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The Remnant of Ancient Bali

 

Tenganan village in Karangasem is one of only a few remaining communities in Bali that offers the authentic experience of being able to see what life was like on the island decades ago.

Although the village is now rapidly catching up with modernization, you can still see glimpses of the traditional way of living. The current villagers in Tenganan are descendents of those who lived on the island well before the Javanese arrived in Bali in the 15th century.

Their presence, dating back to before the exodus of Javanese from the Majapahit Kingdom, earned them the name “Bali Aga” or “Original Balinese”. Besides Tenganan, several other Bali Aga villages can be found across the island. The exodus is a significant chapter in Bali’s history as it marked the starting point of Balinese Hinduism.

As you enter Tenganan, you will notice the ancient houses preserved by the villagers that offer a view of the past.

Visitors can enter the village from its southernmost point and from there, you walk your way up to the north along a rocky road about 500 meters long.

Tenganan holds an annual festival called the Usaba Sambah, which normally takes place in May. By the way, Tenganan people use the lunar calendar.

During the festival, you can watch the village men fight each other with pandan leaves in a match-making ritual, while the girls watch from a traditional Ferris wheel.

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