Tabanan (regency)

Travel Guide Lesser Sunda Islands Bali Tabanan

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Introduction

The current population of Tabanan regency has reached half a million. The most densely populated districts are Kediri, Tabanan, Marga and Kerambitan, all with over 1,000 people per square kilometre. Those who find Gianyar and Ubud too crowded with tourists, should try Tabanan. Its most visited attractions are Bedugul mountain resort with lake Beratan and the botanical garden, Jatiluwih rice fields and Tanah Lot temple. But Tabanan has much more of everything that made Bali famous without the masses.

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Geography

Tabanan regency has an area of 840 square kilometres or 15% of Bali. 233 square kilometres are used for rice cultivation, the main source of wealth of the regency apart from tourism. The highest peak is Mount Batukaru at 2276 masl. Other high points are Mount Sanghyang (2023 m), Mount Pohen (2051 m), Mount Pangelengan (2082 m) and Mount Beratan (2020 m). All these mountains are covered with forest, which guarantees a good flow of water in the many rivers. On Mount Beratan lies the crater lake Danau Beratan. Three rivers form the eastern border with Badung regency: Tukad Yeh Sungi, Tukad Yeh Ukun dan Tukad Yeh Penet. In the west Tukad Yeh Let separates Tabanan from Jembrana. Tabanan has a coastline of 37 kilometres, mainly with black sand beaches.

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History

Tabanan has been an independent kingdom since the dissolution of the unified Gelgel kingdom (17th century). Indeed it was the last Balinese kingdom to be subjugated by the Dutch colonial government. In 1906 king Gusti Ngurah Agung and his son surrendered in the hope of staying on as a vassals of the Netherlands. But when the Dutch wanted to exile them to Madura or Lombok, they committed puputan (suicide) in prison. After Indonesia’s independence Tabanan was constituted as a regency of Bali.

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Cities

Tabanan, capital of the regency.

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Sights and Activities

  • Bedugul - Bedugul is the name of a loosely defined touristic area in the central highlands of Bali, the most nortern part of Tabanan regency. At an altitude of 1300 masl the temperature varies between 15 and 23 °C. So Bedugul is the place to cool off from the tropical heat on the coast. But in the rainy season, when crater lake Beratan is shrouded in mist, it can be really chilly. In the north and east Lake Beratan is bordered by virgin Mount Pangelengan (2082 m), while the main attractions lie west of the lake. These are: Kebun Raya Eka Karya, lakeside temple complex Ulun Danu Beratan and Agro Puncak Bukit Catu.
Margarana Cemetery

Margarana Cemetery

© theo1006

  • Margarana National Monument Park - After Indonesia had declared independence, in 1946 the Dutch landed 2000 troops on Bali to retake the island. The resistance in Bali was led by I Gusti Ngura Rai, who previously had been trained in the Dutch East Indies army. Eventually the Dutch discovered his headquarters in Marga and on 20 November 1946 launched a large-scale attack. Ngurah Rai then ordered a puputan or fight to the death. On that day he himself and all his 95 warriors perished. Margarana means 'battle of Marga'. There are 1372 mortuary monuments in the park, one for each Balinese who lost his or her life during the struggle for independence from 1945 to 1949. Not many people visit the park and its modest museum, except for 17 August, when indonesia celebrates Independence Day. Directions: Kelaci hamlet, Marga Dauh Puri village, Marga district, 14 kilometres north os Mengwi, an hour’s drive from Tabanan, Denpasar and Ubud.

