Bali, Tabanan, Bratan. The Ulun Danu temple is beautifully situated at the banks of Lake Bratan. A woman brings offerings. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)
The Danau Bratan lake is located inside the old caldera of the now extinct Gunung Catur volcano. The lovely area around the south and west side of the lake is known as Bedugul (see separate article).
Not far from here are the Danau Buyan and Danau Tamblingan lakes, two of the four large lakes on Bali, which can also be worth a visit. Bratan has an altitude of about 1.000 meters, the climate is quite comfortable, at nights you may even need some warm cloths.
Bali, Tabanan, Bedugul. Women on their way to the temple with offerings to the gods. In the temple the offerings will be blessed and then brought back home to be eaten. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)
Bedugul is the name of the area south and west of the Danau Bratan lake. Taking the road passing Bedugul is the fastest way to travel from the southern tourist areas to Singaraja and North Bali. From the south the road passes through some steep terrain before Bedugul, with a very scenic landscape. The Taman Rekreasi Bedugul (Bedugul recreation park) is on the south side of Danau Bratan, you cannot miss the entrance which is marked with a huge sign by the main road.
The high altitude makes Bedugul a nice and cool place to be, and during heavy rainfall it is rather cold compared to the lowlands.
Bali, Tabanan, Jatiluwih. At 700m altitude, with beatiful terraced paddy fields. In the afternoon the sun finally appears on a rainy day, giving some more light to a very beautiful landscape. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)
There is no doubt that Jatiluwih is among the most beautiful places and can offer some of the best scenery on the entire island of Bali. The place has a particular charm even if the weather, which can change dramatically within minutes, is rainy and cloudy. Everywhere you look you see green rice fields and rice terraces, combined with high mountains and forests. On clear days you may see large parts of southern Bali.
Bali, Tabanan, Kerambitan. Gunung Batukau seen from Kerambitan. Usually the mountain is covered by clouds. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)
Gunung Batukau is the second largest mountain on Bali (2.275 m), and only Gunung Agung is of higher religious importance. The slopes are covered with rainforest, apart from West Bali National park this is the only wilderness region of any significance left on the island. The mountain is located in the Tabanan district, and is an extinct volcano. On the southern slopes of the volcano, at 1.300 meters and surrounded by forest, sits the Pura Luhur Batukau temple.
Bali, Tabanan, Yeh Panes. Hot springs and spa. The hot spring is surfacing inside this small temple. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)
About 12 km north of Tabanan city, along the road to Pura Luhur Batukau, you will find the holy springs of Yeh Panes Penetahan. Today they are surrounded by the charming “Yeh Panes Natural Hot spring and Spa”, and for a small fee you can come inside and have a look or take a bath in one of the pools, which just costs a little bit extra. If you wish you can also rent a room here and stay the night in this relaxing area.
The place was very popular and often used by Japanese soldiers stationed in Tabanan during WW2. They extended the path to the spring, and also built small bathing sheds.
Bali, Tabanan, Tanah Lot. The Tanah Lot rock is the home of a pilgrimage temple, the Pura Tanah Lot. The sunsets here are famous. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)
Tanah Lot is located in the Tabanan district southwest on Bali, only a short distance from Kuta and Denpasar. With it’s beautiful location and architecture it is one of the most characteristic temples on Bali, and for the Balinese the most sacred of the sea temples along the southern coast of Bali. On a clear day you can see Pura Luhur Uluwatu further south of here, another famous sea temple.
Bali, Tabanan. A temple south of Tabanan city. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)
Tabanan is the capital and commercial center of the Balinese district with the same name. Tabanan is full of small industries and Chinese owned shops, and the architecture is not very attractive. But the city has won a number of prices for cleanliness and is maybe the best organized town on Bali. There are many parks here, and green plants and flowers along the road.
Tabanan is an arts center, rich on dance and music traditions, and known for it’s gamelan musicians and dance groups. Since the 19th century it has also been a center for woodcarvings.
Bali, Tabanan, Kerambitan. One of the beautiful old buildings in Kerambitan. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)
Kerambitan is located six km. southwest of Tabanan, and is a small agricultural district full of green rice fields. The most important village here is also called Kerambitan, known for its old beautiful buildings, as well as traditional dance and music, wood- and stone carvings. The name Kerambitan is probably derived from the Sanskrit word “karawitan”, which means “art, music and dance”.
Kerambitan has its own unique dance and music. Best known is maybe “tektekan”, a tektekan orchestra from here is believed to have magical powers.