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Sweeping down from a densely forested volcanic crest to a shoreline of long sandy beaches and rocky outcrops, Tabanan offers a dramatic mix of terrain and landscapes.Gushing rivers and steep ravines traverse the countryside of this prosperous regency, bringing life giving water to one of Bali's most productive rice growing areas. Tabanan has its roots in the 14th century when Javanese invaders settled in the area. As they expanded their territory, they came into conflict with the Mengwi house, founded during the mid 1600s with the fall of Gelgel and allied with Buleleng. In the 18th century Mengwi was the 2nd most powerful royal house after Klungkung.

Here too is found the remote complex of Pura Luhur, the state temple of the old Tabanan Kingdom. Accessible only by a small road through " Jatiluwih" village, Pura Luhur boasts a seven tiered pagoda (meru) dedicated to Mahadewa, god of the mountain, and three smaller shrines dedicated to the nearby lakes Bratan, Buyan and Tamblingan.
Tabanan got most of Mengwi, but rising Dutch interests in Bali and refusal of Tabanan to give in led to its end in 1906 with the imprisonment and suicide of the ruler and his son. Krambitan village has 2 palaces, puppet style paintings, and the exciting "tektekan" exorcist dance drama with music from struck bamboo and giant wooden cowbell. Tista boasts the special lekoandir dance done by young girls.
Tabanan has a wide variety of  natural beauty. The Bratan Lake area has a huge botanical garden at Bedugul with produce farms at "Candi Kuning" (yellow temple). The Ulun Danu Temple to the lake goddess sits at the water edge's, for the lake irrigates Tabanan's rice fields.
On below this is "Jatiluwih"  with spectacular views of Bali, the "Yeh Panas" hot springs at Penatahan, and the beautiful Alas Kedaton temple. At the coasts is the famous " Tanah Lot" temple on a rocky protrusion that becomes an island during high tide.
Tabanan is a tidy town with a museum Subak devoted to rice cultivation, and the "Gedong Marya Theatre" honors the famous dancer Mario. North of the town a memorial in Marga commemorates the slaughter of Balinese resistance fighters against the Dutch in 1946.

In the story of Dang Hyang Nirartha(a Hindu high priest), when he traveled around Bali, he came upon tanah lot which is located in tabanan and here, he decided to stay the night. It is said that this very important priest came to bali in about 1411 according to the balinese icaka calendar, or 1489 AD by the western calendar.
After pending some time in the temple of Siva's Hair, he moved on going further east. The esteemed priest and his devoted followers followed the southern coastline of Ball on their journey. For the entire trip along the shores of Bali,  he was accompanied by the sound of the crashing waves in his ears and the sharp breeze penetrating his body. It was through this closeness with nature that, he thought of the power of God and God's power to create all of nature and all the contents of the world. It also occurred to him that, as God had created humankind, humans should give thanks and pay respect to God. The priest Dang Hyang Nirartha always carried a special carving knife, with which he could carve Inscriptions and notes on the long "lontar" palm slabs, and wrote what he saw, felt or thought of as important.

The recordings were made in verse form. This priest was such a great man, that when he was totally involved in something. he forgot about all else and never tired in his journey. His feet virtually floated above the ground he traversed. It wasn't long before he arrived at a small Island almost, Joined to the shore that was made of coral. Here he stopped a moment to rest. The people here were all fishermen and they gathered together to pay their respects. The fishermen wanted Dang Hyang Nirartha to stay at their modest homes, but he refused their invitation. He wanted to spend the night on the small island because the air was cool and fresh. He also had a wonderful view from this vantage point.

That evening before he retired for the night, he was able to teach the people who came to see him moral ethics, religion and welfare. Dang Hyang Nirartha advised the  people at this time to build a Parhyangan (temple) at this place where he had chosen to stay for the night. Because of the feeling this holy man felt in his inner soul, and other strange, mysterious and miraculous happenings that occurred there, the priest knew that this was the right place to praise God (Sanghyang Widhi Wasa). From there on the Balinese would have a place at which they could praise God and request salvation and safety for the world.

When Dang Hyang Nirartha finally left this place, the people with whom he had spoken, indeed built the holy temple and gave it the name "Pura Pakendungan" which nowadays is better known as " Tanahlot". This temple is well know throughout not only Indonesia, but the entire world. Why is this temple one of the favorite tourist attractions for people from around the world ? You should go and see for yourself - it is beautiful and unique. You will have to arrange to travel 31 Km from Denpasar and that will take about an hour. Ran port is no problem as tourist buses go there all the time if you won't have some other private transport arrangement.

The best time to see it is in the afternoon when the sun setting in he west splits the shore line in half along a north-south axis. His spectacle will live on long in your memory. There is a religious ceremony coming up on the 7th of August 1996. The atmosphere will be even further enhanced as the Balinese Hindus in their ceremonial rests go to the temple to pray.



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