About Taman Ujung Water Palace
Taman Ujung was once a palace stretching across 10 hectares of land, situated in the village of Seraya Karangasem, Bali. When it comes to the history of this water palace, it’s entirely satirical to the beauty of this place. Though the popular belief goes that the palace was built as a residence for the members of the Karangasem dynasty, the reality is the opposite.
During the rule of the former Raja of Karangasem Dynasty, this palace was meant for penalizing people indicted of practiced Balinese witchcraft or black magic. In fact, the palace was one of the most torturous places in Bali during those days.However, with time, Taman Ujung Water Palace transformed to become one of the most attractive and sought-after places after the Dutch colonization of the Indonesian island in the year 1921.
Since that time, the water palace developed into a touristy spot to attract travelers from all parts of the world. Taman Ujung is replete with historical structures and three gigantic pools built against the majestic Mount Agung, Bali. The palace houses large water ponds in the middle of which, you will find Gili Bale, the central building that connects the edge of the pools through a bridge.
The palace is also called Sukasada Park or Ujung Park, and its beauty lies in the Balinese and European architectural style, not to forget the verdant gardens. Then, it’s not just the beauty of the palace that attracts thousands of tourists but also the scenic views around that make Ujung Water Palace the most sought-after tourist destinations in Bali.
The ornamented pillars, gardens, statues, and pool attributes are truly a visual treat for tourists visiting Ujung Water Palace. Much of its scenic attraction owes to the artificial, human-built structures, in the midst of natural vistas such as the verdant Bukit Bisbis range to the southeast and the Ujung Beach to the south.
How to Reach Taman Ujung Water Palace
Since public transportation towards Taman Ujung Water Palace is not available as it is located far from South Bali, the place is hard to discover for people visiting the place the first time. Therefore, it is better to opt for a car rental service from the airport with a driver who knows the way around.
Best Time to Visit Taman Ujung Water Palace
The best time to visit is during the dry season from April – October because it is the dry season in Taman Ujung, Bali. The absence of heavy rainfall from April to October makes Bali more enjoyable and convenient for the tourists heading for the water palace. Bali has only two seasons, dry and rainy. It is better to avoid the monsoon months.
The place is open to the public from 7.00 am to 7.00 pm throughout the week and is a popular tourist destination in Bali. Therefore, visit Taman Ujung Water Palace in the early hours of the morning before 10 am if you would like some peace and quiet. You can also visit in the late afternoon, which is the best time to take photographs. Visit during weekdays instead of weekends.
What Not to Miss at Taman Ujung Water Palace
Places to visit near Taman Ujung
There are many places to explore near Taman Ujung Water Palace. These are:
1. Kusamba Village
-Visit this village, which is just 31 km from Taman Ujung water palace to witness salt making process in a traditional way by local farmers using traditional tools. You can chat with the friendly farmers here and learn about the salt-making process.
-Buy natural salt available in the souvenir shops, which is a good keepsake to bring home from Kusamba village.
2. Tenganan Village
Explore this ancient hamlet with your family and friends situated near Taman Ujung Water Palace. Tenganan Village is known for its unique culture and popular craft, which is the double tenun Ikat, Ata bag, made by the locals and sold as souvenirs.
When you will reach this village, you will see a couple of palm leaf writers for the Bali calendar as well as palm paintings depicting scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Tenganan is a big village, where you can see cows wandering in the pastures as well as roosters in front of the village huts. The roosters are kept by the village folks for the purpose of cockfights.
3. Pura Goa Lawah or Bat Cave Temple
-The temple is just 29 km from the Water Palace and seated further east of Kusamba Village. You will find a cave with bats hanging around the place. The Hindu pilgrims visit Pura Goa Lawah for worshipping, and it includes also Hindus from Bali, Sumatra, and Java for offering prayers here.
-It is the next closest destination near Taman Ujung Water Palace. It is a beautiful resort featuring white sandy beaches with a tinge of black. Stop by the water lily ponds to take some stunning photos of Candidasa.
-You can hang around with your loved ones at the cafes, restaurants, and pubs while exploring Candidasa. You can stay at one of the local hotels with stunning beachside infinity pools for you to unwind and relax.