Beaches, from north to south

  • Pantai Balian - A black sand beach with rocks, north of the estuary of Balian river. One of Bali’s surfing beaches. Mostly quiet, accommodation available. Directions: Lalanglinggah village, Selemadeg Barat district, 30 kilometres by road from Tabanan.
  • Pantai Soka - Soka beach is on walking distance from the Gilimanuk-Denpasar road. The broad black sand beach is strewn with boulders, but the main attraction is the Musium Ogoh-Ogoh, which displays fantastic monsters. And on the other side of the wide estuary there is a cave at the beach, home to thousands of swallows. Directions: Antap village, Selemadag district, 12 kilometres from Tabanan.
  • Pantai Pasut - At the estuary of Yeh Ho river, your typical beach with villas and palm trees, though the fine sand is black. A quieter alternative for Sanur. Directions: Tibubiu village, Kerambitan district, 20 kilometres from Tabanan.
  • Pantai Kelecung - Another fine black sand beach, with villas and rice fields at the rear. Because of its closeness to Tabanan, locals come to relax here in the afternoon. Directions: Kelecung hamlet, Tegal Mengkeb village, Selemadeg Timur district, 15 kilometres south of Tabanan.
  • Pantai Kelating - Mostly visited during weekends and holidays, otherwise quiet. The waves are suitable for beginning surfers. Walk north along the beach to find a bat cave and Tegal Linggah temple on a rocky outcrop. Directions: Kelating village, Kerambitan district, 20 kilometres from Tabanan.
  • Pantai Yeh Gangga - At the estuary of Gangga River, Yeh Gangga Beach is primariy a beach for experienced surfers, because the sea is not quite safe. Those who don’t surf can enjoy the view of nearby rice fields and of the sunset. Directions: Desa Sudimara, Kecamatan Tabanan, 25 kilometres from Tabanan.
  • Pantai Kedungu – A couple of kilometres south of Yeh Gangga Beach is Kedungu Beach, with sand of somewhat lighter colour. At its southern end the beach is cut off by cliffs, from which a river forms a small waterfall.

Nature

  • Kebun Raya Eka Karya - With 157 hectares the botanical garden of Bali is larger than the famous garden in Bogor. It is located in Bedugul touristic area in the northern part of Tabanan at an altitude of 1,250 to 1,450 metres. Most of the garden is landscaped, though there are remnants of tropical forest as well. Highlights to see are: the aquatic plant pools, the bamboo garden with 87 species, the cactus greenhouse, the 100 species begonia collection, the carnivorous plans, the fern garden of almost 200 species, the 300 species orchid collection, the rhododendron garden, the rose garden, and the collection of traditional medicinal plants with 300 species on 1.5 hectares. In the forest just west of the garden one can visit Teratai Bang temple. Address: Jalan Kebun Raya, Candi Kuning village, Baturiti district. Entrance fees: domestic IDR 11,000, foreign IDR 20,000. Cars are allowed into the garden for IDR 12,000..
  • Bali Butterfly Park - With an area of one hectare said to be the largest park of its kind in Asia. It is dedicated to the breeding and preservation of insects as well as butterflies. Located on the road to Jatiluwih rice terraces as well as Pura Luhur Batukaru (temple). Address: Batukaru Road, Sandan Lebah hamlet, Sesandan village, Tabanan district. Phone: (+62)(361) 894 0595 and (+62)(361) 894 0596. Hours: 08.00 am - 05.00 pm.
  • Pura Pucak Kedaton hike - On the top of Tabanan’s highest mountain, Gunung Batukaru (2276 m), there are a few modest wooden buildings that form Pucak Kedaton Temple. To get there requires a steep hike of five to six hours through pristine rain forest. Hiring a guide is strongly advised. There are three starting points where you can find a guide: (1) From the west at Pujungan village (1,090 masl), (2) from the south at Pura Luhur Batukaru (835 masl), and (3) from the south-east at Jatiluwih village (840 masl).
  • Tibu Sampi Waterfall – This fall is only 15 metres high, but has a good pool to take a dip in. From the road it is only a couple of hundred metres along a footpath. In the same area one can go biking off-road, so it’s a good place to coll off after a ride. Directions: Kemetug Kanciana hamlet, Gunung Salak village, Selemadeg Timur district, half an hour’s drive from Tabanan.
  • Blahmantung Waterfall – This waterfall is also referred to as Air Terjun Pujungan because it is located in the territory of this village, though ten kilometres from the centre of the village. The fall of 25 metres high can be reached by an easy walk of 400 metres from the sealed road. The walk leads through a coffee plantation. On the opposite side of the road there is another fall, Yeh Getas, that can even be reached by motorbike. Directions: Pujungan village, Pupuan district, an hour’s drive along the road north from Tabanan to Bubunan.
  • Pengempu Waterfall – A 20 metres fall with modest flow and a shallow pool with sandy bottom. On holidays usually frequented by locals. Close by is a dugout cave, the historic significance of which is not known. Directions: Cau Belayu village, Marga district, three kilometres from the Denpasar-Bedugul road and two kilometres from Sangeh Monkey Forest.
  • Yeh Ho Waterfall – A fall in the Jatiluwih area, so one can combine a visit to the rice terraces with this fall. It is only a short walk from the parking. Directions: Jatiluwih, Senganan village, Penebel district.
  • Penatahan Hot Spring - Several hot springs emerge from dormant volcano Gunung Batukaru, both on its northern side in Buleleng regency and in Tabanan on its southern side. The one closest to Tabanan is Yeh Panes Penatahan. There is a large communal pool, but also some private pools. They are located in a garden setting on the border of a river. Directions: Penatahan village, Penebel district, 15 kilometres north of Tabanan.
  • Belulang Hot Spring - Yeh Panes Belulang is much smaller than Yeh Panes Penatahan, but has a more natural setting with rice field view. The water emerges from six colourful spouts. A good place to relax after a rice field trek. Directions: Belulang hamlet, Mengesta village, Penebel district, 20 kilometres north of Tabanan.
  • Angseri Hot Spring - Yeh Panas Angseri is located in a bamboo grove next to a small waterfall. There are six pools: a communal pool for adults, a communal pool for children and four private pools. jatiluwih village is only a short drive away. Directions: Angseri village, Baturiti district, 27 kilometres north of Tabanan.
  • Telaga Tunjung Dam – Telaga Tunjung is an artificial lake, created for irrigation and household water supply. The dam is 33 metres high and the capacity of the lake is about 1,25 million cubic metres. The overflow has been positioned sideways from the main dam. The lake is favoured by anglers, crowded on holidays. Directions: Timpag village, Kerambitan district, 14 kilometres north of Tabanan.

