Imagine yourself calming down in a palace surrounded by mirroring water. Where the smooth and relaxing sound of falling water drops competes with the sound of birds and monkeys in distant trees. The wind finding it’s natural way through leaves of palm trees, blowing her refreshing breath to please a King.
The Taman Ujung water palace was built in 1919 as a relaxation and recreation palace by the then King of Karangasem, I Gusti Bagus Jelantik. He was the father of the King who built Tirta Gangga. It was largely destroyed by the eruption of Mount Agungin 1963 (yes indeed, the same one destroying Tirta Gangga), damaged again by an earthquake in 1979 and has been very recently restored completely. You can have a look at the King’s private rooms with old style traditional bed and furniture and old family photos hanging on the wall.
More than Tirta Gangga, it’s an elegant complex. You can wander around the garden and even climb up steep stairs to admire the view from above. From there you can see the ocean and small fisher villages on the coast.
Taman Ujung, a place from which you can see the blue ocean of east Bali as well as the majestic Mount Agung and the surrounding rice terraces and expansive lush rolling hills. Taman Ujung is a heritage site of the kingdom of Karangasem, which had just been restored by the government, along with hectares of gardens and two huge ponds. A water palace was built for the king to welcome important guests and kings of others kingdoms as well as a place of recreation for the king and royal family. In those days the spacious gardens echoed with the laughter of the king’s wives and children as they relaxed, dipping their feet in the ponds. Now the area is silent and filled with emptiness. Some local tourists and foreigners were busy capturing the remaining beauty in photographs and enjoying its serene ambience.
A long concrete bridge connects the parking area and the palace area. At the end of the bridge is a vast garden. On the north side there is a small white square building in the middle of the main pond connected by two bridges on its left and right. The building previously functioned as the king’s bedroom, meeting room and family room, etc. Here you can see an old photograph of Taman Ujung and also some pictures of the royal family.
Next to the main pond, there is another pond with a bale, a traditional Balinese open air building, in the middle of it. Taman Ujung complex combines Balinese and European architectural features. On the top of a hill there is a dilapidated building that looks like a chapel but has Balinese style engraving on its wall. On the other side, there is a huge statue of a rhinoceros and a bull below it. From this spot you can enjoy a view of the shimmering blue ocean, lush green forest and of course the mighty Mount Agung that dominates the sky.
Taman Ujung is sometimes the venue for upscale dinners when flickering candlelight and lavish table settings lend it a softer and more romantic atmosphere, evocative of earlier times. There are also classic Balinese dance performances and occasionally ceremonies.
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