Palace is the ancient royal house. As the ruler of kingdom, all the materials and design of the building are selected from the best quality. Besides, the architect is not arbitrary and the design is unique as well as hard to replicate. Last but not least, the making also considers the auspicious day, so that when entering the palace, visitors will feel different and the divine vibration or taksu really exists.
The atmosphere can be intensely felt when visiting the Blahbatuh Grand Palace. The palace located at Kebon hamlet, Blahbatuh village, Gianyar—about 18 km from Denpasar still preserves all the existing buildings. The layout is based on the Asta Kosala Kosali (Balinese geomancy). “Even, if there are damaged buildings, they will be repaired in accordance with the original design,” said AA Kakarsana, a descendant of Blahbatuh kingdom.
Sublime, wise and authoritative impression remains visible here. Spatial division is nicely arranged into the outermost, middle and innermost courtyard and the architecture is still original. Even, there is a carving pattern that cannot be replicated, no matter if it is done by a skilled craftsman. “Gunung rata located in the Rajadani building (a royal room) is still in the original design and no one can imitate it,” he said.
Its ornament tells a story and contains a philosophy of life. It is made of bricks producing a neat slanting formation. Since it is sanctified, any woman who gets her period is not allowed to come in and this prohibition also applies to all the royal family members. A Vietnam War general veteran from the United States has visited the architecture for four times. “We ever asked people to plagiarize the wall ornamental style, but none were successful,” he affirmed.
People coming into the palace area must pass through the gates made in traditional architectural style. Beautiful garden is overgrown by colorful flowers denoting the native plants to the Island of the Gods. Similarly, the big trees grow sustainably in the palace area belong to rare plants. “We deliberately plant the rare species belonging to Balinese ancestors. Aside from preserving, these trees can also exude a positive aura,” he said.
Loji, a building for hosting guests remains sturdy and applies traditional ornament. Meanwhile, in the next building is stored a gamelan set that is usually played by natural artists from local village. Meanwhile, weaving activity used to be performed by royal ladies in the past remains to survive. However, it is carried out by some artisans living close to royal palace.
On Saturdays and Sundays or any particular time, the area is thronged by kids. They learn to dance and play gamelan music. It is a cultural course organized at free of charge and instructors are specially brought in to the palace. “We want to preserve the function of palace as a center for cultural preservation. Besides, it also poses an attempt to encourage younger generation to love their cultural heritages,” he said.
Sacred objects such as the Gajah Mada mask and Ki Tunjung Tutur weapon (in the form of large blowpipe) and puppet gambuh make this palace more unique. Other than community leaders and government officials, many tourists also make a visit. “We remain open for tourists who want to make a visit, but there are certain norms to be followed,” he said.
Kakarsana then pointed out that it was not allowed to organize any wedding ritual or other rituals in the royal palace. Meanwhile, reception or art performance was still allowed. Even, the royal party would support it. According to him, it was carried out to keep the sacred culture. (BTN/ocha/015)