Buleleng

Travel Guide Lesser Sunda Islands Bali Buleleng

edit

Introduction

Buleleng regency lies in the north of Bali. It has been a kingdom since the middle of the 17th century, when Blambangan in East Java belonged to its territory. When the Dutch attacked Buleleng, it had already fallen under the suzerainty of Karangasem. The Dutch then made Singaraja the main trading port of the Lesser Sunda Islands. In 1929 the Dutch appointed Gusti Panji Sakti, a descendant of the first king, as regent. When he died in 1944, his son, Anak Agung Pandji Tisna, reluctantly took over his duties. In 1947 A.A. Panjdi Tisna converted to Christianity and surrendered the throne to his younger brother. Pandji Tisna is better known as a novelist, having written several novels about life in Bali.

Top

edit

Geography

With 1366 square kilometres Buleleng is Bali’s largest regency, comprising most of the island’s area north of the watershed. Many small rivers run off north from the hills. Buleleng has a long coastline along the calm Java sea, with the popular beaches of Lovina and Pemuteran. Until recently the western part of Buleleng was scarcely populated, so there we find the only national park of Bali.

Top

edit

Towns

  • Singaraja, the capital of Buleleng, counts almost 150,000 inhabitants.

Top

edit

Villages

  • Beratan – Beratan is a village just south of Singaraja, known for its gold and silver home industry. At Mayor Metra Street #83 you can see the craftsmen at work and of course buy.
  • Lovina is the name of a coastal area west of Singaraja, facing the villages Kalibukubuk and Kaliasem. Its boundaries are not well-defined, but at its centre one finds the Lovina Dolphin Statue. It has become an alternative for those who find Kuta beach too wild, both the sea and the nightlife.
  • Pemuteran – At 55 kilometres west of Singaraja and 30 kilometres east of Gilimanuk, Pemuteran is the preferred base for visiting West Bali National Park and going snorkeling at Menjangan Island. The Pejarakan jetty where one hires a boat for Menjangan Island is 10 kilometres to the west. At Pemuteran there is ample choice of accommodation and restaurants. One can also snorkel off the beach at Pemuteran where they have created an artificial reef.
  • Sambangan - The territory of Sambangan village stretches for 10 kilometres along a river valley. The river counts several waterfalls and pools. A favourite trek starts at a dam upstream and leads past seven falls to the paradisaical Secret Gardens of Sambangan. The latter are just 9 kilometres south of Singaraja.
  • Ambengan - A twin of Sambangan, apart from its waterfalls Ambengan is famous for its rice terraces. One of their waterfalls is Gitgit fall, easily reached from the road connecting Singaraja with Denpasar.
  • Sidetapa – Sidetapa is one of a cluster of five Bali Aga villages in the mountains south-west of Lovina. The Bali Aga people descend from the original inhabitants of Bali and preserve customs that are older than Hinduism in Bali. Sidetapa has its own dances and rituals, not found elsewhere: rejang dance, jangrang dance and ngabuang dance, the hiyang gandrung ritual and traditional cremation. There is also preserved a traditional house, of rectangular shape and divided into three rooms, named becingah, jaba tengah and jeroan. Guests are received in the becingah, the family lives in the jaba tengah, and the jeroan is the place of worship (whereas most Balinese place there altars outside in the front yard).
  • Julah and Sembiran – Two Bali Aga villages of archaeological and historical interest, located on the dry hillsides east of Singaraja. Excavations have unearthed artefacts of the neolithic era. Other finds and DNA tests prove that already two thousand years ago Julah had a harbour and traded with India. The harbour was repeatedly raided by pirates. That may be a reason why a sacred ritual in either village is a parade of the village defence forces. Julah is believed to own the oldest pura of Bali and has its own style of weaving.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

