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Tenganan Village: A Cultural Gem for Tourists

Tenganan Village, also known as Tenganan Pegringsingan, is a centuries-old village situated around 5 kilometers from the main road, towards the northwest of Candidasa. The village boasts of symmetrical layout, enclosed dwellings, and unique crafts. It is a reflection of the cultural life and customs of its inhabitants, who were part of the pre-Hindu Bali Aga Village and differed from other Bali villages. This distinctiveness has made Tenganan Village a top cultural attraction for tourists.

The village comprises of three distinct sections: residential, plantation, and rice field. Tenganan village history has several versions. According to one of the versions, the residents of Tenganan village migrated from Paneges Village, situated near Bedahulu Village in Gianyar Regency. Another version claims that the name Tenganan is found in one of the Bali inscriptions, where it was referred to as Tranganan. The third version suggests that Tenganan Village residents offer prayers at the Bukit Lempuyang Temple.

How to Get to Tenganan Village

Getting to Tenganan Village, situated in the eastern part of Bali Island, is easy and convenient. The village is located in Manggis sub-district of Karangasem Regency and is approximately 68 km away from Denpasar airport. If you are traveling from Kuta or Seminyak, it will take you around 1.5 hours by car to reach the village. You can use Google Maps as a reliable guide to find the location. There is no entry fee to visit Tenganan Village, but it is recommended to make a small donation. If you are keen on exploring the village on your own, getting around will be a breeze with the help of Google Maps. Bellow is the route to this village from Denpasar:

The name Tenganan is derived from the word ‘Tengah,’ which means aiming for the center of Pegringsingan, a type of fastened cloth weave produced mainly by Tenganan villagers. The village is arranged in a linear form, comprising of six radiating rays, each having multiple yards and buildings where the local community displays handicrafts to visitors. The village seamlessly blends all aspects of human existence with God, humans, and the environment, in line with the Tri Hita Karana concept.

Tenganan Village is a cultural gem that showcases Bali’s rich heritage and customs. Its unique features and charm continue to attract tourists from all over the world, making it a must-visit destination.

Tenganan Pegringsingan village is a top-notch tourist destination that lures visitors with its rich cultural, natural, and agricultural marvels. The village’s distinct burstiness and perplexity create a fascinating reading experience that enthralls the reader’s attention.

This village is a sterling example of how the Balinese society preserves their unique way of life, without any outside influences. The houses in the village are placed on both sides of a pathway running from north to south, and their doors open towards it. The entrances to these houses are narrow, allowing just one person to enter or exit at a time. To access the village, visitors must cross the gate located at the southern end. As they pass through it, they’ll see two small temples on either side of the entrance. Across from these temples stands the balé agung, where the village’s administrative decisions are made. Next to this building, the drum tower (kul-kul) beats 21 times every morning, signaling the start of a new day. In the middle of the village, there are communal pavilions (balé) that serve as gathering spots for ceremonial occasions.

Exploring the Traditional Homes of Tenganan Village

The residential houses in Tenganan Village differ significantly from those found in Bali. This difference arises from the concept of spatial division in Sanga Mandala, which involves dividing the house plot into nine parts located in the northeast direction – the highest hierarchical area. This concept is influenced by the philosophy of seamount orientation and east-west direction. In Tenganan village, the Meulu to Tengah concept is applied to residential plots, with the highest hierarchical space located close to the front or outside courtyard. This is because the main road, or awangan, is considered a sacred area.

Residential homes in Tenganan Village consist of four main building units, each with a specific purpose:

  • Bale Buga: This building is used for ceremonial rituals with a religious function. It is typically located close to the main road or the cloud, another sacred area. The roof of the Bale Buga must be made of palpalan (coconut leaves) or palm fiber. It is often integrated with the entrance, known as the Jelanan Awangan type or separately called the Kori Ngeleb type.
  • Central Bale: The Bale building consists of two rooms, with one room dedicated to death rituals and the other for newborn babies.
  • Bale Meten: This Bale has the most profane function and can be used daily as a bedroom or living room. However, during wedding ceremonies, a ritual ceremony is carried out in one of the rooms in this Bale.
  • Paon or Kitchen: This building has the same function as a general kitchen for cooking and other kitchen matters. However, the Tenganan people require a furnace (jalikan) in their kitchen because there is a ceremony that must be carried out in the jalikan. A bathroom is attached to the south side of the kitchen wall.

