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Madokaran in Denpasar

Madokaran, an integral activity of the Denpasar Heritage City Tour program, was initiated by the Mayor of Denpasar, I Gusti Ngurah Jaya Negara. The Denpasar City Tourism Office, led by Mrs. Dezire Mulyani, effectively implements this initiative. The program's primary objective is to shed light on the myriad tourist attractions in Denpasar, with a special focus on features that underscore Denpasar's esteemed status as a Heritage City.

Situated within Denpasar, the Gajah Mada Heritage Area is a prominent cultural heritage space. It stretches from Thamrin Street in the west, extending all the way to the east, culminating at the Catur Muka Statue. This area boasts a diverse community, where descendants of Chinese, Arab, Indian, and Javanese cultures have cohabited with the local Balinese community for over a century. Not only have these groups formed robust community ties, but they also established the largest traditional trading center and the oldest business district in Bali. As such, this area serves as a testament to the thriving multiculturalism in Bali.

Every Saturday and Sunday, from 09:00–15:00 WITA (Central Indonesian Time), the Madokaran program welcomes the public. Impressively, this immersive experience is offered free of charge. The program features two captivating routes: Route A begins and concludes at the Tegal Terminal (round trip), and Route B initiates and ends at the Badung Market Square (round trip). To facilitate this program, the Denpasar City Government has allocated eight dokar units, with each location being equipped with four dokar units.

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The Evolution of Dokar in Denpasar

Historically, dokar ‘traditional horse cart’ held a significant place as a mode of public transportation in the city of Denpasar during the colonial times. Dutch records substantiate the presence of as many as 261 dokar units operating in Denpasar during that period. The dokar, driven by a coachman often clad in traditional attire and wielding a whip, was an integral part of the city's cultural tapestry. Its characteristic features included bells on both sides, creating a unique sound that, coupled with the rhythmic clopping of the horse's hooves, added to the city's ambiance. The 1960s marked the golden era of dokar in Denpasar, during which the city even hosted a dokar coachman organization, the Denpasar Dokar Union (Perdoden).

However, with the advent of the New Order era and the subsequent proliferation of motorcycles and cars, the dokar's prominence began a gradual descent, its presence slowly diminishing over time.

In a bid to reclaim its charm, the Denpasar City Government, since the early 2000s, has been striving to breathe new life into this historic mode of transportation. They have incorporated the dokar as a key feature of the city tours, transforming it into a tourist attraction. This led to the revitalization of the dokar, now seen as a heritage symbol, and its reintroduction to tourists eager to explore and appreciate the historic tourist attractions in the heart of Denpasar.

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The Sacred Tomb of Raden Ayu Siti Khodijah.

Situated to the north of Setra Agung Badung in Denpasar, stand two significant cultural heritage sites: The Sacred Tomb of Raden Ayu Siti Khodijah and the resting place of Tuan Miora from Japan. These two historic sites are located adjacently, to the east of the Dalem Kahyangan Temple in Denpasar.

Tuan Miora Djo, a Japanese soldier born in 1888, passed away on September 7, 1945. Throughout his life, he found himself deeply perturbed by the savage violence perpetrated by invaders. Choosing to align himself with the indigenous people, he provided significant assistance to the local community. As his life came to an end, he expressed the wish to be buried amongst the local people in Sema Badung.

The Sacred Tomb of Raden Ayu Siti Khodijah houses the remains of one of the daughters of King Pemecutan. Her birth name was Gusti Ayu Made Rai, but she was also known as Raden Ayu Pemecutan. Her spouse was the son of the King of Bangkalan, Raden Sosroningrat. Post their marriage, Dewi Ayu relocated to Madura, embraced Islam, and adopted the name Siti Khotijah.

According to legend, the tomb was dedicated to Siti Khotijah, who willingly sacrificed herself due to a misunderstanding when the guards of the Pemecutan Kingdom, having inadvertently found her praying while cloaked in a white veil, accused her of practicing ngeleak, or witchcraft. This distressing misapprehension unjustly led to her demise.

In our present-day multicultural world, we engage with individuals from myriad cultural backgrounds daily. We should take to heart Siti Khotijah's story and learn to appreciate, respect, and rejoice in our diverse cultures. In doing so, we can cultivate a broader understanding, acceptance, and harmony amongst all of us.

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Puri Agung Pemecutan and the Statue of Ida Tjokorda Pemecutan IX

The Puri Agung Pemecutan, the palace of the King of Badung, was originally established in 1686. Puri Pemecutan was initially located west of its current location. Its relocation transpired following the Puputan Badung War on September 20, 1906, as the old palace had been destroyed and taken over by the Dutch. The name 'Pemecutan', according to Denpasar's oral tradition, derives from the word ‘pecut' or whip. The founder of Puri Pemecutan, Kyai Ketut Pemedilan, also known as Kyai Macan Gading, was reportedly adept at handling a 'pecut'. The 'pecut' symbolizing the majesty of the extensive Puri Pemecutan family, endures to this day.

