KARANGASEM GRAND PALACE
Identification and point of attraction
The palace was built by the first King of Karangasem, Anak Agung Gede Jelantik by the end of the nineteenth century.
The major attraction of the Grand Palace is its architecture, a Combination between Balinese, Chinese and European.
The characteristic of Balinese architecture can be seen from the reliefs on the entrance gates, the statues and on the wall while European influence can be seen from the design of the main building and very vast veranda called “maskerdam”.
Chinese architecture is shown by the carving motives on the door, window pane and the entire building ornaments, while on the courtyard an old “lechi” tree known as a tree with Chinese origin was planted.
The other attractions of the Grand Palace instead of its specific architecture are the entrance gates soaring up about 25 m in height made of red-brickstones decorated with puppet – motive ornaments.
In front of the gate, on the both side are a pair of lion statues, a pair of guardian statues completed with guardian posts.
Karangasem Grand Palace is located in the centre part of Amlapura, the capital – town, about 78 km in distance from Denpasar or only 15 km from Candidasa Beach.
Karangasem Grand Palace is often visited by both domestic and foreign visitors to feel the Balinese glory in the past.
The other supporting places of interest to the Grand Palace are Tirta Gangga water garden 6 km North of the town and Ujung Water Garden 5 km to the south.
Karangasem Grand Palace was built by the first King of Karangasem, Anak Agung Gede Jelantik in the nineteenth century. The extent of the Grand Palace is about 20,000 square meters with 200m length and 100m width surrounded by thick and high wall. there are two other Palaces around : i.e. “Puri Gede Palace” and “Kerta Sura” Palace lacated on the west of the Grand palace. The Grand Palace is consisted of three main parts i.e.: outer courtyard named : “Bencingah”, second courtyard named “Jaba Tengah” and the inner courtyard where the main building is located named : “Maskerdam”.
Karangasem Grand Palace is now under the management of a foundation named “Amertha Jiwa” established and membered by the noble family of the Grand Palace itself.
Instead of its specific appearance with towering entrance gates, completed with security guard posts, guardian statues and lion statues on the both sides of the gates, there are also two buildings which rooms are made available for visitors who want to spend more time in the Grand Palace.
The outer yard called “Bencingah” is the place where traditional art performances are used to performed. To reach the second courtyard called “Jaba Tengah” one will enter the towering entrance gate flanked by two guardians and lion statues.
The second courtyard or “Jaba Tengah” is functioned as garden in which is found a very old lychee tree, a wide water – pond with an islet on the middle of it while statues and big flower pots frame the pond edges.
The inner courtyard is where the main building called “maskerdam” located.
The name is supposed to be closely related to Amsterdam, one of big cities in Holland regarding that a close relationship was established at that time between the Netherlands and the King of Karangasem.
This main building functions as the King’s Palace while the building next to “Maskerdam” called “London” is the place for the King’s relatives, supposed to be related to London, the capital city of England. In front of the “Maskerdam” there is a building called “Bale Pemandesan” where human lifecycle ceremonies like : tooth filing, cremation, etc. are held.
Close to this building overviewing the pond, stands a big winged-lion statue and in front of “Bale Pemandesan” is “Bale Pawedan” or “Bale Lunjuk” where high priests sit to lead ceremonies.
In front of “Maskerdam complex” one can find “Bale Kambang” (Floating House) or “Islet in the middle of the pond” functioned as a meeting hall for the whole relatives of the King.
On the South – part of the pond can be found an old building named “Bale Werdastana” which building was entirely built by a group of Chinese and completely designed and ornamented in Chinese architectural design.