It's 9.34 morning when I arrived at the gate of the water palace. There were not so many visitors. Maybe it was still early. So, it was great timing for me to get there since I would have opportunities to take photos.
The Bridge To Taman Ujung Sukasada
I walked to the small bridge that leads to the palace. This 10 meter long bridge is definitely build for people to walk on. Maroon bougainvillea was growing along the bride which serve as a shade from the sun.
At the end of the bridge, you could see the big pool and the Balai Gili or the Island Pavilion. There is also the name of this place written on concrete surface. It said "Welcome to water palace."
A Brief History of Taman Ujung
The last king of East Bali, Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut Karang Asem, a well educated and traveled man, built this water palace exactly a hundred years ago in 1909. A Dutch architect, A Chinese Architect and a numerous Undagi (Balinese architects) were assigned to build the Palace. The king himself supervised the progress of the building for about 11 years until it was completed.
The palace suffered heavy damage from Mount Agung eruption in 1963, and another big earth quake in 1975. The project of rebuilding the palace was started in year 2000 until 2004. Nowadays it is open for public.
The Layout of The Palace
There are two large pools on this palace. In each pool there are two building or pavilions which you can reach by walking through bridges. These buildings are called the floating pavilion and the island pavilion.
Balai Kambang or The Floating Pavilion
You can get to the Balai Kambang located in the middle of the pond walking through this bridge.
The bridge to the middle of the pond where the Balai Kambang located.
A closer look to the arch way whice was inspired by western architecture and Balinese style
The Balai Kambang or the floating pavillion is located in the middle of the south pool. The king used this place for meeting his guests. The guests were usually treated with food and drink by the king.
I can imagine they would sit down crosslegged while having conversation. Many of the palaces servants would serve the king and the guests with delicacies special in East Bali.
The floating pavilion
When I was in the floating pavilion, I took few photos of the pool. Looking to the west side, I could see the garden and a small pavilion on upper ground. This is called the Balai Kapal or Ship Pavilion.
Balai Kapal or the Ship pavilion is a small pavilion located toward the right side of this photo.
Balai Kapal or The Ship Pavilion
Some years ago, when I first came here, I was wondering why it is called Ship Pavilion. I understand why Bale Kambang is called floating pavilion because it looks like a floating island in the middle of the pool.
There are about 95 stairs I counted to go to the ship pavilion.
The ship pavilion is an open building with size of 4x4 meters. There are 12 pillars supporting this pavilion.
The reason why it is called Bale Kapal because the king and his family spent their time watching the ships went by far away in the sea. When you stand here, you could see the sea at a fart distance in beyond the palace. The ships crossed from Bali to the neighbouring island, Lombok.
A view from the ship pavilion to the right, you could see the sea far away beyond the south pool and the floating pavilion.
A view from the ship pavilion to the left, overlooking the main palace building called Balai Gili or The Island Pavilion.
Balai Gili or The Island Pavilion
Situated in the middle of the north pool and connected by bridges on its north and south side. This main building consist of 4 rooms and a hall. Two rooms on the west side function as nursery as the place for the king's children.
The other rooms, which were locked when I was there, were kings room, used as resting and praying area.
North Bridge to Island Pavilion
As I entered the door from the north, I could see the south bridge beyond the main door in the middle.
In the nursery room, there are photos of the princess attached on the walls. I took some photos of them. The last photo was the king himself with his three wives (queen).
The wall holds photos of the big family of King of Karangasem (east Bali) and the princesses
The King and the Queens.
These photos are reproduction of the original photos which are nearly a hundred years old.
Balai Lunjuk or The Center of Command Pavilion
This is actually the photo of the Island Pavilion from south east side. At the back of the pavilion, there is another building on a higher ground called Balai Lunjuk. It is a small building where the king gave instruction/order to his helpers, ministers or viziers regarding kingdom matters.
While giving command to all subordinates, the king can overlook the whole water palace and beyond.
From the photo above, you can see another pavilion in the middle. It's called Balai Bundar or Round Pavilion. It served as a meditation place.
My Thoughts about the Water Palace
What amazed me is the effort taken to maintain this palace a beautiful place. A lot of varieties of flowers were grown in the garden around the palace. Not just that, on the upper ground the local grown various and colorful vegetables plants.
It is really beautiful site to visit.