Temples

Batu Bolong temple at Tanah Lot

Batu Bolong temple at Tanah Lot

© theo1006

  • Tanah Lot is a complex of several temples on rocky outcrops. The most famous one is Pura Tanah Lot, because it is built on a rock in the sea and can only be reached at low tide. Sea snakes hide in holes in the rock and are considered sacred. But once there one should take the short walk to Pura Batu Bolong and in passing see also Pura Penataran Luhur and Pura Enjung Galuh. Different from Tanah Lot temple, Batu Bolong temple is connected to the main land by a natural bridge – batu bolong meaning ‘rock with a hole in it’. Directions: Beraban village, Kediri district, 13 kilometres from Tabanan town and 30 kilometres from Denpasar.
  • Pura Ulun Danu Beratan - The iconic sight of Ulan Danu Beratan temple complex are the twin temples Lingga Petak that look like floating on Lake Beratan when the water in the lake is high. The one farthest from the shore has a three-tiered meru, the other one has a meru of eleven tiers. But these are only part of a larger complex comprising four other temples. Dalem Prajapati temple, dedicated to goddess Durga, is the first temple one encounters after passing the ticket box and stands next to a huge banyan tree. Penataran Agung temple is dedicated to Shiva and reached through a split gate Candi Bentar. South of these lies Dalem Purwa temple, and some distance in the north Taman Beji temple. In the park west of the complex there is a Buddhist stupa. Tickets for the complex cost: domestic: adult IDR 30,000, child IDR 20,000; foreign: adult IDR 75,000, child IDR 50,000.
  • Pura Teratai Bang - Teratai Bang temple is located in a cleft in the side of Tapak mountain in the Bedugul area. There are fumaroles in the cleft, causing a stinging sulphur odor. The temple is built of red brick, even the statues are sculpted ot of red brick. Teratai Bang temple can can only be accessed through the botanical garden.
  • Pura Alas Kedaton – Not to be confused with Pucak Kedaton Temple, Alas Kedaton Temple consists of a spacious temple compound adjacent to a wooded area inhabited by countless monkeys and flying foxes. The monkeys are accustomed to people and take a nut or piece of fruit that you hand to them. The flying foxes sleep during the day hanging in the trees. By nightfall they fly out to their feeding areas. The ceremony Mapeed is performed here on the 20th day after Galungan. Directions: Kukuh village, Marga district, equidistant from Tabanan and from Denpasar, 23 kilometres.
  • Pura Luhur Mekori– Another ancient temple in a forest where monkeys roam free, yet still are a bit shy. A legend says that the temple was built next to the sacred asoka (polyalthia) tree, that would be the spot where dragon Rarik reached liberation (moksha) after defeating his enemy dragon Gombang. Directions: Jalan Antosari, Belimbing village, Pupuan district (on the road from Tabanan to Pupuan, 33 kilometres from Tabanan.
Sawang Lake near Pura Batukaru