At the intersection before Puri Agung Pemecutan, stands a statue of I Gusti Ngurah Agung Pemecutan, also known as Ida Tjokorda Pemecutan IX, portrayed being borne by four soldiers. This statue memorializes Ida Tjokorda Pemecutan IX, who fell during the Puputan Badung War on September 20, 1906, along with the King of Denpasar, I Gusti Ngurah Made Agung, also referred to as Tjokorda Mantuk Ring Rana.

Dutch records attest that Puri Pemecutan fell into Dutch hands in the late afternoon, just hours after the successful capture of Puri Denpasar. Ida Tjokorda Pemecutan IX and the King of Denpasar, I Gusti Ngurah Made Agung, gave their lives in defense of the sovereignty, the dignity of their people, and the Kingdom of Badung.

Source Cover Image: Denpasar Tourism

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The Penambangan Badung Temple

Acting as the royal temple for the Badung Kingdom, the Penambangan Badung Temple was founded in the early stages of the kingdom's establishment. This was accomplished by Kiyai Jambe Pule, bestowed with the title Kiyai Anglurah Pemecutan I.

The temple's name, Penambangan, is intimately linked with the treasures Kiyai Jambe Pule received at Mount Batukaru - a whip (pecut) and a rope (tambang). The temple serves as a metaphorical rope, symbolizing the unity and connection among the Pemecutan family and community. It houses numerous palinggih (holy shrines), inclusive of the paibon, which represents the familial ties of all individuals who contributed to the Badung Kingdom's foundation.

The temple comprises 52 palinggih, 18 of which are paibon palinggih and the remainder being panyawangan palinggih, representing various significant temples in Bali. The stewardship of this temple (pangempon) lies with the community of Puri Pemecutan. The temple celebrates its anniversary (pujawali) on Purnama Kadasa, a full moon in the tenth month of the Balinese calendar tradition, roughly corresponding to March.

Source Cover Image: Denpasar Tourism

Source: Denpasar Tourism

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Setiabudi Street

Setiabudi Street, in the west region of Denpasar, is recognized as a vibrant culinary hub. This street is adorned with a plethora of unique food stalls that showcase the culinary diversity of Denpasar. A particular favorite among the locals and visitors alike is nasi jingo, a distinct type of packaged rice from Denpasar. Fans of this delicacy won't resist the allure of stopping by at the nasi jingo stalls that dot this busy street. These stalls typically start their operations in the evening, continuing late into the night.

Throughout the day, from the break of dawn to twilight, the street teems with traditional Balinese food stalls. Dishes such as babi guling (roast suckling pig) rice, be genyol, and nasi jukut gonda are certainly not to be missed. For those visitors with a palate for non-Balinese cuisines, Setiabudi Street has you covered. It offers a diverse range of general food stalls serving dishes like bakmie (a noodle dish), grilled chicken, fried chicken with fresh vegetables, tofu fritters, and much more.

Source Image Cover: Google Maps

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The Puri Agung Jero Kuta Palace

The Puri Agung Jero Kuta Palace was believed to have been established in 1820 by Dewa Gde Jambe Badung, who was also known as Kyai Agung Gde-Jro Kuta Kahuningan. The family of Puri Agung Jero Kuta traces its roots back to the Puri Agung Klungkung, which was the epicenter of power for the Balinese kings of the past. Impressively, the layout of the Puri Agung Jero Kuta Palace remains substantially unchanged over the years.

Within the palace courtyard stand four large gates referred to as the 'nyatur singa,' symbolizing 'four different locations within a single place.' Owing to its authentic layout, Puri Agung Jero Kuta often serves as a picturesque backdrop for Balinese-themed pre-wedding photo sessions.

The Puri Agung Jero Kuta is distinguished for its commitment to preserving the local tradition of weaving. Two of its prominent figures, I Gusti Ngurah Alit Gede and I Gusti Ngurah Agung, met their end during the Puputan Badung War. The family of Puri Agung Jero Kuta holds custodial responsibility (known as 'pangempon') for the Pura Luhur Uluwatu, a significant temple located on Pecatu Hill in South Badung.

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The Kulkul Tower of Banjar Grenceng

The Kulkul Tower of Banjar Grenceng, an enduring historical symbol in Denpasar, is frequently represented in photographs and videos from the 1920s, offering a poignant glimpse into the cultural heritage of Bali. Within Balinese architecture, the kulkul tower, housing a wooden slit drum known as a kulkul, is an integral element of a palace, community, or temple complex. This kulkul serves as a traditional method of communication throughout the Indonesian Archipelago. 

In Bali, each community, or banjar, possesses a main hall, known as the bale banjar or bale gede, which incorporates a pura penyarikan (a temple) and a kulkul tower. The pura penyarikan acts as a sacred communal space, whereas the kulkul tower functions as a location for the drum. This drum is sounded to mark ceremonies, notify villagers of community gatherings, or to communicate the passing of a community member.

