Introduction to East Bali
East Bali is mainly formed by the district of Karangasem. In this part of Bali you will find interesting places to visit. The holy mountain Gunung Agung may be the most famous spot in eastern Bali, with on its slopes the Besakih temple complex, the most important temple of Bali which is often referred to as the ‘mother temple’. The Agung Volcano last erupted in 1963 but has been dormant since.
The most well known places in East Bali are Tulamben, Amed, Pura Besakih Tirtagangga, Amlapura, Padang Bai, Candi Dasa, Klungkung.
East Bali can easily be reached from the South of Bali (Kuta/Sanur) as well as from the North of Bali (Singaraja), with an average travel time of 2 hour by car, depending on the amount of traffic on the road.
Places of interest in East Bali
The eastern part of Bali consists mainly of the district of Karangasem. This district is famous among others for the holy volcano Gunung (Mount) Agung and Bali’s most important temple, the Pura Besakih, located at the slopes of Mount Agung and also often referred to as Bali’s Mother Temple.
Gunung Agung is with its 3142 meters Bali’s highest mountain. The last eruption of the Agung volcano took place at March 17, 1963 which isolated the greater part of the east of the island, covering it with ashes and causing failure of most crops. Thousands of people were killed by the hot lava streams and toxic clouds of hot gasses rolling down the slopes of the volcano. As a wonder the Besakih Temple was hardly damaged by the eription, although this temple complex is located only 6 kilometres from the crater of the volcano.
The Besakih temple complex consists of 30 separate temples which are located on seven terraces on the slopes of Mount Agung. Typically, every district of Bali has it own shrine at the Besakih complex and also every Hindu god of Bali has a shire here where he is honored regularly.
Amlapura is the main town of the Karangasem district. The Royal Palace or Puri Agung of Karangasem still reminds of the glorious days of the time Karangasem was still a powerful kingdom.
Tirta Gangga is a water palace located close to Amlapura at a distance of about 6 kms. This palace is not so old (built in 1947) and consists of a network of beautiful pools which are fed by the ‘subak’ irrigation system. At some pools you are allowed to swim.
Tulamben can be found north of Tirta Gangga. Tulamben is well known for the wreck of the American SS Liberty, which sank in 1942 during World War II. The wreck lies just off the beach and is a perfect destination for divers.
+ See also our diving article with a slideshow of Bali’s marine life
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