Beautiful Water Palace Taman Ujung Sukasada, Karangasem

A few km beyond Amlapura (Karangasem), in the road down to the sea, Taman Ujung Water palace – atop green and gold hills, with the lavender silhouette of Mount Agung in the distance, the last garden temple quetly glows in the late afternoon sunlight. this elegant complex is one of three water palace built by Karangasem King ” Anak Agung Anglurah As a retreat for his family.

Constructed in 1919, it originally was centered on a large enclosed bale of stucco and stained glass, with smaller open pavilion and large pond around it. Most of the complex was destroyed in 1963 eruption of Mount Agung, but there are still wander among the statue and between the ghostly pillars and arches.

We can wender around the remnants of the main pool admire the view of the view from the pavilion higher up the hill above the rice paddy’s or continue a little further down the road to the fishing villages on the coast. Taman Ujung is one of favorite Bali Tour direction in East Bali.

My almost 2 hours road trip with Bart this time is to the east of Bali, to Karangasem Regency. Destination: Water Palace Taman Ujung Soekasada. Not many people in Bali or coming to Bali wants to visit this place for its distance that is far from main tourist spots and I have to admit it is so crazy hot there specially if you come after 10am.

No wonder some professional photographers we met were just on their way back to the parking lot at 10am, exactly the time of our arrival, as they began shooting the place at 5 o’clock in the morning! So my suggestion, come around 7am when it’s cooler and you can avoid the heat.

Taman Ujung Soekasada was the residence of Karangasem Royal Family between 1909 and 1945. It was built in 1919 by the late King of Karangasem, I Gusti Bagus Jelantik. The King of Karangasem Djelantik with his wives (yes, plural..) and children lived here, and it is also their proud place to welcome royal guests from other regions and even countries. It is very interesting to look at their private rooms with old style traditional bed, old family photos hang on the walls.

There is always a little altar table in each room, something very mystical and typical balinese for me..There is even one area where you can not touch or step further inside, that’s the King & Queen bed (off course, who wants to jumpin’ around on the King of Karangasem bed!).

I noticed one interesting photo on which a dutch wife of King Karangasem featured. So yes, this royal family has now western blood with this beautiful culture melange! The water palace complex has 3 big ponds, and when Bart made me climb the highest level of this complex (grumbling and complaining girl, I am…), I know now what do we have to do this for : a priceless breathtaking view of majestic Mount Agung, a marvelous view of sea, hills with lush and green forest and green terrace rice fields..whoaaa….The heat, sweat, the tired leg muscles, were all worth it.

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