On the east coast of Bali, surrounded by high mountains, lies an ancient fortress village called Tenganan. Dating back to at least the 11th century, Tenganan preserves certain ways life lost to the rest of Bali. It is regarded by the Balinese as a ‘senior’ village.
The uniqueness of Tenganan is evident the moment of stepping through one of the four gates in the wall that encloses the entire the village – Tenganan has a feuding past. Grey stones pave the roads and wall off the houses, each with exactly the same layout as the next. Gentle giants, the beautiful Balinese buffalo, loiter freely in shady spots.
The culture of Tenganan is similarly unique, based on a philosophy of interconnectivity. This philosophy is reflected in the design of the ‘gringsing’ weaving, practiced in only two other places in the world outside of Tenganan. Gringsing uses natural dyes painstakingly made from products collected from the forest.
Tenganan is three km off the main road between Klungkung and Amlapura, just before Candidasa, and 17-km southwest of Amlapura. Catch a ‘bemo’ from Klungkung or Padangbai to the Tenganan turnoff, then mount the back of one of the 15 or so waiting ‘ojek’ motorcycles and travel up through a tunnel of banana trees and bamboo.
You can also stay in Candidasa-no accommodations in Tenganan-then early in the morning walk from the main road up to Tenganan. The turnoff is on the west side of the village, then it’s about another five kilometers up the hill through thick forests-a great walk. Or hitch a minibus, ‘oplet’, truck, or anything else headed your way. Another option is to rent a bicycle in Candidasa; it’s a nice, though uphill, ride.
The road ends at the southern entrance gate to Tenganan where you’ll be asked for a donation. Foodstalls, inside and out, sell cold drinks and snacks. It’s best not to arrive between 1100 and 1400 when the small village and parking lot are deluged with tourist.
Another way to reach this traditional village is to follow the road on top of the hill behind Candidasa in a northerly direction; a two-and-a-half-hour walk. Stop for boiled water and fruit at Ni Komang Rerot’s house along the way. If you walk into the hills beyond Tenganan, the road turns to the northeast. Check out the panorama from the ‘pura’ in Gumang, the highest point overlooking a deep valley. In Tenganan, ask about the footpath to Tirtagangga.
Much of it revolves around souvenir selling. The people have completely adapted to the tourist economy. Nowadays tables selling palm leaf books a re set up at intervals the whole length of the main street. Nearly every home seems to hold a display room or bale. The young men are cool dudes who speak American- or British-accented English while feigning an air of boyish innocence, cunning traders and bargainers, the people are friendly yet dignified. You’re invited to take tea and photos of women weaving wide temple belts on rhythmical back strap looms.
The walled village’s quiet somnolent air is accentuated by the lack of vehicular traffic except for the occasional motorcycle. There are no accommodations for tourists. Morning is proclaimed at Tenganan by 21 low drumbeats at around 0600 and curfew is loudly announced at 2000 when all visitors must leave.
The village of Tenganan has maintained its ancient pre-Hindu customs. Unique ritual offering dances and gladiator like battles are enacted as they have been for centuries. Tenganan is famous for its “Double Ikat” woven cloths called gringsing, which are supposed to protect the wearer with magical power.
The Perang Pandan is one of the famous tradition which has listed in Indonesian Tourism Annual Event. Held in the range of June until Tenganan village has a precious custom on a based community forest. This village has maintained their forest and all its contents for centuries. Their ancestors know the meaning of a forest for their sustainability life. There is no enough space to tell you about the unique of Tenganan village.
The structure of resident in Tenganan village is built in linear consisted of six rays. Each of ray consisted of some lawn broadly, the building form where the local community use it to present the handicraft for tourists. All the tradition existences of the human being are harmoniously with the God, human and environment as according to Tri Hita Karana concept. The Tourism Destination of Tenganan remains to draw during the time, goodness as tourism cultural object, tourism nature and agriculture tourism. Destination of Tenganan remains to draw during the time, goodness as tourism cultural object, tourism nature and agriculture tourism
Visitors will feel comfortable when visiting this area, for some facilities are available here, like food stalls, good toilets, arts shops and a quite large parking area. If we wish to have meal in restaurants or to spend the night near this area, we can go to Candidasa, which is only 3 km from this village. To get to Tenganan, get a lift up from the main road by ojek; and have a pleasant walk back down to the main road contemplating the intricacies of the Bali Aga culture. There is no entrance fee to Tenganan but a small donation is requested as we enter the village.
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