Impact Publications : MiceBTN_63
MICEBTN - May-JULY 2016 • Page 23 BALI, INDONESIA BALI, INDONESIA Royal palaces intrigue and delight visitors as much as beaches, hotels and shopping lowing a devastating 1917 earthquake. Since the 1930s, Puri Saren has been at the forefront of the development of cultural tourism. The front courtyard is open to the public, and traditional dance performances are held there every evening. Further east, Semara Pura in Klungkung was almost completely destroyed by the 1908 Dutch attacks. The main gate is all that remains of the Palace - the wooden doors were said to have shut by themselves at the time of the ‘puputan’ massacre, and no-one has dared to open them since. In the ‘Taman Gili’ gardens of this former palace stands the 300-year old Kertha Gosa Pavilion. Surrounded by a moat, it is a superb example of Klungkung architecture, its dramatically painted panels depicting the terrifying punish- ments that await sinners in hell. Puri Agung Karangasem in the centre of Amlapura was built in the 19th Century by Anak Agung Gede Jelantik, the first king of the Karangas- em Kingdom. This old palace complex presents a fusion of European and Asian architectural styles and features the Bale Kambang, which appears to float upon a pool, and which was used by the royal family for entertainment and relaxation. Karangasem was at one time the richest and most powerful kingdom in Bali, and the water-loving Anak Agung Anglurah, the last raja of Karangasem, built two water palaces: Tirta Gangga, a fabled maze of spine-tingling cold water pools and basins, spouts, tiered pago- da fountains, stone carvings and lush gardens and Taman Ujung, an intriguing, romantic complex of pools linked by bridges, archways, and a shaded avenue of mango and frangipani trees. The seldom-visited Pemecutan Palace in Denpasar lies in the old city, it was the first of Denpasar’s royal houses to open its doors to visitors. In 1969, in order to cash in on the lucrative tourist business, the puri began staging cultural and mu- sical shows. In North Bali, the Singaraja Palace is famous for its library, Gedong Kirtya, now a literacy museum with the most complete collection of lontar palm manuscripts about Balinese history, mythology and religion. Tabanan Regency is home to the 17th-century Puri Anyar Kerambitan. Its royal family enjoyed great prosperity until the law of Land Reform in 1961 restricted ownership of land to five hectares per family. The family estate, which was then around 300 hectares, was taken and redistributed. Under these new circumstances, it became a chal- lenge to maintain the palace, its grounds, and many temples. In 1967, the head of the present (seventh-generation) royal family had a vision to “share this gift of the ancestors” with the world, and he opened the palace for pre-ordered din- ners and events. Feasts have been pre- sented here for international ministers, ambassadors and celebrities including Mick Jagger, the late David Bowie and Supertramp. Day trips can be arranged through the Intercontinental Resort’s concierge.