Bali Cities: Ubud

Includes Campuhan, Peliatan, Pengosekan & Sayan

It has been the stamping ground of Bali’s earliest dynasties in recorded history. It is here that the first great lines of Hindu Zed Kings established themselves. Pejeng was the center of power until the early 14th century , when the last line of Warmadewa was defeated by Majapahit Empire, Under Gajah Mada , in 1343. The two rivers, Petanu and Pakerisan , have been storing series of ancient historical remains along the banks, such as temples, meditation cells , baths and other monuments.

The Museum Lukisan Ratna Warta, usually called the Puri Lukisan ( the palace of paitings ), was opened in 1953. set amongst a restful sculpture garden, this museum contains a magnificent collection f modern Balinese paintings and sculptures, chosen under the discerning eye of the Dutch artist, Rudolf Bonnet (1895 – 1978 ), over the years since he first arrived in Bali.

Balinese jewellery is unique, and Celuk is the home of much of it. Nearly every family in Celuk is involved in some aspects of the delicate gold and silver work, which has become very famous over the years.

This is a village specializing in woodcarvings of any kind. Most of the prominent wood carvers of Bali dwell in Mas village, producing elaborate and fine woodcarving and this is where they teach the young generation to carve by imitating the master carvers.

Just outside of Denpasar on the road to Ubud , is a small village where stone statues line the roadside in an impressive array. Terrible fanged demons, noble warriors, and animals of all shapes and size and at all stages of completion rest under the shady trees.

Famous for its painter’s community, Ubud is special in more ways than one. It has its own magic, and its particularly beautiful surroundings and gracious way of life have drawn celebrities and artists from all over the world in recent decades; some have even adopted Ubud as their own home. The magic is easy to find – just take a walk south of the village through its terraced paddy fields to the monkey forest. Fresh water spouts out of the sheer rock at the base of the ravine, and a bath in a secluded shady spot is purifying.

Literally means Elephant cave, and it is a “T” shaped cave. This was an ancient monastery of Hindu and Buddhist monks who used to meditate in the cave. It is believed that the cave was built in the early 11th century . Its face is elaborately carved, depicting a demon head splitting open the rock with its bare hand at the mouth of the cave.

The Taman Burung Bird Park Situated in Batubulan, is home to more than thousand birds ( 250 exotic bird species ) from Indonesia and all over the world. It is set in Two hectares magnificent gardens filled with tropical plants, water features and spectacular rain forest in aviary. Also see the famous Komodo Dragon . Has restaurant for visitors to interact with nature by having breakfast, lunch, or afternoon tea with bird .

The holy spring which bubbles up in the inner courtyard of the Tirta empul Temple in Tampaksiring is believed to have magic curative powers, and throngs of people visit the special bathing pools where clear cool water spouts from mossy walls. Legend has it that the God Indra created the spring , piercing the ground in search of holy water.

These 11th century tombs , carved out of the rock face of the gorge of the Pakrisan river, are approached by a steep descent through breath- taking rice terrain scennary . Historically, the tombs probably have some connection with King Anak Wungsu. Across the gorge are some more impressive tombs that were the resident meditation caves of the only men who were the keepers of the tomb.

While it’s possible to visit Ubud in just a day, such a short trip would barely touch the surface of this extraordinary village. An interesting mélange of rural Balinese life and modern services co-exist here. Only 60 minutes from Ngurah Rai airport, Ubud is close to many of central Bali’s major sights. Despite the fact that visitors may outnumber residents during peak periods, Ubud retains the atmosphere of a small country community and, in contrast to the hassle of Kuta, the pace of life is very relaxed. It’s a great place to tour on foot or by bicycle and there’s a wide range of facilities for tourists of all budgets, as well as beaches 10 km away. For those who enjoy being close to natural beauty, yet within easy reach of creature comforts, Ubud is ideal.
Prices in US dollars. AC = Air conditioning. Telephone code is 0361.

The main crossroads in front of the Puri Saren palace is the “navel” of Ubud-its cultural and historical focal point. The main street is lined with restaurants, hotels, shops and galleries, stretching all the way from the T-junction at the eastern end of Ubud to the Campuhan Bridge in the west. Small lanes lined with home stays, warungs and Balinese compounds extend north and south from the main road.

Jl. Monkey Forest, branching south from the middle of Ubud is lined with hotels, restaurants, artists’ studios, and boutiques for a distance of some 2 km. A parallel road just to the east through Padang tegal is similar, though less congested. Away from these main streets, Ubud is still relatively quiet.

Roads radiate west out of the main town to Campuhan and Payangan, south to Pengosekan and east to Goa Gajah. Local bernos can be flagged down in the daytime on the main road. Ubud to Campuhan, for example, costs Rp1000.

Ubud Tourist Information

For information on performances, transport schedules, temple festivals, and special activities, inquire at the Ubud Tourist Information Center, across from the Pura Desa (village temple).

How to get to Ubud

Ubud is 60 minutes by car from the airport and southern beach resort areas and 40 minutes from Sanur. Taxis from the airport cost Rp90,000 (AC). Look for the booth at the airport: turn right after you leave customs. Alternatively, charter (and bargain for) a bemo outside the airport for about Rp75,000.

From Denpasar, take a bemo from Kereneng Terminal to Batubulan Terminal, then transfer to Ubud (Rp. 1,000). Chartering a bemo from Denpasar costs about $9. Alternatively, hop on one of the many shuttle buses which depart Kuta for Ubud at 8.30, 10 and 11.30 am, 1, 2.30 and 4pm ($4). Contact Perama Tour, JI. Legian, Kuta.

Although it’s easy to get around Ubud on foot, you may choose to rent a mountain bike to save time and effort. Mountain bikes can be rented everywhere for $2/day. Motorbikes (100cc) cost $5.50/day. A Suzuki jeep costs $20 to $30 daily; cheaper by the week or month. Look for signs along all main roads.

Buy shuttle bus tickets to Kuta (Rp. 10,000) and Candidasa (Rp. 15,000) from the many trave! agencies in town. For a full schedule, contact Peramaswara Tour & Travel, Jl. Hanoman. Shuttles to Sanur, Kuta and the airport depart at 8.30, 10 and 11.30 am, 12:30, 3.30, 5.30, 6.30, and 7.30 pm. Direct Kuta shuttles depart Ubud the same hours. The shuttle to Lombok via Kuta leaves at 6 am.

Courtesy: Island Concepts


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