Places of Interest – Klungkung
Japanese invasion moved it court from Samprangan in Gianyar to Gelgel in fifteen hundreds then moved a bit north to Klungkung, the present regency’s capital due to internal revolt. Klungkung then recognized as the highest authority in the next two centuries as the royal family descendents set up rival courts. A final battle known as ‘Puputan Klungkung’ in 1908 made the kingdom was the last ruler in South Bali get invaded by the Dutch.
The former capital of Gelgel Kingdom since AD 1515 until 1710 before it moved to more strategic in Klungkung. Pura Dasar, the royal state temple with a few ruined gateways, is the only evident site of the noblest of all the Balinese kingdoms. Gelgel now days is known for its pottery and beautiful handwoven ceremonial cloth of ‘songket’.
Formerly a village of artisan who produced the crowns, body ornaments, and jewelry for the royal family, Kamasan later became known as a center for ‘wayang’- puppet style painting. The form of Kamasan style painting considered the oldest painting form that was executed in 14 centuries
The village itself lies four kilometers south of Semarapura town and inhibited by at least 140 painters.
It was an important and busiest port one time in the mid 1800s for agriculture products and slaves trading. A specialist clan of blacksmiths skilled at weapons-making were centralized here once. Kusamba was also the site of a fight between the Dutch and The Virgin Queen Istri Kanya in 1849. Nowdays, Kusamba is a relatively big fishermen village in the east of Klungkung and also known as sea-salt panning place.
A village located two kilometers east of Semarapura, the capital regency of Klungkung, known as the center of ‘gong kebyar’ making, the complete Balinese music instruments. There are a significant number of gong makers in this village, employing 100 people. Village communities in Bali are still the common buyers of the whole complete instruments and only few of them sold abroad. However, buying one single instrument by tourists are common. Seeing and observing the making process of the instruments will be interesting.
- Goa Lawah
The bat cave temple is believed to be founded in 1007 by the holy man Empu Kuturan. It plays an important role for religious rites associated with cremation. Thousand of long-nosed bats hanging on the ceiling of the holy cave that begins at the foot of a rocky cliff and is said to extend all the way to the base of Gunung Agung. The holy python is often seen sitting on one of the temple shrine. Traditional salt making process can be seen on the beach across of the temple.
- Kertha Gosa
Based on the carving found on the main door of the complex, the two pavilions in Kertagosa were built in 1622 according to Gregorian calendar. It was originally use as meeting place of the Balinese kings until it changed the function into traditional religious court in 1908 due to Dutch occupation. Kamasan style painting on the ceiling of the pavilion always amazed visitors especially who interested in the philosophy of universal truth as it is described by the painting.