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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