Sawang Lake near Pura Batukaru

© theo1006

  • Pura Luhur Batukaru - If you don’t feel up to the Pura Pucak Kedaton hike to the summit of Mount Batukaru, consider Pura Luhur Batukaru. This temple is located five kilometres south of the summit, at an altitude of 800 metres, and is easily reached by car. Yet all around it is forest, the nearest houses are one kilometre downhill. The mountain has many water sources, one spring has formed the silent lake Danu Sawang, just east of the main temple. Batukaru temple is one of the temples believed to have been founded by the famous priest Mpu Kuturan in the 11th century. If so he chose the location because it was sacred since much earlier times, as is evident from megalithic stones found in the area. Pura Luhur Batukaru was destroyed in 1605 AD by the king of Buleleng who intended to annex Tabanan kingdom. But the annals tell that he had to abandon his assault on Tabanan because his troops were then attacked by ferocious bees. The temple has only been rebuilt since 1959. Now Balinese from all over the island celebrate at Pura Luhur Batukaru on the day after Galungan. Before entering Batukaru temple they cleanse themselves at Pura Jero Taksu, one kilometre downhill. Directions: Desa Wongaya Gede village, Penebel district, 22 kilometres from Tabanan town.

Adventure

  • Bali Treetop Adventure Park – Located inside Kebun Raya Bali, the park offers several rope-walking circuits and zip-lines between rasamala trees. These are of varying difficulty and height up to 20 metres above the ground. Hours: 8:30am–6:00pm. Prices vary from USD 14 for children early morning with booking till USD 28 for adults during daytime without booking, and there are various package deals as well.
  • Bali Jungle Dirt Bike
  • Agro Puncak Bukit Catu (Indonesian language website) - Here city dwellers can learn about fruit and vegetables that are grown in the Bedugul highlands: raspberries, passion fruit, guava, tamarillo, citrus fruit, maize, carrots. tomatoes and lettuce. Additionally there actviteis like ATV ride, flying fox and paintball. For the little ones there are a playground and rabbits. Location: Bukit Catu hamlet, Candikuning village, Baturiti district, three kilometres south-east of the Kebun Raya Bali in Bedugul.

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Events and Festivals

  • Ngerebeg Keris Ki Baru Gajah - A tradition from the 18th century. The dagger Keris Ki Baru Gajah is carried by the Brahmin (priest) caste from Kediri temple to Pekendungan temple in Pakraman Beraban village, over a distance of 14 kilometres. They are accompanied by a gong orchestra, flag bearers and spear bearers. When: Kuningan day, i.e. the tenth day after Galungan. In 2020 kuningan falls on 20 September, in 2021 on 24 April. Where: At the temple of Kediri village in Kediri district, 25 kilometres by car south-east of Tabanan.
  • Tarian Sang Hyang Sampat - A dance festival to protect the rice plants from pests and disease. The male and female deities Sang Hyang Sampat Lanang and Sang Hyang Sampat Istri are invited by song to descend to the earth. When: Yearly for three days during rice planting season. Where: At Bale Agung Temple in Pakraman Puluk-Puluk village, Penebel district, 25 kilometres by car northeast from Tabanan.
  • Siat Sambuk Saat Pangrupukan - A mock war in which the forces of the north (Wong Kaya) and the forces of the south (Wong Kelod) throw burning reeds at each other. The rear guard provides the attackers with ammunition. No one gets hurt and at the end the adversaries embrace each other. The tradition is believed to neutralize negative influences on the village. When: In the afternoon on the day before Hari Raya Nyepi. Where: Pohgending hamlet, Pitra village, Penebel district, 24 kilometres by car north-east from Tabanan.

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Eat

  • Bali Strawberry - High altitude restaurant with gorgeous view of Mount Agung and Mount Batur, where you can pick your own strawberries. Address: Jl. Raya Bedugul, Banjar Taman Tanda, Desa Batunya, Kecamatan Baturiti, Tabanan regency, Phone: +62 368 22032 / +62 817 718 666

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This is version 56. Last edited at 10:31 on Apr 9, 20 by theo1006. 2 articles link to this page.

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