Constructed around 1925 during the colonial era, the Banjar Gerenceng Kulkul Tower resides near Puri Gerenceng, a significant palace in Denpasar, and the Maospahit Temple. Today, Banjar Gerenceng finds its place on Sutomo Street in Denpasar. To conserve the architectural heritage left by the forebears, the Banjar Gerenceng Kulkul Tower underwent a restoration process in 2005. This preservation endeavor was spearheaded by architect Anak Agung Yoka Sara, a fourth-generation progeny of Banjar Gerenceng's founders.

Source Cover Image: Denpasar Kota

Source: Google Maps

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Maospahit Temple

The Maospahit Temple, an artifact of ancient Balinese civilization, stands as a testament to the island's rich history. As per the Purana Tattwa Pura Maospahit lontar—an ancient Balinese manuscript housed in Griya Kekeran, Blahbatuh—the temple was initially established by the renowned regent, Patih Ki Kebo Iwa, around the year Isaka 1200 or 1278 AD. During his travels through villages like Bualu, Pecatu, Tugaling Pring, and Kalijajuan, Ki Kebo Iwa took a moment before heading to Kapal to establish the Parahyangan Candi Raras Maospahit.

Believed to be the earliest structure within the temple complex, Candi Raras Maospahit derives its name from interesting roots. The term 'Maos' is postulated to originate from 'mawos,' denoting a fruit-bearing tree, aligning with 'maja,' another term for a type of fruit. Yet, an alternative interpretation suggests 'Maospahit' stems from 'maos,' meaning to speak, and 'pahit,' indicating difficulties or problems. This explanation pays homage to the temple's historical function, where challenging kingdom issues were debated and resolved.

A study conducted by the Classical Art and Culture Excavation Project in 1980–1981, with its findings published in the Inventory of Temples and Historical Places for the Rerouting of Bali's Regional Tourism, identified the Maospahit Temple as a key temple of the ancient Badung Kingdom.

In contemporary times, the Maospahit Temple is maintained by a large collective of temple caretakers, composed of roughly 30 families. The Pujawali, a ceremony commemorating the temple's establishment, is held biannually. The first celebration occurs during Purnama Kapat, the full moon of the fourth month in the Balinese calendar (around October), and the second during Purnama Kadasa, the full moon of the tenth month (approximately in March).

 

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Gajah Mada Street: A Multicultural Business District

Gajah Mada Street is an icon of Denpasar City. One doesn't feel like they've visited Denpasar until they've set foot on Gajah Mada Street. During the colonial era, Gajah Mada Street was the main access for the community, and it was the embryo for the development of Denpasar's tourism. The main attraction of Gajah Mada Street, of course, is its historical side, shown by the old buildings on both sides. As such, it has been designated as a heritage or cultural heritage area since 2008.

Since colonial times, Gajah Mada Street has been a commercial area with a strong multicultural characteristic. Here, traders of Chinese, Arab, Indian, Madurese, and Javanese descent have become accustomed to living harmoniously side by side. Denpasar city residents also remember Gajah Mada Street as an entertainment center, especially for film. Several cinemas are located along Gajah Mada Street, such as Wisnu Theater at the western end of Gajah Mada Street, Hollywood Theater, which later became Indra Djaja, and then Indra Theater at the western intersection of Gajah Mada Street.

In 1964, a cultural festival event titled Gajah Mada Festival was held on Gajah Mada Street. In the texts of Indonesian and Modern Balinese literary works, the existence of Gajah Mada Street is described as an area that "never sleeps."

Source Cover Image: beritabali.com 

Source Instragram: Dede Yulianto

Source: denpasarfestival.id

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The Majestic Kala Tri Semaya Sculptures

A pair of giant-shaped statues on Gajah Mada Street, near the Tukad Badung bridge and in front of Badung Market, are visualizations of Sang Kala Tri Semaya. The 3-meter-high statue weighing 3.3 tons was completed on November 29, 2021, and installed on the night of November 30, 2021, and ceremoniously inaugurated in mid-December 2021, coinciding with the Denpasar Festival. This piece of art is the work of Denpasar city artist, I Nyoman Gede Sentana Putra, or familiarly called Kedux, who completed the statue in three months, assisted by his colleagues from Tabanan and Gianyar.

Sang Kala Trisemaya is actually a three-dimensional visualization of the lontar story Siwagama. Sang Kala Trisemaya is a guardian figure of the earth, perceived as being capable and sensitive to human behavior and movements, such as misconduct, misuse of speech, and lying.

The Kala Trisemaya statues represent more than mere stone and skill; they serve as a three-dimensional manifestation of the narrative spun in the ancient Siwagama palm leaf manuscript. Embodying a guardian of the earth, the Kala Trisemaya are respected as discerning sentinels, sensitive to human actions, be it misconduct, falsehoods, or ill-chosen words.

The Siwagama palm leaf manuscript unfurls the tale of Hyang Batara Guru, who, through profound meditation, birthed a young priest named Sanghyang Dharmajaya, also known as Sang Resi Sidhiwasitadewa. Empowered by his deep spiritual practices, Dharmajaya acquired extraordinary energy, becoming a devout disciple of the Fire God, unaffected by the cycle of day and night, and free from the need for sustenance.