Exploring the traditional homes of Tenganan Village reveals a unique approach to residential architecture. The spatial division concept and the specific functions of each building unit make these homes truly one of a kind.

Tenganan’s rituals

One of Tenganan’s primary draws is the Mekaré-kare ritual, commonly referred to as the “Pandan War.” This ritual is the highlight of the Ngusaba Sambah ceremony, which takes place every June and lasts for 30 days. Mekaré-kare is performed 2-4 times each month, and every time it is performed, offerings are made to the village’s ancestors. Men participate in Mekaré-kare from a young age until they are old. The ritual involves using pandan leaves, cut into 30 cm pieces, as weapons and shields to fend off opponents and protect themselves from pandan thorn scratches. Wounds caused by scratches are treated with pandanus made from herbs and tubers such as Laos, turmeric, and others.

Mekaré-kare holds the same significance as the Tabuh Rah ceremony, which Balinese Hindus perform during religious ceremonies. The ceremony is always accompanied by gamelan Selonding, a traditional Balinese musical instrument. Tenganan is a unique village that offers a glimpse into the beauty of Balinese culture and traditions, making it an essential destination for those seeking an authentic cultural experience.

Tucked away in Tenganan, a village in Indonesia, is a rare and fascinating gem that cannot be found anywhere else in the country. The locals are renowned for their expertise in crafting the double ikat weaving cloth, which is popularly known as “Gringsing”. The word “Gringsing” has its roots in the word “Gering,” which means sickness or accident, and “sing,” which is not, so the whole word “Gringsing” means to repel dangers. These fabrics are produced in homes that also serve as shops, where tourists are cordially invited to enter without any formality.

The creation of Gringsing fabric is a one-of-a-kind and time-intensive process that can take up to three years to complete. As a result, it is rare and expensive. The people of Tenganan hold Gringsing fabric in high esteem because it is used in several rituals, including the cremation ceremony where Gringsing cloth is placed on top of the Bade, a tool used to transport the deceased. Additionally, Gringsing cloth is used as the base cushion during the cutting teeth ceremony.

Experience the Authentic Bali in Tenganan Village

Exploring Bali’s cultural tours is never complete without a visit to Tenganan Village, or also known as Tenganan Pegringsingan Village, situated on the eastern part of the island. This tour promises to leave visitors with unforgettable memories as they immerse themselves in the village’s unique customs and traditions that have been preserved for years.

Strolling around Tenganan Village, visitors can witness the daily social life of the residents, who have managed to maintain their customs and traditions despite the challenges of modern times. The village’s inhabitants are united in preserving their culture, which is evident in their daily routines.

Here are some of the activities visitors can enjoy while visiting Tenganan Village:

  1. Village Tenganan: Take a stroll around the village to witness its well-preserved customs and traditions. The residents of Tenganan Village have minimal exposure to the outside world, allowing them to retain their past way of life.
  2. Traditional House: Capture the moment by taking photos in one of the old traditional houses that have been well-preserved over the years. These houses provide a glimpse into how people lived in ancient times and offer a unique experience for visitors.
  3. Pegringsingan Crafts: Observe the weaving process of the famous Pegringsingan cloth, a unique traditional craft of Tenganan Village. The local people create beautiful pieces of cloth using this unique technique, and visitors can even purchase it as a souvenir.
  4. War Dance Tradition: On certain days, visitors can witness the War Dance Tradition, a rare event that showcases the village’s customs and traditions.
  5. Swing Tradition: When young girls in the village are about to come of age, they participate in the Swing Tradition, where they wear traditional clothes and sit on a big wooden swing. The swing symbolizes the continuity of life and its revolving nature.
  6. Souvenir Shopping: Tenganan Village offers various handicrafts that visitors can purchase as souvenirs, including painting on palm leaves, drawn eggs, animal bone crafts, mask crafts, and many more.

Visiting Tenganan Village offers visitors a unique cultural experience that showcases the village’s well-preserved customs and traditions. With the village’s residents working together to maintain their way of life, this tour provides visitors with a glimpse of the past and a chance to take home a piece of this unique Balinese culture.

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