In and around Tenganan
On the east coast of Bali, surrounded by high mountains, lies an ancient fortress village called Tenganan. Dating back to at least the 11th century, Tenganan preserves certain ways life lost to the rest of Bali. It is regarded by the Balinese as a ‘senior’ village.
The uniqueness of Tenganan is evident the moment of stepping through one of the four gates in the wall that encloses the entire the village - Tenganan has a feuding past. Grey stones pave the roads and wall off the houses, each with exactly the same layout as the next. Gentle giants, the beautiful Balinese buffalo, loiter freely in shady spots.
The culture of Tenganan is similarly unique, based on a philosophy of interconnectivity. This philosophy is reflected in the design of the ‘gringsing’ weaving, practiced in only two other places in the world outside of Tenganan. Gringsing uses natural dyes painstakingly made from products collected from the forest.
Around Tenganan is one of the most intact tropical forests in Bali. Tenganan’s residents have their own environmental management laws based on sustainability and the aforementioned interconnectivity. The locals explain that they actively conserve biodiversity partly because such a wide variety of plants are needed for Tenganan’s regular rituals and ceremonies.
Many other local beliefs and rulings distinguish Tenganan from the rest of Bali, such as equal land rights between women and men, and the forbidding of marriage outside the village.
Accommodation in Tenganan
Tenganan does not offer visitor accommodation however a range of accommodation is available in the nearby tourist center of Candidasa. JED recommends a stay at the Gandhi Centre, called ‘Ashram’, where three vegetarian meals and a yoga class come with the price of your beachfront bungalow. Some rules apply however- no drinking, smoking, or sharing of rooms by unmarried couples.
Read the ‘Tips for comfortable and responsible travel’ page for more details on what to expect…
Related link Into a Green Sanctuary