down from a densely forested volcanic crest to a shoreline of long sandy
beaches and rocky outcrops, Tabanan offers a dramatic mix of terrain and
Gushing rivers and steep ravines traverse the countryside of
this prosperous regency, bringing life giving water to one of Bali's
most productive rice growing areas.
has its roots in the 14th century when Javanese invaders settled in the
area. As they expanded their territory, they came into conflict with the
Mengwi house, founded during the mid 1600s with the fall of Gelgel and
allied with Buleleng. In the 18th century Mengwi was the 2nd most
powerful royal house after Klungkung.
too is found the remote complex of Pura Luhur, the state temple of the
old Tabanan Kingdom. Accessible only by a small road through "Jatiluwih"
village, Pura Luhur boasts a seven tiered pagoda (meru) dedicated to
Mahadewa, god of the mountain, and three smaller shrines dedicated to
the nearby lakes Bratan, Buyan and Tamblingan.
Tabanan got most of Mengwi,
but rising Dutch interests in Bali and refusal of Tabanan to give in led
to its end in 1906 with the imprisonment and suicide of the ruler and
his son. Krambitan village has 2 palaces, puppet style paintings, and
the exciting "tektekan" exorcist dance drama with music from
struck bamboo and giant wooden cowbell. Tista boasts the special
lekoandir dance done by young girls.
has a wide variety of natural beauty. The Bratan Lake area has a
huge botanical garden at Bedugul with produce farms at "Candi
Kuning" (yellow temple). The Ulun Danu Temple to the lake goddess
sits at the water edge's, for the lake irrigates Tabanan's rice fields.
On below this is "Jatiluwih" with spectacular views of
Bali, the "Yeh Panas" hot springs at Penatahan, and the
beautiful alas Kedaton temple. At the coasts is the famous "Tanah
Lot" temple on a rocky protrusion that becomes an island during
Tabanan is a tidy town with a museum Subak devoted to rice
cultivation, and the "Gedong Marya Theatre" honors the famous
dancer Mario. North of the town a memorial in Marga commemorates the
slaughter of Balinese resistance fighters against the Dutch in