Tegaltamu Grand Palace, a New Cultural Destination in Gianyar

Tegaltamu Grand Palace, a New Cultural Destination in Gianyar

Do you still remember Batubulan? The village located in the Sukawati subdistrict, Gianyar, is not only famous for its barong performing art as well as the artisans of sculpture and batik cloth. The village still making preparation to become a tourism village is also famous for royal tourist area. It is the Tegaltamu Palace which

Do you still remember Batubulan? The village located in the Sukawati subdistrict, Gianyar, is not only famous for its barong performing art as well as the artisans of sculpture and batik cloth. The village still making preparation to become a tourism village is also famous for royal tourist area. It is the Tegaltamu Palace which has become the most visited tourist destination. This palace with beautiful heritage is still well preserved.

Tegaltamu Grand Palace is very strategic and close to other destinations, so that it is easily reached. It is situated at Tegaltamu hamlet, Batubulan, or about 10 minutes from Sukawati, 30 minutes from Ubud and Denpasar, and about 1.5 hours from Ngurah Rai Airport by car.

Tegaltamu Grand Palace is one of the palaces remaining a descendant of King of Badung I, Kyai Anglurah Tegeh Kori Putu Agung who ruled at Tegal Badung. When there was a civil war at Tegeh Agung Palace (now Griya Jro Agung Tegal at Tegal hamlet, Badung), Kyai Anglurah Putu Agung Tegeh Kori fled to Gianyar area accompanied by 125 loyal followers. At the new location, he then built a palace named the Tegaltamu Palace.

The name Tegaltamu was used to indicate the identity that they were ‘guests’ (tamu in Balinese) of Tegal hamlet evacuating to Gianyar. The name depicts the history of the founder namely guests originating from Tegal Badung. Refugees going to Tegaltamu have profession as merchant. “As refugees, they do not have any land to grow crops, so that the only job that could be done was becoming the dealer of arts,” said I Gusti Ngurah Pertu Agung, a descendant of Tegaltamu Palace.

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Along with the development of Bali tourism, Tegaltamu Palace has been opened as a culture-based tourist destination since 1998 though it has become a tourist destination since the 1970s. Travelers from various countries come to learn Balinese culture such as dancing, playing gamelan music, preparing oblation and chanting. “Many foreigners are learning to dance, reading literature and making sculptures,” said this alumnus of the Dance Department at the ISI Denpasar.

Gung Pertu, as he familiarly addressed, said that travelers knew Tegaltamu Palace as the center of the art and culture from several books. Many of them said the books published in the 1920s write about the uniqueness owned by Bali. They did not only write about local culture inspired by Hinduism, but also the exotic nature of the island. One of them is about I Gusti Ngurah Tegaltamu as a famous baris (warrior) dancer as well as the monumental barong and masks having been well known across Bali.

Today, Tegaltamu Grand Palace remaining to preserve Balinese culture becomes a destination visited by foreign travelers. They want to know and learn about Balinese arts. “We open the Kori Agung dance studio in 1997 as a venue to perform art activities such as dance, vocal, literature, sculpture and gamelan play. We still maintain the style of the mask and barong art of Tegaltamu Palace incorporated in the GOAK Tegaltamu. This studio has been fostering local and international children,” he explained.

To provide a sense of security and comfort for visitors, the Tegaltamu Grand Palace makes tourism packages. They include Tea Time—a tea ceremony while learning to dance and explore instantly about Balinese fashion within two hours and a game of culture—playing the culture-based activity. For example, there is a contest of mejejahitan (preparing oblation) and writing of Balinese scripts on palm-leaf and wearing customary clothes and Balinese dance costumes properly.

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There is also lunch and dinner package with international menus served in Balinese style. “Tegaltamu Grand Palace provides tourism services with very strong cultural roots. Travelers can see the Balinese style building. Everything is explained in details by one of the royal figures which always present information about Balinese culture correctly,” added this lecturer at the IHDN Denpasar. (BTN/015)

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