However, Dharmajaya's unprecedented power unnerved the divine trinity, Sanghyang Trisemaya, comprising Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Anticipating a potential apocalypse, they morphed into formidable figures, the Kala Tiga: Sang Kalarudra (Brahma), Sang Kalasambhu (Vishnu), and Sang Kalamaya (Shiva), to neutralize Dharmajaya.

Despite their relentless assaults, the Kala Tiga, as well as Trisemaya, proved incapable of vanquishing Dharmajaya. When confronted with this revelation, Batara Guru enlightened Trisemaya that Dharmajaya was his embodiment, and therefore, indestructible. Yet, to assuage Trisemaya, Batara Guru attenuated Dharmajaya's powers, enabling the Kala Tiga to defeat him. In a twist of fate, Tri Semaya then vanquished the Kala Tiga, their remains forming Mount Wiyanggama, thereby restoring tranquility to the world.

The tale culminates in the spirit (atma) of the defeated Kala Tiga emerging from the mountain, seeking an audience with Bhatara Guru. They humbly requested dominion over the world. Bhatara Guru, in his wisdom, granted them this power, ordained to take effect during the Kali era, the age of destruction, with the prophesy that they would sire 108 offspring.

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Dewi Melanting Statue

In addition to the Sang Kala Trisemaya statue on Gajah Mada Street, in the Badung Market area, there is also a statue of Ida Ratu Mas Melanting. This statue was installed together with the Sang Kala Trisemaya statue on November 30, 2021. The statue, which is 4.5 meters high and 1.5 meters wide, is the work of Putu Marmar Herayukti, who is known as an ogoh-ogoh artist and a tattoo artist from Banjar Gemeh, Dauh Puri Kangin Village, Denpasar.

The creator intended the Ida Ratu Mas Melanting statue to be an icon of prosperity for the people in Denpasar City. There is a special message that the creator wants to convey through this statue, namely the important principles in trade and life, which are fairness, honesty, and quality.

In traditional literary texts, the figure of Ida Ratu Mas Melanting is said to be the daughter of Dang Hyang Nirarta, a holy sage from East Java who helped build Hindu civilization in Bali. Ratu Ayu Mas Melanting's real name is Ida Ayu Swabhawa. This figure is portrayed as having a wise and intelligent character, and she is an expert in trade. The beauty and character of Ida Ayu Swabhawa made her popular among her customers and she became a role model for people who work as traders. For this reason, the people of Bali continue to honor Ratu Ayu Mas Melanting to this day. She is considered a symbol of the intellectual capacity of Balinese women in the field of entrepreneurship.

Source Image Cover: Denpasar Tourism

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Pura Desa lan Puseh Denpasar

The Desa Lan Puseh Temple, located in the heart of Denpasar, at Banjar Wangaya Kelod, Dauh Puri Kaja in North Denpasar, is a striking example of traditional Balinese architecture. This temple boasts a layered structure that features three distinctive courtyards: the inner sanctuary, or jeroan, the middle area, referred to as jaba tengah, and the outer area, or jaba sisi.

Under the stewardship of a traditional village community, the temple is classified as a village temple. The temple administration is shared among 17 banjars, which are unique Balinese communal wards, and it is revered by as many as 92 banjars, reflecting its broad influence and importance.

The Desa Lan Puseh Temple holds historical significance as well. Archaeologists have discovered remnants, including a Ganesa statue, within its sanctuary. This statue, which is estimated to have been crafted in the 14th-15th centuries, presents Ganesa seated upon a padmaganda, or lotus pedestal. The deity's four hands are intricately depicted: the rear right hand holds an aksamala, or string of prayer beads, the rear left hand grasps an axe, the front right hand holds a broken tusk, and the front left hand contains a bowl. The statue is crowned with a multi-tiered lotus petal arrangement, and its upavita, a sacred thread, is rendered as a snake. In a unique depiction, Ganesa's trunk is portrayed sipping from the bowl. The statue not only adds to the temple's historical richness but also provides an intriguing insight into the artistic sensibilities of the era.

Source Cover Image: kebudayaan.kemdikbud.go.id/

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Plataran Pasar Badung/Pasar Badung

The Badung Market, known locally as Pasar Badung, serves as a crucial hub for economic activity not only in the city of Denpasar but also throughout Bali. It got its name from the nearby Tukad Badung or the Badung River. Initially, the market was located south of the Denpasar Palace, also known as the Jaya Sabha building. However, during the colonial period around 1907, the market was relocated westward, near the Badung River, to its current position where both the Badung and Kumbasari Markets now stand.

Before this relocation, the site housed a specialized pottery market called Peken Payuk. As pottery kitchenware became less popular over time, Peken Payuk transitioned into a modern market, prompting a name change to the Kumbasari Market. Both the Badung and Kumbasari Markets are strongly linked with the image of ‘juru suun’, mostly female workers carrying groceries overhead. A significant overhaul of the Badung Market was conducted in 1977, which included the transformation of its architecture into a multi-tiered structure, a change officially inaugurated on April 24, 1984. However, on February 29, 2016, a devastating fire hit the Badung Market. A year later, the market underwent a renovation, emerging as a more modern public market.

