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Karangasem Regency - East Bali

KARANGASEM REGENCY
Capital - Amlapura
Highest Peak - Mt. Agung - 3'142 m.
Location: Eastern Bali
Land Area: 839'54 sq. km.
No. Of Districts - 8 (Abang, Babandem, Karangasem, Kubu, Manggis, Rendang, Selat & Sidemen)
Important Phone numbers:
Direct Enquiries - 0363 21108
Karangasem Tourist Office - Tlp: 0363 - 21196
(Address - Jl. Diponegoro, Amlapura.)
Amlapura - Town of Karangasem - Located on the southeastern part of the Regency.

History :
This regency founded in the early 1700's, was still recognized as a kingdom even after Dutch conquest of Bali in the 1900's. This regency still supports many traditions that have been in existence since the 14th century, having resisted the Javanese influence that invaded other regencies of Bali.

Amlapura Town : This regency capital changed its name from Karagasem to Amplapura 1963 after Mt. Agung erupted in the hope that a similar eruption would never again take place.

Agung Kanginan Palace - Reflecting a number of foreign architectural influences in the late 19th century by the king Anak Agung Gede Jelantik. This palace still maintains the royal bedroom with Dutch furnishings, as well as various meeting and ceremonial halls. Royal photographs of the late King and family and various clothes are also on display.

Taman Ujung Pleasure Palace - With an outstanding view to the Lombok Strait over rice paddy fields, this water palace, although barely more than ruins depicts a time of glory and glamour. Moats, pools and water gardens were the passion of the late King of Karangasem. Sadly the palace was badly damaged in both the Mt. Agung eruption of 1963 and a subsequent earthquake in 1979.

Tirtagganga Water Gardens - Built a few years later by the late King of Karangasem this water-garden plays host to bathing pools fed by cool springs, ornamental water features and a swimming pool.

Candi Dasa - Tourist Resort named after old temple on the nearby hillside. Beautiful beaches, good accommodation make Candi Dasa a good place from which to discover the eastern part of Bali. In the village you will find a Gandhi meditation centre on the edge of lotus pond just beside the beach. Offshore islets and coral reefs make it an ideal diving and snorkeling spot.

Tulamben shipwreck - a cargo ship torpedoed in 1942 consequently sunk near the coast of Tulamben and now offers divers an incredible array of marine life, still within shallow waters (between 2-10 m) and in close proximity to the coastline.

Padang Bai - The largest eastern port of Bali, where ferries & ships travel on to Lombok and beyond. Large luxury cruise liners anchor here close to the Silayukti sea temple.

Tenganan - A Bali Aga village - (Bali Aga - descendants of the Original Balinese who lived on this island before the influx of Javanese courtiers & artists of the Majapahit exodus from Java, between the 12 & 14th centuries). This immaculately kept village is 5 kms north of Candi Dasa. They are famous for weaving the geringsing a cloth that may take years to weave as the patterns of the textile are dyed to their final design whilst still in the thread stage.
The conservative Bali Aga does not allow members of the village to marry outside of their community. Youngsters wishing to do so are banned from taking part in the intrinsic ceremonies. Their religious calendar is quite different to that of the rest of Bali. The villages of Tenganan & Dauh Tukad have many incredible ceremonies between June and July. See Calender of Events- Mekare, Malingan etc.

Asak & Bungaya - Two villages that are renowned for village handicrafts such as stone carving, woven crafts and traditional costumes

Manggis - A pretty village in the foothills of Mt. Agung with cooler more agreeable temperatures than the coast. A number of small hotels and villas cater to those looking for a more secluded place to stay than Candi Dasa.

Balina Beach & Yeh Malina - Balina Beach are beaches near to Manggis with white sand and clear water, good for swimming and fishing. Sunsets from this vantage point are very romantic.

Sibetan & Putung - This area is famous for the Salak or snake fruit plantations. Panoramic views of terraced rice paddy fields and the blue sea beyond afford good opportunities for avid photographers.

Bebandem & Putung - Bebandem is a pretty market town with nearby Putung offering spectacular views on a clear day.

Padangkerta - Ceremonies and rituals held at this village encompass trance dances, battles using thorny pandan leaves and all decorated with spectacular offerings.

Sideman - This village is famous for weaving brocades and the traditional Endek & Songket fabric.

Besakih Temple - Bali's largest and most revered temple since the fifteenth century is built 1'000 meters (3333feet) above sea level on the slopes of sacred Mt Agung. This temple complex is entered by climbing up one of two staircases past several terraces. Each terrace contains about 30 different shrines or pagodas. Visitors are not allowed to enter the inner temple courtyards. Three main temples, Penataran Agung, Kiduling Kreteg and Batu Madeg were built to honor Siwa, Brahma and Wisnu respectively. Near the main gate is a pavilion called Pawedaan that is used by both Buddhist & Shiva priests when holding Weda recitations. Besakih enjoys many celebrations and Hindu ceremonies throughout the year and is visited by pilgrims from all over Bali.

Mount Agung - Climbing this mountain may take between 8 - 10 hours and is only recommended for the fit! Cloud cover may obscure the view from the summit. Trekkers should start at fist light and will probably make it back by dusk. A large amount of bottled water, dried fruits and sweets are very necessary is as the descent is tiring due to partial exhaustion!