world through all possible symbolic means: through having vast palaces which acted as centres of power, through initiating and preserving laws which came from the gods,and through holding vast rituals in which everyone in the state could be involved.This kind of personal contact and participation involving king and subjects formed an emotional and religious bond between the two that made the state work.

How to Get To Puri Agung Karangasem

  1. 5 minutes from Karangasem City
  2. 1 ½ hours from Denpasar
  3. 20 minutes from Candidasa

What You Can See Around Puri Agung Karangasem

  1. Taman Ujung, which by the local people is called as Taman Soekasada Ujung, was built in 1919. However, the launching of this complex of water palace was performed in 1912. The water palace was constructed by the late King of Karangasem, I Gusti Bagus Jelantik, which reigned in Karangasem between 1909 and 1945.
  2. Tirta Gangga, scratches on a 1,2 Hectare area, which consists of three complexes. The first complex lies on the lowest level of this area, where we can find two ponds and a water tower. The second complex in the middle level is the location where we can find swimming pools; while in the third part, which is the main complex, we can find the rest house of the King.
  3. Candidasa, is well known for its shiny white sand. Tourism industry flourishes significantly in this area that background by the Indonesian Ocean. From this place, we will see Lombok Island and Nusa Penida in a distance and the sparkling light of "Jukung" or traditional boat at night that will always draw us to come again.
  4. Teganan Pegeringsingan, As an ancient village, Tenganan Pegeringsingan is identical with religious activities. Many temple festivals performed in this village that attract visitors to come. The most famous one is "Mekare-kare" or "Perang Pandan". This is a ceremonial fight or war using thorny pandanous leaves as the weapon.
  5. Amed Beach, a small part of the island that provides a thousand opportunities to explore in a day, do trekking surround the hills and volcano, walking along the nature beach, witnessing the sunrise on the beautiful strait of Lombok and the romantic sunset on the top of Mt. Agung or just to see the villages tapping palm, wine and try to sip it.