Location: East Bali, near Candisada
Duration by car from Ubud: 2 hours
Tenganan, The Ancient Survival: The Bali Aga
The original inhabitants of Bali are said to have come long before the Hindu-Javanese immigration wave, from Bedulu village. The legend is, there lived the last king of the Pejeng (an old Balinese kingdom), Sri Aji Asura Bumibanten, who had supernatural powers. He could cut off his head without feeling pain and put it back on again. One day, though, his head accidentally fell into a river and was swept away. One of his servants, panicked, decided to quickly decapitate a pig and replace the king’s head with the animal’s head. Embarrassed, the king hid in a tall tower, denying anyone to see him. However, there was a small child who discovered the secret and since then, the king was known as Dalem Bedulu, or He-who-changed-head. A more scientific reason is the theory that it comes from the name Badahulu or “the village upstream”. After the Pejeng kingdom, the Majapahit Empire rose to power.
In Tenganan, where tourism is more easily embraced and the people are said to be more friendly, a three-day festival called Udaba Sambah is held during the months of June or July. It is also to be noted that Tenganan prohibits divorce and polygamy, unlike other villages.