Tabanan Tourist Attractions
Top Tourist Attractions in Tabanan
By road: from Denpasar take the Gilimanuk and Negara road.Bus and bemo: good services daily from Denpasar-Ubung.Tabanan, chief town of the district of the same name, lies 24 km (15 mi.) north-west of Denpasar in a fertile and intensively cultivated region, known as the "rice granary of Bali".HistoryThe town, or rather its rulers, played an important part during the period when the Dutch were attempting to occupy Bali.
A powerful princedom from its earliest days, Tabanan retained its power for centuries and developed, particularly during the reign of Gusti Pandji Sakti (c. 1700), into one of the most influential princedoms on Bali.When the Dutch landed on the north coast of Bali on June 22nd 1846 the Balinese forces could hold out only for a few days, and the princes of Bali went into hiding in the mountains. The declaration of one Raja is still remembered: "So long as I live this state will never recognize the sovereignty of Holland. Better that the kris should decide." When Dutch forces finally captured Tabanan and stood at the gates of the palace the members of the princely family did indeed take up their krises and commit ritual suicide (puputan).Apart from a number of temples the town has no sights of particular interest: these are to be found in the surrounding area. The busy market (pasar) near the bemo station, however, is well worth a visit. Tabanan is also famed for its excellent gamelan orchestra. There is a Christian mission station in the town.On the eastern outskirts of the town is a small but interesting Rice Museum which presents an excellent picture of rice cultivation on Bali.
SceneryThe road north from Tabanan in the direction of Singaraja runs through an upland region of breathtaking beauty, passing intricately patterned rice terraces and busy little villages with friendly inhabitants. It is worth allowing plenty of time for the trip, with leisure to take in the varied impressions which this beautiful landscape affords.
A few kilometers south-west of Tabanan the large village of Krambitan has two interesting princely palaces, the Puri Anyar and the Puri Gede. Both palaces are directly on the village street.
The Puri Anyar is a faithful reconstruction of a palace originally built in the 17th century but largely destroyed in an earthquake. It is now a hotel, set in a beautiful tropical garden. Visitors may be allowed to look round the palace, which is laid out round a number of courtyards, even if they are not staying in it.
Opposite the Puri Anyar is the Puri Gede, built in the second third of the 18th century in typical Balinese style. It can be seen by appointment.
Pura Luhur Batukau
28 km (17 mi.) north of Tabanan on a good road, at the foot of Gunung Batukau (2276 m (7468 ft)), Bali's second highest mountain, stands the Pura Luhur Batukau, one of the six royal temples of Bali.The extensive temple complex lies in a romantic jungle landscape, with the central shrine oriented on Gunung Batukau.In front of the entrance to the first courtyard, to the left, is the little Pura Dalem. Its most notable feature being the stone throne of Batari Uma (here in his manifestation as Durga), with a figure of Vishnu mounted on the divine bird Garuda.In the first of the temple's two courtyards, to right and left, are a number of bales in which offerings of flowers and fruit are prepared. The second courtyard is entered through the traditional split gate (candi bentar), with intricately carved reliefs. In this courtyard are several merus dedicated to different divinities, with varying numbers of pagoda roofs (tumpangs). The tallest, in the center, has seven tiers and is dedicated to Batara Panji Sakti. To the left of this is a three-tiered meru dedicated to the five gods of the directions (Shiva, Vishnu, Ishvara, Brahma and Mahadevi).Annually in March thousands of pilgrims from all over Bali make their way to the Pura Luhur Batukau and for several days make offerings to the gods. At these times the temple, which is normally quiet and unfrequented, is a place of busy and colorful activity.
7 km (41/2 mi.) south of the village of Wangayagede are the hot sulphurous springs of Yeh Panas. The extensive bathing establishment which has recently been laid out here includes a large swimming pool, individual rooms with mineral baths, and a restaurant.
Pura Tanah Lot
If there is one sight on Bali which no visitor to the island should miss it is the Pura Tanah Lot. Every evening coach-loads of tourists from Kuta, Legian and Sanur make their way through a labyrinth of lanes lined by souvenir-sellers to enjoy the magnificent spectacle of the sun setting behind the little temple on a rocky islet off the coast.The Pura Tanah Lot, which can be reached on foot at low tide, was built at the beginning of the 16th century by Pedanda Sakti Bau Rauh, a priest who was forced to flee from religious persecution on Java and founded several temples on Bali. There is a shrine dedicated to him in the Pura Tanah Lot. The tallest building within the temple precinct (which normally cannot be entered by non-Hindus) is a five-tiered meru, the abode of the divine trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Another shrine is believed to be inhabited by a sacred snake.The best view of the temple and of the sunset, for those who cannot get a place at the temple itself or on the invariably crowded viewing terrace, is to be had from a point rather farther away on the cliff-fringed coast.