President Joko Widodo inaugurated the revamped Badung Market with its distinctive new architecture on March 24, 2019. Today's Badung Market comprises six levels: two basement floors and four above-ground floors dedicated to stalls and kiosks. In total, it houses 1,450 stall units and 290 kiosk units. President Jokowi praised the Badung Market as the public market with the most commendable architecture in all of Indonesia.

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Sulawesi Street: A Center for Textile Commerce

Anyone with an interest in fabrics must visit Sulawesi Street when in the city of Denpasar. Situated on the eastern side of the Badung Market, Sulawesi Street has gained prominence as a central hub for fabric commerce not only in Denpasar but across Bali. The street is lined with fabric shops offering a diverse selection of textiles, both locally produced in Bali and imported from other regions.

The shops along Sulawesi Street predominantly specialize in delicate lace fabric, commonly used in crafting the kebaya (a traditional blouse-dress). These fabrics can be purchased by the meter or by piece. Additionally, the shops offer a vast array of kamen (sarongs) available in hundreds of colors and patterns, including fabric suitable for blankets. If you plan to explore, it is advisable to visit in the morning, before the day heats up, as air conditioning is a rare amenity in these shops. Most stores operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.

Sulawesi Street's prominence as a fabric trading center in Denpasar extends back to the colonial era when the area was known as the Arab Village. This term was derived from the fact that the fabric trading complex was largely managed by traders of Arab descent.

Hence, Sulawesi Street is more than just a hub for fabric commerce; it serves as a vibrant part of Denpasar city's heritage, contributing to its multicultural identity.

Source Cover Image: seminyaktimes.com 

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Rute Jalan Hasanuddin – Jalan Bukit Tunggal

Upon crossing the southern end of Sulawesi Street, visitors find themselves on Hasanuddin Street. While Sulawesi Street is renowned as a hub for textile trade, Hasanuddin Street is distinguished for its gold trading. This street is lined with numerous gold shops, each offering an array of quality gold jewelry.

The jewelry shops scattered along Hasanuddin Street typically open from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. local time. These shops deal in gold of diverse grades, from low to high. In addition to selling gold, the shops on Hasanuddin Street also purchase gold from customers wishing to sell their gold jewelry.

Beyond its identity as a gold trading center, the Hasanuddin Street area also offers a view of Tukad Badung, a river that bisects the Badung Market. From the vantage point of the bridge, visitors can appreciate the beauty of Tukad Badung, now a budding tourist attraction in the city of Denpasar.

By taking a left at the western four-way intersection on Hasanuddin Street, visitors will wind their way through the Bukit Tunggal Street area. This area is home to several Melati hotels, which are popular choices among domestic tourists.

Source Cover Image: porosbali.com

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Gajah Mada Street (East)

Gajah Mada Street is an iconic landmark in Denpasar City. One's visit to Denpasar is often considered incomplete without setting foot on Gajah Mada Street. During the colonial era, Gajah Mada Street was the primary public thoroughfare and served as the nascent heart of Denpasar's burgeoning tourism sector. The street's main allure is undoubtedly its historical essence, evidenced by the presence of old buildings lining both sides, which led to its designation as a cultural heritage zone in 2008.

Since colonial times, Gajah Mada Street has been a commercial hub with a rich multicultural character. Here, merchants of Chinese, Arabian, Indian, Madurese, and Javanese descent have coexisted harmoniously. Denpasar City's residents also remember Gajah Mada Street as an entertainment center, particularly for movies. Along Gajah Mada Street, several cinemas once stood, including Wisnu Theater at the western end of the street and Hollywood Theater, later renamed Indra Djaja, and Indra Theater at the western intersection of Gajah Mada Street.

In the 1960s, a cultural festival named the Gajah Mada Festival was held on Gajah Mada Street. The street's vibrant, bustling character is often depicted in Indonesian and modern Balinese literary texts as a district that "never sleeps".

Source Image Cover: Google Maps

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Denpasar Mayor's Office

On February 27, 1992, Denpasar elevated its position to that of an independent city, equivalent to a regency. To manage the city's administrative tasks, the Denpasar Mayor's Office was established at its present location. Interestingly, this office was previously situated in Jro Anyar, the former residence of the king of Badung during the monarchical era.

On February 27, 1992, Denpasar elevated its position to that of an independent city, equivalent to a regency. To manage the city's administrative tasks, the Denpasar Mayor's Office was established at its present location. Interestingly, this office was previously situated in Jro Anyar, the former residence of the king of Badung during the monarchical era.

The aftermath of the Puputan Badung War on September 20, 1906, which led to the downfall of the Badung Kingdom, saw the Dutch colonial government reorganizing the area surrounding Puri Denpasar. They transformed Jro Anyar into the office of the controller—an official who worked under the assistant resident and resided close by. The office complex and the controller's house were strategically located near the office and residence of the assistant resident, the former Puri Denpasar, which is now the Governor of Bali's official residence, Jaya Sabha.

