Bedulu Tourist Attractions
By road: from Denpasar via Sukawati and Sakah; then shortly before Ubud, at Teges, take a road on the right.Bus and bemo: good regular services from Denpasar-Kereneng.Bedulu, once capital of the oldest princedom on Bali, lies in an intensively cultivated region which rises gradually from here to the central uplands. Over the years Bedulu has gradually joined up with the neighboring town of Pejeng.In Bedulu itself there are no sights of particular interest: these are to be found in the neighboring town of Pejeng and in the surrounding area. One feature that may catch the eye in passing through the town is the four-headed divine figure at the street intersection in the center of the town.
There are a number of attractions in the area surrounding Bedulu.
1 km (3/4 mi.) south of Bedulu is the source sanctuary of Yeh Pulu, with a relief 27 m (89 ft) long and up to 2 m (61/2 ft) high, believed to be one of the oldest on Bali, depicting scenes from everyday life on the island. Archaeologists are divided about the meaning and purpose of this relief: some of the scenes may depict Krishna or refer to legends about one of his numerous manifestations. The figures, which are life-size and fully rounded, probably date from the 14th or 15th century.
2 km (11/4 mi.) from Bedulu the famous Elephant Cave of Goa Gajah was revered by Hindus from the end of the first millennium and possibly by Buddhists before then. The cave was rediscovered in 1923, and the bathing-place in front of it was excavated in 1954. This source sanctuary owes its name - unexpected on Bali, where according to tradition there were never any elephants - to the form of the cave mouth, which looks something like an elephant's head.In the cave is revered a 1 m (3 ft) high figure with four arms representing the elephant god Ganesha, one of the sons of Shiva. To the right of this, on a stone base, are three lingams, symbolizing Shiva in his three manifestations as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva himself. Round each lingam are eight small phallic symbols, representing the eight guardians of the worlds. Outside the cave were separate bathing pools for men and for women, with a small one in between whose function is not known (possibly for the ritual purification of members of the priestly caste). The pipes from which the water emerged are elaborately carved.To see the Elephant Cave properly you should have a pocket torch (not available locally).
Gedong Arca Purbakala
At the east end of Bedulu, on the road to Pejeng, stands the very interesting Archaeological Museum (Gedong Arca Purbakala).In the inner courtyard are 53 tufa sarcophagi of varying size which are believed to date from about 300 BC. They were found in the early seventies on 37 different sites on Bali and brought together here. Some of them show signs of damage - probably the work of tomb-robbers or careless excavators.The dead were laid in the sarcophagi not in the traditional western fashion but in a crouching posture. This is thought to be a symbolic representation of the eternal cycle of birth, death and rebirth, in which the dead person was reborn from a fetal position. Particularly striking is a sarcophagus found at Taman Bali (near Bangli) in the form of two turtles (symbols of the underworld), one on top of the other. Interestingly, the head of the lower turtle has human features.The museum displays a variety of jewelry and ornaments, utensils and implements dating from the Stone and Bronze Ages - mostly chance finds rather than the result of planned excavation. Of particular interest are the miniature stupas from the Bedulu/Pejeng area, no doubt dating from Bali's Buddhist period (8th-10th c. AD).
Pura Panataran Sasih
Pura Panataran SasihThe principal sight in the temple of Pura Panataran Sasih, which stands on the road from Bedulu to Pejeng, is what is claimed to be the largest kettledrum in the world, the famous "Moon of Pejeng". In fact it is not so much a drum as a gong, 1.25 m (4 ft) in diameter and richly decorated with spiral bands of ornament, stylized faces and Hindu symbols. Little can be seen of this, however, since the gong is hung high up in a bale and partly concealed.While the date of the gong is well established (Dongsong culture, c. 300 BC), it has not been possible, in spite of intensive research, to determine its place of origin or the meaning of the decoration. The local people are firmly of the opinion that the Moon of Pejeng was one of the originally thirteen moons in the sky and that it fell to earth on the precise spot where the temple now stands. It is said that on the night on which it fell it landed in the branches of a tree, where it shone so brightly that it upset the plans of a gang of thieves. One of the thieves tried to put the light out by urinating on it: whereupon the moon exploded, killing the thief, and fell to the ground.
Pura Kebo Edan
The Pura Kebo Edan is, the Temple of the Crazy Water-Buffalo. In the center of the temple can be seen a colossal figure 3.60 m (12 ft) high, thought to represent the giant Bhairava, standing on a figure who is probably Yama, god of the dead. To left and right are a bull and a giant demon.On the bales are numerous figures and fragments, many of them with terrifyingly grimacing faces. It is believed that orgiastic Tantric ceremonies were celebrated in this temple, in the course of which the participants are said to have drunk human blood.
Pura Samuan Tiga
Near the Elephant Cave is the temple of Pura Samuan Tiga, which is dedicated to the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. It contains a number of shrines housing particularly venerated figures.