Bangli has a unique temple showing a strong Chinese influence known as Dalem Balingkang Temple. Structure of the temple is unique because it was formerly said to serve as a palace to avoid the attack from other kings. Formerly, the Dalem Balingkang Temple belonged to the temple complex of Tanggun Titi—standing for the end of bridge and had a spring. In this temple complex lie some shrines dedicated to Ratu Ngurah Sakti Tanggun Titi, Ratu Mas Melanting, Ratu Sakti Gede Penyarikan and Sang Hyang Haji Saraswati. The second complex after passing a square occurs a cangapit building, namely an entrance equipped with a monarchic sitting when the king watched the Jro Gede mepada surrounding the temple.
The middle courtyard only has a few buildings, only consisting of a meeting hall, the abode of all deities and a shrine of Ratu Ayu Subandar. The shrine is used to worship Kang Ci Wi and is highly believed by Chinese descendant community to bring in blessings. In the main complex or innermost courtyard lies the worship place of Petak Grand Palace comprising the eleven and nine-tiered meru shrines. Similarly, there is also ancestral worship of Dalem Balingkang in the form of brick chamber and seven-tiered meru shrine to remind of the Seven Deities. Besides, there are long pavilion with 24 columns and 20 columns as well as mundar-mundar pavilion with 16 columns.
History of the temple is much revealed in the Sukawana Inscription (Goris, 1954). It said that Sukawana village was hit by storms and the palace of Jaya Pangus was badly damaged, so that Jong Les moved to Balingkang. Balingkang itself is derived from two words Bali + ingkang. Orally and based on written evidence, it is associated with the wedding of King Jaya Pangus Harkajalancana who ruled during the period of Caka Year 1103-1191 or 1181-1269 AD. King Jaya Pangus had two queens, Paduka Bhatari Sri Parameswari Indujaketana and Paduka Sri Mahadewi Cacangkaja Cihna. In the existing folklore, his Chinese wife was named Kang Ci Wi, namely a daughter of trader from China.
Then, the words Bali-Ing-Kang were combined into Balingkang. In the chronicle of Ulun Danu Batur Temple (Batur Temple) of Kintamani is mentioned about Ida Ratu Gede Ngurah Subandar or Kongco Cong Po Kong, where Empu Liem became the prominent assistant to teach war strategy and governed with principles of Asta Brata. One of the war strategy relics is immortalized in the dance of Baris Dadap, Baris Tumbak, Baris Perisi or Baris Tamiang, Baris Bajra to Baris Cina. Baris or warrior dance represents knighthood. Strong Chinese influence is evidenced at a number of villages in Kintamani having geographical names derived from Mandarin words.
For example, the name of Pingan village is actually derived from the word Ping An meaning safety. Songan village comes from the Song An, Siakin village from the Sia In and Paketan village from Paket An. Early Chinese settlers also got farmland at Payangan and they gave litchi seedlings to the King of Bali. The tradition of gallivanting show (ngelawang) is also similar to the tradition of Chinese Lion Dance coming from one house to another. Many kinds of ornamental styles used to embellish the house and furniture in Bali are also adopted from Chinese arts.
Such diverse influences have been widely recognized as native culture to Bali. Even, Balinese traders believe that Kongco Cong Po Kong or Ida Ratu Gede Ngurah Subandar in Kintamani is a protector that gives blessing to their trade. Likewise, the couple of deities called Rambut Sedana symbolized with the effigies made of perforated coins are believed to give a blessing to family. (BTN/puj)