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  Tabanan Regency

Sweeping down from a densely forested volcanic crest to a shoreline of long sandy beaches and rocky outcrops, Tabanan offers a dramatic mix of terrain and landscapes.

Gushing rivers and steep ravines traverse the countryside of this prosperous regency, bringing life giving water to one of Bali's most productive rice growing areas.

Tabanan has its roots in the 14th century when Javanese invaders settled in the area. As they expanded their territory, they came into conflict with the Mengwi house, founded during the mid 1600s with the fall of Gelgel and allied with Buleleng. In the 18th century Mengwi was the 2nd most powerful royal house after Klungkung.

Here too is found the remote complex of Pura Luhur, the state temple of the old Tabanan Kingdom. Accessible only by a small road through "Jatiluwih" village, Pura Luhur boasts a seven tiered pagoda (meru) dedicated to Mahadewa, god of the mountain, and three smaller shrines dedicated to the nearby lakes Bratan, Buyan and Tamblingan.

Tabanan got most of Mengwi, but rising Dutch interests in Bali and refusal of Tabanan to give in led to its end in 1906 with the imprisonment and suicide of the ruler and his son. Krambitan village has 2 palaces, puppet style paintings, and the exciting "tektekan" exorcist dance drama with music from struck bamboo and giant wooden cowbell. Tista boasts the special lekoandir dance done by young girls.

Tabanan has a wide variety of natural beauty. The Bratan Lake area has a huge botanical garden at Bedugul with produce farms at "Candi Kuning" (yellow temple). The Ulun Danu Temple to the lake goddess sits at the water edge's, for the lake irrigates Tabanan's rice fields.

On below this is "Jatiluwih" with spectacular views of Bali, the "Yeh Panas" hot springs at Penatahan, and the beautiful alas Kedaton temple. At the coasts is the famous "Tanah Lot" temple on a rocky protrusion that becomes an island during high tide.

Tabanan is a tidy town with a museum Subak devoted to rice cultivation, and the "Gedong Marya Theatre" honors the famous dancer Mario. North of the town a memorial in Marga commemorates the slaughter of Balinese resistance fighters against the Dutch in 1946.

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