Culture

  • A.A. Nyoman Pandji Tisna Memorial Park - Burial ground of the last king of Buleleng, who coined the name Lovina. It is short for Love Indonesia.
  • Former Harbour - A recreational area on the site of former Buleleng Harbour in Singaraja, with ‘floating’ restaurant.
  • Gedong Kirtja, also known as the Lontar Museum is the library where Bali's history and culture is preserved, written on leaves of the lontar palm. It is located in Singaraja, in the same compound as the Buleleng Museum and the former royal palace.
  • Pearl Farm - The Australian company Atlas Pearls has several farms on the Buleleng coast near Pemuteran. Visitors are welcome at their Penyabangan site, 10 kilometres east of Pemuteran. You will be shown the pearling process including a pearl seeding or harvest operation on a live shell.

Nature

  • West Bali National Park
  • Gitgit Waterfall – A popular waterfall just 11 kilometres south of Singaraja, not more than 500 metres from the main road to Bedugul. Local youth stand by at the parking to guide one to the 35 metre fall.
  • Yeh Mampeh Waterfall – A 30 metre waterfall in green surroundings, still unspoiled by too many visitors. Located in Les village, Tejakula district, 36 kilometres east of Singaraja, only a couple of kilometres from the main road. While you are there, see how the locals obtain sea salt – in the dry season only! The sea near Les is also an attractive place for diving and snorkelling.
  • Melanting Waterfall – A 15 metre waterfall in the midst of a coffee and clove plantation. Located near Munduk village 40 kilometres south of Singaraja. Close to Tamblingan lake this is good hiking country.
Menjangan island snorkelling site

Menjangan island snorkelling site

© theo1006

  • Pulau Menjangan is part of West Bali National Park. The name means ‘Deer Island’, but there are no deer on the island because there is no water. Even for the few people guarding the temple drinking water has to be brought in by boat. The fame of Menjangan Island is due to the coral garden on its south coast, where an underwater cliff is overgrown with them. Hotels in Pemuteran can arrange a snorkeling or diving trip to Menjangan Island. But if you bring your own gear, you can just go to Pejarakan jetty (10 kilometres west of Pemuteran) where boats are awaiting customers.
  • Rice Fields of Busungbiu – From the lookout Joglo Kekeran enjoy the well laid-out rice fields in the river valley below. The lookout is situated near the southern exit of Busungbiu village on the road to Pupuan, 40 kilometres south-west of Singaraja.
  • Yeh Sanih swimming pool – Yeh Sanih or Air Sanih is a swimming pool on the coast at Sanih village, 17 kilometres east of Singaraja. The pool is fed by a spring with water from the hills at Kintamani. It used to be possible to swim alternatively in the pool and the sea by just stepping over the sandy beach. Unfortunately the sea has been eating away at the beach so that people were obliged to protect the pool by strengthening the coast with boulders and concrete. Basic accommodation and restaurants are available. During weekends and holidays the pool may be crowded with locals.
  • Banjar Hot Springs - A well-developend spa and swimming pool at 10 kilometres west of Lovina.

Temples

  • Brahmavihara-Arama – The largest Buddhist monastery of Bali, founded in 1969. It is also known as the Wihara Buddha Banjar, because it is located on the hillside in Banjar Tegeha village, 10 kilometres west of Lovina, two kilometres south of the main road. One may come here to meditate or just to admire the architecture – including a smaller version of Borobudur temple; and for the view over Bali sea.
I Jayaprana and Ni Layonsari

I Jayaprana and Ni Layonsari

© theo1006

  • Jayaprana's Grave - The Balinese poem of I Jayaprana and Ni Layonsara may well be based on historical facts. The story is similar to the biblical one of David and Batsheba. The king of Kalianget (near Lovina) sent his once favoured adoptive son to the uninhabited west to be killed there, so that he (the king) could marry his (Jayaprana’s) newly wedded wife. But learning her husband’s fate Layonsari refused the advances of the king and killed herself. The king went mad and the kingdom dissolved through internal strife. Your Balinese driver - be it of bus, taxi or motorcycle – will stop at Teluk Terima (Terima Bay) to have his vehicle blessed with holy water. Take your time for the walk up a low hill to the temple that has been built around Jayaprana’s Grave, and enjoy the view towards Menjangan Island.
  • Pura Beji – This temple is dedicated to the rice goddess, Dewi Sri. It is most elaborately decorated with plant and flower reliefs. These are typical Buleleng motifs, originating in the Majapahit era (15th century). Located seven kilometres east of Singaraja, in Sangsit village, 300 metres north of the market.
Jageraga temple relief

