Tirta Gangga is a royal water palace/water garden of Karangasem Kingdom that is still preserved until now, besides Taman Ujung water palace. This tourism object is located in Ababi Village, Abang District, about 83 km from Denpasar or 6 km from Amlapura (the capital city of Karangasem). Tirta Gangga is surrounded by rice fields and lush green hills. Moreover, the sound of water and beautiful view of its garden are a perfect combination for spending a peaceful excursion.
Tirta Gangga was first built in 1948 by Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem, the king of Karangasem at that time. Just like Taman Ujung which combine Balinese, Dutch, and Chinese design, the architecture of this water palace is a also a mixture of different cultures. However, in Tirta Gangga it only use two architecture, Balinese and Chinese.
Before it was used as a water palace, the natural spring in this area called Rejasa had been used by the local residents for daily need. actually, this spring flows a very large amount of water which now is used by the government to provide clean water for the residents of Amlapura City. Besides that, the water is also flowed into some swimming pools located in the lower area through underwater pipe, and Subak or Balinese traditional rice field irrigation system.
The words “Tirta Gangga” are derived from “tirta” which means water, and “gangga” which is the name of a holy river in India (Ganges), the place where Hinduism was born. From that meaning, it could be easily concluded that Tirta Gangga is regarded as the place for holy water spring for the Balinese Hindu. The water from this natural spring is usually needed as a part of traditional ceremony which is held in some temples around Tirta Gangga.
This water palace stand on a 1.2 hectare area with three different level/part outstretched from east to west. These levels symbolize the concept of “Tri Loka” or “three worlds” of Hindu. The first part is an attracting pond on the right side when first entering this water palace, which is decorated by some stones and sculptures. Some of these stones are arranged on the pond and used for step stone to walk over the pond. This part is called “Swah”, the place for Gods. Many visitors would like to walk over these stones to feel the sensation of walking on the water. Here, you can also see some statues of Gods and Goddess over the pool, some fish swimming elegantly under water, and a swimming pool. In the middle of the area, there is an elegant eleven-tiered Nawa Sanga fountain. This fountain and two ponds in this area forms the “Bwah,” symbolizing the world of human being. Meanwhile, the “Bhur” level which symbolizes the world of evils is located on the left side from the entrance. It is occupied by the big pond with a long Demon Island in the middle.
Tirta Gangga is always crowded by many visitors especially in the weekend. This place is a perfect place for family or self relaxing excursion because of its surrounding panorama and peaceful atmosphere. Besides visiting this beautiful Tirta Gangga water palace, you can also go to some of these tourism objects located in Karangasem Regency.
Taman Ujung Palace
This palace was built in 1912 by the late King of Karangasem, I Gusti Bagus Jelantik, which reigned in Karangasem between 1909 and 1945. This palace is very grandiose with combination of Balinese, Dutch, and Chinese architecture.
Puri Agung Karangasem
Puri Agung Karangasem or Karangasem Palace is the residential area of Karangasem King which also combine three different architectures. Balinese architecture could be seen on the carvings, statues, and reliefs on the buildings. Meanwhile European (Dutch) architecture is reflected on the style of the main building with its large veranda, and Chinese architecture is implied on the style of the window, the door, and other decorations.
A beautiful beach with a dazzling panorama of Indian Ocean. This beach has sparkling white sand along its coastline. From this beach, Lombok Island and Nusa Penida are also observable.
Tenganan Pegringsingan is a surviving Balinese ancient village with its unique buildings, culture, and tradition. Many temple festivals could be seen in this village like “Mekare-kare” or “Perang Pandan”. This village is also famous for its kamen or Balinese sarong called Kamen Gringsing which is very artistic and valuable.