Singaraja Tourist Attractions
By road: from Denpasar north via Sempidi, Mengwi and Bedugul; or - a much more attractive route - Denpasar to Kapal, then west via Antosari to Pengastulan and along the coast via Lovina Beach.
Bus: regular services daily from Denpasar-Ubung.Bemo: on coast road to Lovina Beach.Singaraja, chief town of Buleleng district and Bali's second largest town, lies on the north coast of the island just under 80 km (50 mi.) from Denpasar. In the fertile surrounding area there are extensive coffee plantations. The new harbor to the west of the town plays an important part in Bali's trade with other Indonesian islands.History The area around Singaraja seems to have been settled as early as the 10th century, but it was only towards the end of the 16th century, in the reign of Raja Panji Sakti, that the town became a place of any real consequence. It was named Singaraja after the palace built by the Raja in 1604. The Buleleng district takes its name from a type of grain which was grown here in the late medieval period.During the Dutch efforts to gain control of Bali Singaraja played a part of some importance, and it was only in 1849, after several unsuccessful attempts, that the Dutch managed to capture the stronghold. Later the town became the headquarters of the Dutch colonial administration, and remained the island's capital until 1946, when it gave place to Denpasar.The original town of Singaraja lies a little inland, with the districts of Pegulangan and Pabeanbuleleng to the north. It is a less bustling town than the present capital, Denpasar.Features of interest in Pabeanbuleleng are a charming Chinese temple (usually closed) on the Old Harbour, two small mosques and the lively Great Market (Tama Lila) held daily in Jalan Ahmad Yani.
The Pura Dalem, one of the most interesting Hindu temples in northern Bali is in Jalan Gajah Mada.A small split gate leads into the first courtyard, which contains few buildings of any great interest. To the left is another richly decorated gate giving access to the second courtyard, which, surprisingly, is some 2 m (61/2 ft) lower. On the left-hand side of this is the Bale Gong, on the right-hand side the Bale Pemalaiyagan, in which the gods are received when they attend festivals in the temple. On the right of the wall between the first and second courtyards is a raised seat for the priests, and adjoining this an offering stand. At the far end of the temple complex steps lead up to a stone terrace, on which are gedongs dedicated to various divinities. Throughout the inner temple precinct and on the outer walls are finely executed reliefs which merit close attention.
Gedong Kirtya Library
A visit to the Gedong Kirtya Library in Jalan Veteran can be recommended to those who are interested in Balinese history and have some knowledge of Dutch.The library contains some 3000 old manuscripts written on leaves of the lontar palm and numerous diaries, newspapers and periodicals dating from the period of Dutch occupation. These modern publications are in poor condition and already show signs of disintegration. Only the palm-leaf manuscripts are kept in lead boxes; the other material - arranged in a rather haphazard way - is on open shelves.But if you have time at your disposal or are prepared to spend a rainy day on an excursion into the history of Bali you may well make some interesting discoveries in the Gedong Kirtya Library. The staff allow visitors access to almost all the library's holdings; and before leaving you will be expected to make an entry in the visitors' book and offer an appropriate financial contribution.
There are a number of attractions in the area surrounding Singaraja.
10 km (6 mi.) west-south-west of Singaraja, on the shores of the Bali Sea, is the resort of Lovina Beach, with a number of new hotels. Although the quality of the beach is not particularly high - it is narrow, with dark-colored sand - it is a pleasant enough place for a bathing holiday, much quieter than the crowded beaches of southern Bali.
Just to the west of Singaraja a side road branches off the road from Lovina Beach on the right (signposted "Air Panas") and comes in a few kilometers to Komala Tirtha, with hot sulphurous springs, beautifully situated in the forest. Visitors can bathe in the pools fed by the springs.
At the village of Sangsit, 6 km (4 mi.) north-east of Singaraja, is the lavishly decorated Pura Beji, a temple dedicated to the fertility and rice goddess Dewi Sri which belongs to a rice-farmers' co-operative (subak). The temple shows Chinese as well as Hindu features. The tripartite split gate leading into the inner courtyard is exceptionally richly ornamented; on its outer surface are several grimacing demons framed in finely carved lotus blossoms. Beyond the gate is an aling-aling (protective wall to keep out demons) flanked by two snakes. The profusion of carved ornament characteristic of northern Bali continues in the inner courtyard. Above the temple rears the gedong of the goddess Dewi Sri.On leaving the temple note the three figures from the "Ramayana" on each side.Sangsit's other temple, the Pura Dalem, is relatively plain but is notable for its finely carved reliefs.
10 km (6 mi.) south of Sangsit is the village of Sawan, which is famed for the manufacture of gongs.
Map of Singaraja Attractions