Jageraga temple relief

© theo1006

  • Pura Dalem Segara Madhu Jagaraga - The temple of Jagaraga village in Sawan district has some unique reliefs on its walls, that are not found anywhere else in Bali. Here on the outer wall is depicted modern transport of the 1930's: cars, a bicycle, airplanes seemingly in a dogfight. There is also a statue of Men Brayut, a mother from a folk story whose many children all wanted to be carried. To get there turn inland for four kilometres at Sangsit, ten kilometres east of Singaraja.
  • Pura Maduwe Karang – This temple features 34 statues of characters from the Ramayana epos. There is also a relief of a man on a bicycle. It is said to represent Dutch artist W.O.J. Nieuwenkamp, probably the first to ride a bicycle in North Bali. A typical Balinese innovation is the rear wheel of his bike. The temple is located on Jalan Raya Air Sanih, 11 kilometres east of Singaraja, right at the turnoff to Kintamani.
  • Pura Pulaki – Pura Pulaki stands on the roadside between Gilimanuk and Singaraja just one kilometre east of Pemuteran. It is one of the main temples which are cared for by the regency, like Pura Uluwatu in Badung regency and Pura Besakih in Karangasem regency. Tourists will make a stop here for the large colony of monkeys living on and around the temple. They are not as aggressive as those of Ubud’s Monkey Forest, but are known to steal from local foodstalls.

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

  • Bukakak Procession - Ngusaba is a Balinese version of Thanksgiving Day, celebrated in many villages in various ways, usually in April. In Dangin Yeh hamlet, Sangsit village, the ritual takes the form of a procession, every second year because of the expense. The symbolism is complicated. The underside only of a pig is grilled, so that is has three colours: its back black, its sides (cleaned of black hair) white, its belly yellow. Black symbolizes god Vishnu, white god Shiwa, yellow god Sambu. The pig is carried on a Bukakak pedestal with similar symbolism, Bukakak being short for Lembu (cow, God Shiwa) and Gagak (Garuda bird, god Vishnu). The festivities last the whole day.
  • Gebug Ende – Gebug Ende or ‘Rattan War’ is a Bali Aga tradition that survives in Patas village (Gerokgak district), 40 kilometres west of Singaraja. The dancers fight one on one with a rattan whip and a shield of cow hide. At the end of the dry season, usually in October it is performed to beg for rain. If a player bleeds from a rattan blow, that is a sign that rain is coming. Gebug Ende may also be performed to ward of disease and pests.
  • Megoak-goakan – This dance can only be seen in Panji village (Sukasada district), seven kilometres south of Singaraja. It used to be performed during the days before Hari Raya Nyepi, but has also been adopted as part of the foundation day (HUT) of Singaraja town, i.e. 30 March. The dance is a re-enactment of the war waged by hero Ki Barak Panji Sakti by which he defeated the kingdom of Blambangan in East Java (1697 AD).
  • Sapi Gerumbungan – Previous to rice planting, the farmers work the fields with a plough pulled by cows. When that work is done, the farmers celebrate with the cows in a festival similar to karapan sapi in Madura. The cows are decorated and hung with bells, then paraded around the village square. In the months August or September in Kaliasem village, near Lovina.

Top

Contributors

as well as Utrecht (1%)

Buleleng Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Buleleng

This is version 50. Last edited at 18:23 on Oct 21, 19 by theo1006. 7 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License