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Places of interest in Ubud Bali

14 January 2011

Ubud is arguably the best place to use as a base if you are visiting Bali and you are looking for culture, comfort, nature and inspiration. Ubud is surrounded by most of the things that bring people to Bali scenic rice fields, small villages, art and craft communities, ancient temples, palaces, rivers, museum and traditional market.

Some 25 kilometers from Denpasar and its central location makes it easy to get from Ubud to the mountains, beaches, and major towns. Ubud has been a “royal town” for over a hundred years. Its princes, who bear the title "Tjokorda " or "Agung " still live in traditional palaces, called "Puri ". Be aware, however, that every place called “puri” is not a royal palace. Palaces around Ubud those are:

ubud baliPuri Saren Agung is the central palace where public dance performances are held. Located at the northeast corner of the central cross-roads, it’s pretty hard to miss. It was the home of the last "king " of Ubud, and now his descendants live there. It is essentially the "father palace " of the other Ubud palaces, which are more or less its "spin-offs, " built as the family extended. It was also Ubud’s first hotel, opening its doors to paying visitors in the 1930s. It still operates as a small home stay style hotel. Parts of the gardens and some of the bales are quite grand and formal, with generous lashing of prada (gold leaf) applied to the carved wood work.

Puri Saren Kangin is the eastern portion of Pun Saren (kangin means "east "), and is a private residence for several branches of the Ubud family.

Puri Saren Kauh. Kauh means "west, " and accordingly, this is the occidental portion of the palace. There are accommodations within this part of the palace, too, but they are accessed via the reception desk for Puri Saren Agung.

Puri Kantor is across Jalan Suweta from Puri Saren, with a forecourt which has become a parking lot for some of the family’s vintage autos. There are a couple cafes, and Banyan Tree Bungalows attached to Puri Kantor, just a few paces north of the main gate in Jalan Suweta. Kantor means "office, " and according to the heads of the resident family, the name was given in jest, in reference to a "pagoda " which once towered in the middle of a big pond where Puri Kantor Sosrobahu now stands. As Ubud was a rather modest village at the time, this multi-storey edifice reminded locals of nothing so much as an office building.

Puri Kantor Sosrobahu is a sister of Puri Kantor, both of which were established during the last generation’s heyday, when two wives of one prince were offered the chance to build their own digs. The “Sosrobahu” part refers to the storey of Arjuna carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. The head of this palace family invented a method of constructing highway overpasses, which was named "Sosrobahu " as an acknowledgement of its superior load-bearing capabilities. The name was transferred to the palace, since much of it was built from the profits earned through overpass construction.

Puri Kawan is a private house behind Ary’s Warung, which used to offer public accommodation. It is now the quiet residence of the proprietors of Ary’s and its various offshoots. Kawan (sometimes spelled kauhan), means "western, " reflecting the fact that this palace is west of the centre of town.

Puri Menara is a bit further west, and was until recently a centre for studying Balinese dance and culture, with a library. The books have recently been distributed to other libraries, notably ARMA. There is still a restaurant here, and bungalows. Rumour has it that there may be plans underfoot to redevelop the whole site, which sits smack dab in the commercial centre of town.

Puri Saraswati is across the street in Jalan Raya Ubud. It is the home of the Ubud royal family, where they run a bungalow-style hotel with a swimming pool: At the back they have a huge lotus pond and a temple dedicated to Dewi Saraswati, the divine embodiment of learning, arts and literature. You can not miss the enormous, elaborate stone sign, with its brilliant- white, pseudo-classical statue of Saraswati herself standing proudly on top. Cok Wah, who operates the business, is an avid bird fancier, a ham radio operator, and he collects various extraordinary vehicles.

Puri Anyar is a little way up Jalan Suweta on the east side of the street, a few expatriates who are acquainted with the family live inside. Puri Muwa is located on the east side of Monkey Forest Road about 120 meters south of the main cross-roads. This branch of the royal family has two separate bungalow businesses which are very inexpensive.

Puri Peliatan, a 3.5 hectare complex hiding behind its richly decorated Gates, its compound divided into tree section as a human body: A part of a family Temple as a head, a part of living room such as Sumanggen, Puri Rangki, Puri Agung, Puri Anyar, and Puri Semarabawa, as stomach, and Ancak Saji is a foots. Ancak Saji is the outsider area of Puri Peliatan, there are some building at the area, for Small meeting room, Security, Wantilan, and Open Stage.

Sumanggen is an area exclusively for human ceremony like Teets failing ceremony or royal cremation. Puri Rangki is reception area and a place for conference during the king live, but nowadays it is a house. Puri Agung is the palace where the king lives, he live at the north of the building named "Gedong Betel ". It mean that has a connecting the door between the palace and Puri Anyar where the queen live. The other side of the kingdom is Puri Semarabawa, it a palace where the mistress live. The royal compound similar with other Balinese House Compound, the deferent is caused by how wide or how rich is the family. How ever at a Balinese Architecture named asta kosala kosali all buildings are already patterned and it cannot to be changed.

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