Source Cover Image: Google Maps

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Catur Muka Statue and Dutch Colonial Bell

Located at the eastern end of Gajah Mada Street in Denpasar City is the significant landmark, the Catur Muka statue. Positioned at the central four-way intersection known as the catus patha, this monument's inception followed the official endorsement of the Badung Regency's emblem by the Regional House of Representatives and subsequent approval by the Ministry of Home Affairs on July 17, 1971.

The creation of the statue was a collaborative effort involving I Wayan Limbak, a temple priest from Samuan Tiga, who received support from architects I Gusti Aji Madongan, I Gusti Ngurah Cangbe, and I Nyoman Suka.

The statue, a nine-meter-tall edifice carved from granite, features four faces, each embodying a unique quality and representing the deity Brahma. The eastern face, known as Shanghyang Iswara, symbolizes wisdom, while the western face, known as Sanghyang Mahadewa, represents compassion. The northern face, referred to as Sanghyang Wisnu, signifies strength and the purification of the human soul, and the southern face, or Sanghyang Brahma, symbolizes tranquility and peacekeeping.

Additionally, there is a large bell clock from the colonial era displayed to the southeast of the Catur Muka statue. Installed by the Dutch government in 1908, this clock marks Denpasar's evolution and modernization. It stands as a representation of colonial-style time standardization and signifies the city's transformation from a royal to a colonial city.

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Puputan Badung Square (I Gusti Ngurah Made Agung)

Puputan Badung Square, alternatively known as I Gusti Ngurah Made Agung Square, holds a profound historical significance as it was the site of the Puputan Badung, a heroic event that occurred on September 20, 1906. Originally a town square, this site witnessed an epic showdown where the King of Badung, I Gusti Ngurah Made Agung, also known as Tjokorda Mantuk ring Rana (the king who fell on the battlefield), led his kinfolk and subjects in a fierce and decisive battle, referred to as 'matelasan' or 'puputan' (meaning 'the end'), against the invading Dutch forces.

The Puputan-Badung War stands as a testament to the unwavering resistance of the king and the people of Badung against Dutch colonial rule. This battle was incited by the Dutch demands for the King of Badung to provide compensation for the supposed seizure of the Sri Komala ship at Sanur Beach. In defiance, King I Gusti Ngurah Made Agung rejected these demands, choosing to fight to the death instead. The palace of I Gusti Ngurah Made Agung, originally named Puri Denpasar, is situated to the north of the former town square, now known as Puputan Badung Square. After its Dutch occupation, the palace was repurposed as the office and residence of the Assistant Resident of Bali and Lombok. Following Indonesia's independence, it became the Governor of Bali's official residence, now known as Jaya Sabha.

Beyond its commemoration in the square's name, I Gusti Ngurah Made Agung is also honored with a statue situated at the Banjar Taensiat intersection in Denpasar, approximately 800 meters north of the Catur Muka statue. This monument depicts King I Gusti Ngurah Made Agung holding a lontar (palm leaf manuscript), embodying his dual legacy as both a king and a renowned Balinese literati. His traditional literary works are acclaimed for their high literary merit and profound philosophical values. Along Veteran Street, which links the Catur Muka statue with the I Gusti Ngurah Made Agung statue, stands Puri Agung Satria, the residence of the descendants of the Badung kings from Puri Denpasar. Also on this route, the Satria Market, famed as Bali's largest bird market, is located.

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Pura Agung Jagatnata, Denpasar City

Pura Agung Jagatnata, located in Denpasar City, was established in 1968. Recognized as a public temple, its official inauguration took place during a minor pamlaspas ceremony on Purnama Jyestha, May 13, 1968. The temple's primary structure is a padmasana, or temple throne, which stands at an impressive 15 meters tall and faces west. This is notably the tallest and largest padmasana found within Denpasar City.

This hallowed sanctuary, constructed from white coral stone, showcases detailed carvings on its tower section. These carvings depict the face and hands of Bhoma, a figure known as the son of the earth in Hindu mythology. Pura Agung Jagatnata, being a public temple, serves as a spiritual magnet, regularly attracting Hindu devotees from various parts of Denpasar City and its neighboring regions. It witnesses a significant influx of devotees, especially on Purnama (full moon) and Tilem (new moon) days. In addition, the temple serves as a recurring host for a literary discussion event called "Purnama Badrawada", further adding to its cultural significance.

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Bali Museum

Situated south of Pura Jagatnatha, the Bali Museum stands as the oldest museum in Bali. Its establishment dates back to 1910, spearheaded by Assistant Resident WFJ Kroon, local leaders, and renowned Balinese artists I Gusti Ketut Kandel from Banjar Abasan and I Gusti Ketut Rai from Banjar, alongside German architect Curt Grundler. The museum's architecture skillfully blends the structural elements of pura (sacred places) and puri (palaces).

By 1925, a long pavilion styled after the Karangasem tradition had been successfully constructed at the complex's center, serving as an emblem of East Bali's architectural flair. This structure bifurcates into two areas: the external and internal sections. The open veranda in the front section offers a place of respite for museum visitors, while the inner space is purposed for exhibitions.