5. Bisbis Hill
-Once you complete exploring the water palace grounds, you will have time to head for Bisbis Hill located close to Taman Ujung Water Palace. The ascending of the hill is tiring but the stunning view from is worth the effort.-Take in the beauty of the floating clouds above and scenic vista of the water palace. If you are a trained photographer, you can capture both the shots in your camera lens.
Things to do at Taman Ujung
Here are a couple of things to do at Taman Ujung:
1. Bale Kambang: You will find a tiny island in the water, where you can visit the traditional Balinese Temple, meant for offering prayers to the Javanese Goddess. Enjoy an exciting walk on the bridge leading to the entrance of this temple from the shore, offering tourists a spectacular view of the water around.
You can also relax, unwind, and enjoy a leisurely stroll at Bale Kambang across the golden-colored sand. The shore is pretty expansive to allow vacationers to relax while taking in the beauty of the turquoise waters or just sunbathe.
In Bale Kabang, you can savor lip-smacking food in the small market, where you will find a couple of food kiosks right on the beach. After a delicious meal, you can also head towards the forest to discover some natural water bodies and range of flora.
Hiking is another exciting activity for adventure-seekers visiting Bale Kambang. You can hike to higher elevations to take delight in the jaw-dropping view of the surroundings.
2. Pasir Putih: The crystal clear water of Pasir Putih is ideal for a great swim and enjoy the cool, refreshing dip and beat the Bali heat as well rejuvenate your body and mind.If you would like to explore the underwater life of Bali, scuba diving is just the activity for you and your family. The activity is completely safe and would let you experience the mesmerizing beauty of the colorful marine life and coral reefs.
3. Regal Exploration of the master bedroom: If you love history, then a bit of research and exploration about Taman Ujung Water Palace is what you must do. You can visit the palace’s master bedroom, where you will find photographs and manuscripts displayed to tell you about the rise and fall of the royal dynasty.
Other Essential Information About Taman Ujung Water Palace
Location: Desa Ujung, Jalan Raya Taman, Tumbu, Karangasem, Tumbu, Kec Karangasem, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali 80811, Indonesia
Timings: The place is open to tourists from 7.00 am to 7.00 pm.
Price: The entry fee is 10,000 IDR for locals and 20,000 IDR for foreigners.
The Highlight of Ujung Water Palace
The scenic surroundings of Taman Ujung Water Palace together with its stunning Balinese architecture make it the most coveted tourist destinations in Bali. The century-old pillars, adorned stone pillars, and panoramic views sure to leave you mesmerized.
The entire palace grounds extend around 10 hectares and the foundation was initially laid, back in 1919, when Raja I Gusti Bagus Djelantik of the Karangasem dynasty ruled here. The Raja’s resting place is one of the best things to see at the water palace owing to its one-off, inimitable architectural splendor. The uniqueness is in the colorful, vibrant glass walls of the Raja’s resting place, symbolizing European architecture. Besides, from the Raja’s restroom windows, you’ll be able to see beautiful lotus flowers, which is a sight-to-behold.
The entire complex witnessed a succession of renovations, expansions, as well as pool additions, all around the main pool. However, it was not used as a royal bathing spot but a spot to punish people accused of Balinese witchcraft or black magic called leyaks and pangiwa.
The pool was called Kolam Dirah and was constructed during the regime of the former Raja of Karangasem dynasty in the year 1901. This pool is situated in the southeast end of the existing design, getting its name from the black magic or witch queen of the Calonarang myth.
Later, two more pools were built together with a couple of resting pavilions, the Taman Gili floating pergolas, and the king’s meditation quarters. The water palace grounds were later used as a retreat as well as a place to greet important dignitaries on their visit to the kingdom.
Tips for Visiting Taman Ujung
There are a couple of things to remember when visiting Taman Ujung. These are:
1. Carry the right amount of cash or your debit card if you would like to stay close to the water palace.
2. Wear light garments and carry umbrellas and raincoats if you are visiting the place during the rainy season.
3. Do not enter the pools except if you want to take a boat ride.
4. Keep the place clean and do not litter the premises if you carry some dry food with you.