Buddhist Temple at Banjar Village
The Buddhist temple and Monastery in Banjar North Bali, near Lovina, is more then just a “tourist attraction”. It is still used, and you can find groups of people staying in the Ashram nearby. The Buddhist temple is not a tourist trap, entrance is free, but donations are welcome. Even the sarongs you may need to enter the temple, you can use for free. The Buddhist temple is situated in the hills above Lovina and offers nice views.
In the 6th century Buddhist monks suppose to have landed and settled in the North of Bali, and the Hindu religion of Bali has a lot of Buddhist influence.
The terraced complex has a few praying rooms with golden Buddha’s, and several Buddha statues in the garden. On the highest level of the complex you find a Stupa, almost like a small version of the Borobudur in Java. In the temple you find references to the Borobudur.
Oldest and Biggest Buddhist Monastery in Desa Banjar is exist the biggest and oldest Buddhist monastery in Bali. Despite the fact that Buddhism developed much earlier on south Bali, but it is not found significant Buddhist organization and construction both monastery or temple.
Buddhism arrived in Bali as old as the Hindu did, and even there is an assumption based on the finding of clay tablet in Pejeng area that the Buddhist might arrive earlier then the Hindu. The clay tablet stamped with the Buddhist mantram called ” yete ” showing a great similarities with those clay tablets found in the area of Prambanan temple of 7th century.
Later due to the syncretism between Buddhism of left hand path with the Shiwaitic sectarianism of Hindu, the Buddhism seemed to have been absorbed by the Shiwaitic path and bearing a different practice of conducting a religious activities.
This tradition can still be seen until today that the priest of the Hindu conducting the same ritual together with the Buddhist priest for certain big Hindu ritual. A remnants of what is called ” Tantrayana ” Buddhist and the Shiwa Bairawa can be seen at Pejeng that is the temple of Kebo Edan.
The remains of the practices such as sculptures, altars and others reminds of the strong practice of the left hand path Buddhism and Shiwaism around 13th century.
Hot Water Spring
This is located very close to the location of the village and very popular among foreign visitors to enjoy the scenery and hot water bathing. Good facilities for traveling to the area has been constructed, and even small accommodation is also available.
Lately not only foreign tourists that visiting the hot spring but also local people to soak to the hot water. It is said that the water can cure skin disease. A tour itinerary visiting North Bali will always include the visit to hot water spring in Banjar which is one of the highlight of natural interest of Bali. Some tourists even organized to stay for some nights in this hot spring area to specifically take intensive bathing in the hot water spring.
Desa Banjar is one of the village in North Bali (Buleleng Regency) has been involved fiercely for the battle of independence. When the main centers of North Bali such as Singaraja and Jagaraga have been controlled by the Dutch colonial, every villages within these areas were forced to make donation to the Dutch for the soldiers provision such as land products, cattles, and vegetables. Their demand sometimes could not be fulfilled by the people since their harvest was not good.
On 20 September 1868 the head of Banjar Ida Made Rai send an envoys to deliver the donation to the Dutch army in Temukus village, but the envoys were caught by the Dutch and brought to the ship. This is the trigger of the war between the Dutch and the fleet of Banjar.
The Dutch army under the commander of Van Heemskerk attacked the village of Banjar, and during the skirmish at Den Carik village the Dutch lost and run to Batavia. But with the assistant from Batavia in 25 September again the Dutch landed their army at Temukus with much more bigger force.
This new force use the tactic of total burning swept. Everything they meet they burn, and the whole village of Banjar changed into ash.
Indeed this tactic of the Dutch successful in subduing the patriots of Banjar, although long after the burning a guerilla resistant still can be launched. With the condition of short of provision the patriot of Banjar at last subdued.
Desa Banjar is located in the administrative area of Buleleng, west to the city of Singaraja around 20 kms. From Denpasar or Kuta or Nusa Dua to reach this area can choose many ways.
First the shortest way is via Bedugul then above lake Bulian turn to the left and find the road to Banjar after the village of Tamblingan. Second way is go directly to the city of Singaraja then find the road to Lovina beach. Third way is through idyllic country side of Kabupaten Tabanan passing the highland of Pupuan, continue to Tamblingan by turning to the right after the town of Pupuan or go directly to the town of Banyuwatis then Seririt to turn to the left.
Interest of Banjar
Desa Banjar is one of the most important for history of North Bali from pre-history up to the era where Indonesian struggle for Independence. This administrative area of Kabupaten Buleleng has some places of interest that have been well known by the visitors to Bali.
Around Desa Banjar are many older villages of Bali, which is believed to have been earlier to settle Bali compared to other lowland residents. Those villages such as Sidatapa, Tigawasa, and Pedawa village. It is not considered old is Tamblingan village, although the fact that this village is already recorded in a king charter dated 11th century.
It is probably the location of Tamblingan is on the trade route between south and North Bali, so this village has been developing faster compared to those, so their oldness is not visible, or simply forgotten. Tigawasa village itself is a field research for Archaeology, due to the finding of ancient remains of human activities from stone and metal ages.
Many excavations have been organized by the department of Archaeology of Udayana University which throw light on the distribution of people in Bali starting metal age and continues until the arrival of Hindu tradition.
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