Tak lama setelahnya, dua struktur tambahan rampung dibangun, yaitu Gedung Tabanan dan Gedung Buleleng. Gedung Tabanan, yang terletak di utara gedung Karangasem, didesain menyerupai meru dengan atap tumpang dua dan terbuat dari ijuk. Bangunan ini merupakan perwakilan seni arsitektur Bali Selatan. Sedangkan Gedung Buleleng, berlokasi di selatan gedung Karangasem, juga dirancang dengan bentuk meru. Struktur ini didukung oleh 33 sesaka – kayu yang diukir dengan motif pepatraan dan dicat dengan prada. Gedung ini memiliki empat pintu yang masing-masing mengarah ke empat penjuru mata angin. Di tengah ruangan, terdapat tugeh – poros tiang penyangga atap dengan patung singa bersayap (Singamara) di alasnya, yang merupakan simbol dari Kabupaten Buleleng.

Initially under the stewardship of the Bali Museum Foundation, the Bali Museum was officially inaugurated on December 8, 1932. After Indonesia's independence, the museum's management was transferred to the Indonesian Government on January 5, 1966. The Bali Museum boasts a diverse collection that spans prehistoric artifacts, historical era relics, and ethnographic objects.

 

 

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Rsi Statue at Suci Intersection

Upon reaching the junction of Diponegoro Street, Hasanuddin Street, and Sumatra Street, visitors are greeted by a statue standing majestically at the intersection's center. This statue depicts an Rsi, or priest, carrying a ceremonial bell, referred to as a 'genta'. Locally, it's often called the Rsi Statue. The Rsi, or priest, holds a place of great reverence within the religious fabric of Balinese society.

The Rsi Statue has roots tracing back to the 1920s, as indicated by Dutch photographs from that era, making the statue nearly a century old. Although the statue's current positioning is elevated, it was initially installed at road level.

The Rsi Statue serves as an emblematic icon of the Suci district. Once upon a time, the Suci area functioned as a terminal for both intra-city and inter-city transportation, a fuel station, and a lively local market. Today, this bustling area has transformed into the Suci Plaza shopping complex, brimming with a multitude of gold shops.

Historically, this locale served as the vibrant hub of Denpasar's nightlife. Moreover, it birthed the term 'nasi jingo' (a local culinary delicacy), thus earning its place on Denpasar's gastronomic map. During daylight hours, the Suci district operated as a terminal for intra-city and inter-city transportation. From the 1970s to the 1980s, city transport was catered to by the three-wheeled vehicles known as 'bemo'. Moreover, the Suci terminal also housed minibuses that serviced routes to Tabanan and Negara.

In the 1980s, as part of a comprehensive plan to beautify and modernize Denpasar, the Suci terminal underwent a transformation into the multi-storied shopping complex known as Suci Plaza. Its lower level was repurposed as an underground parking space. Post-transformation, the Suci district, especially Hasanuddin Street, evolved into a gold-specialized shopping complex.

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Hasanuddin Street

Upon crossing the southern end of Sulawesi Street, visitors find themselves on Hasanuddin Street. While Sulawesi Street is renowned as a hub for textile trade, Hasanuddin Street is distinguished for its gold trading. This street is lined with numerous gold shops, each offering an array of quality gold jewelry.

The jewelry shops scattered along Hasanuddin Street typically open from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. local time. These shops deal in gold of diverse grades, from low to high. In addition to selling gold, the shops on Hasanuddin Street also purchase gold from customers wishing to sell their gold jewelry.

Beyond its identity as a gold trading center, the Hasanuddin Street area also offers a view of Tukad Badung, a river that bisects the Badung Market. From the vantage point of the bridge, visitors can appreciate the beauty of Tukad Badung, now a budding tourist attraction in the city of Denpasar.

By taking a left at the western four-way intersection on Hasanuddin Street, visitors will wind their way through the Bukit Tunggal Street area. This area is home to several Melati hotels, which are popular choices among domestic tourists.

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Thamrin Street: A Hub of Commerce and Trade

Thamrin Street serves as a vibrant commercial and service district, acting as a transitional corridor between the bustling trade center of Denpasar City and its predominantly residential neighborhoods. Puri Agung Pemecutan, a site of significant cultural and historical value, can be found here. Moreover, numerous offices and commercial establishments, including the famed Lokitasari shopping complex, line the street.

In addition to its commercial prominence, Thamrin Street is now synonymous with the Denpasar Cineplex, a key entertainment destination. A predecessor to this venue, the Wisata 21 cinema from the Cineplex 21 network, had been in operation since 1986. However, it was closed in 2008 following the downturn in the cinema industry. Recognizing the resurgent demand for cinema facilities among Denpasar's population, the Denpasar Cineplex was inaugurated in 2013 and continues to operate to this day.

Originally known as Gambuh Street, this thoroughfare underwent a name change in 1964 as part of a citywide renaming initiative. The government of the day restructured Denpasar's street names into four categories: fruit names for the Northeast sector, hero names for the Southeast, names of islands and mountains for the Southwest, and artistic names for the Northwest. This renaming process was covered extensively in the Suara Indonesia newspaper (now the Bali Post), beginning with the May 29, 1964 edition. While numerous streets were renamed during this period, Gajah Mada Street was a notable exception.

Consequently, Gambuh Street, located in the Southeast sector, was renamed Thamrin Street in honor of one of Indonesia's national heroes.

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West Side Gajah Mada Street, Tri Kala Semaya and Dewi Melanting Statues

Gajah Mada Street is an icon of Denpasar City. One doesn't feel like they've visited Denpasar until they've set foot on Gajah Mada Street. During the colonial era, Gajah Mada Street was the main access for the community, and it was the embryo for the development of Denpasar's tourism. The main attraction of Gajah Mada Street, of course, is its historical side, shown by the old buildings on both sides. As such, it has been designated as a heritage or cultural heritage area since 2008.

Since colonial times, Gajah Mada Street has been a commercial area with a strong multicultural characteristic. Here, traders of Chinese, Arab, Indian, Madurese, and Javanese descent have become accustomed to living harmoniously side by side. Denpasar city residents also remember Gajah Mada Street as an entertainment center, especially for film. Several cinemas are located along Gajah Mada Street, such as Wisnu Theater at the western end of Gajah Mada Street, Hollywood Theater, which later became Indra Djaja, and then Indra Theater at the western intersection of Gajah Mada Street.

In 1964, a cultural festival event titled Gajah Mada Festival was held on Gajah Mada Street. In the texts of Indonesian and Modern Balinese literary works, the existence of Gajah Mada Street is described as an area that "never sleeps."

A pair of giant-shaped statues on Gajah Mada Street, near the Tukad Badung bridge and in front of Badung Market, are visualizations of Sang Kala Tri Semaya. The 3-meter-high statue weighing 3.3 tons was completed on November 29, 2021, and installed on the night of November 30, 2021, and ceremoniously inaugurated in mid-December 2021, coinciding with the Denpasar Festival. This piece of art is the work of Denpasar city artist, I Nyoman Gede Sentana Putra, or familiarly called Kedux, who completed the statue in three months, assisted by his colleagues from Tabanan and Gianyar.

Sang Kala Trisemaya is actually a three-dimensional visualization of the lontar story Siwagama. Sang Kala Trisemaya is a guardian figure of the earth, perceived as being capable and sensitive to human behavior and movements, such as misconduct, misuse of speech, and lying.

In addition to the Sang Kala Trisemaya statue on Gajah Mada Street, in the Badung Market area, there is also a statue of Ida Ratu Mas Melanting. This statue was installed together with the Sang Kala Trisemaya statue on November 30, 2021. The statue, which is 4.5 meters high and 1.5 meters wide, is the work of Putu Marmar Herayukti, who is known as an ogoh-ogoh artist and a tattoo artist from Banjar Gemeh, Dauh Puri Kangin Village, Denpasar.

The creator intended the Ida Ratu Mas Melanting statue to be an icon of prosperity for the people in Denpasar City. There is a special message that the creator wants to convey through this statue, namely the important principles in trade and life, which are fairness, honesty, and quality.

In traditional literary texts, the figure of Ida Ratu Mas Melanting is said to be the daughter of Dang Hyang Nirarta, a holy sage from East Java who helped build Hindu civilization in Bali. Ratu Ayu Mas Melanting's real name is Ida Ayu Swabhawa. This figure is portrayed as having a wise and intelligent character, and she is an expert in trade. The beauty and character of Ida Ayu Swabhawa made her popular among her customers and she became a role model for people who work as traders. For this reason, the people of Bali continue to honor Ratu Ayu Mas Melanting to this day. She is considered a symbol of the intellectual capacity of Balinese women in the field of entrepreneurship.

Source: Google Maps

Source: Google Maps

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Bali Hotel

Bali Heritage Hotel, previously known as Bali Hotel, is the oldest tourist accommodation in Bali, built in 1927 by the Dutch colonial government. Initially, the hotel was used as a resting place for crew members from the Dutch shipping company KPM (Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij) who docked in Bali. The Bali Hotel began operating in 1928 after being handed over by the Dutch Government to KPM.

The Inna Bali Heritage Hotel is a complex of buildings located on both sides of Veteran Street. The hotel area on the west side of the street was built with European architectural design, evident in the lobby building, front office, kitchen, dining room, and accommodations. The part of the hotel located on the east side of the street includes a multifunctional building and bedrooms. One of the special rooms of this hotel is Suite No. 77, the favorite resting place of the first President of Indonesia, Ir. Soekarno.

The Bali Hotel is a testament to the blend of traditional Balinese culture and modern comfort. The hotel showcases architecture inspired by the unique cultural heritage of Bali and colonial-era modernity. Walter Spies, Colin McPhee, Jane Belo, Miguel Covarrubias, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, and Charlie Chaplin are among the artists and foreign scientists who often gathered at this legendary hotel in the 1930s.