Royal Palace Singaraja – Puri Agung Buleleng
Singaraja – The Royal Palace Singaraja, which is also often referred to as the Puri Agung or Puri Gede, was built by Raja Ki Gusti Anglurah Pandji Sakti on March 30th, 1604.
With the establishment of the Puri Gede Buleleng (Royal Palace Singaraja), the beginning of the Kingdom of Buleleng had been marked. Historically Pandji Sakti once ruled from Java to Timor Indonesia.
Although without any political power nowadays, the Royal Family and the Royal Palace Singaraja still represent an important part of North Bali’s rich, cultural heritage.
Historical background – The Royal line of Buleleng, Singaraja, starts in 1599 with Ki Gusti Anglurah Pandji Sakti, who was King of Gelgel, Klungkung and son of Dalem Sagening.
Pandji Sakti left from Klungkung to establish a new Kingdom in Buleleng, North Bali. On reaching the peak of the mountain range he was thirsty so he plunged his magic kris into the ground. Water started to flow from that spot and formed a spring; until this very day it still flows from this spring, making life possible at the top of the mountain range. A temple was built at this place, named Pura Yeh Ketipat. You will pass this temple at your right hand side on your way north from Denpasar, via Bedugul and Lake Beratan, to Singaraja.
Ki Gusti Anglurah Pandji Sakti eventually settled in the village of Pandji around 5 kms South West of Singaraja and the current Royal Palace Singaraja. When he had finally succeeded in uniting Den Bukit (now Buleleng, North Bali) he became the King of Den Bukit. Then he built two other Puri (palaces) namely Sukasada, 2 kms South of Singaraja. Royal Palace Singaraja as the third Puri built on March 30 th, 1604 became the beginning of the Kingdom of Buleleng and Singaraja, the capital town of the regency of Buleleng. Singaraja was chosen by the Dutch as the easiest place to make their first incursion onto Balinese Soil. This they did by brute force in the mid 19 th century (1846-1849). The palace / puri was destroyed and the family mostly deposed or annihilated at the final stand in the town of Jagaraga around 15 kms east of Singaraja.
In agreement with the people of Buleleng, the Dutch appointed I Gusti Ngurah Ketut Djlantik of the Pandji Sakti line to be the new Raja (King of Buleleng) in 1858. The young and intelligent king was finally exiled by the Dutch to Padang, West Sumatra when he was known to have supported the rebellion against the Dutch in Banjar about 17 km west of Singaraja in 1872.
In 1929, I Gusti Putu Djlantik, the son of I Gusti Ngurah Ktut Djlantik (the exiled king) was appointed by the Dutch to be the regent of Buleleng and then in 1938 he was appointed to be the zelfbestuurder-Raja of Buleleng and was since known as Anak Agung Putu Djlantik. Anak Agung Putu Djlantik rebuilt the Puri Agung, and together with the Dutch he founded the lontar library Gedong Kirtya in the front part of Puri area in June 1928.
When Anak Agung Putu Djlantik died in 1944 he was succeeded by his eldest son, Anak Agung Pandji Tisna. Anak Agung Pandji Tisna was famous as a novelist and was the last person holding the title of Raja. He is also known as the founder of Lovina tourist beach resort about 10 kms west of Singaraja because he was the first person who built an accommodation named Lovina in the area in August 1953. He had introduced Lovina as a tourist beach resort in North Bali worldwide by writing a lot of articles in international publications for years until he died in Lovina on June 2nd, 1978 at the age of 70.
The Puri Agung, which has been restored several times, is now softly open to public who are interested in the history of Buleleng – North Bali. Visitors can see a number of pictures of Raja (Kings) of Buleleng in the old house where the Raja and his family used to live. At the south east of the back yard you can see the royal shrine (Merajan Puri).
In the front part of the Royal Palace Singaraja visitors can visit the Gedong Kirtya, the lontar library annex museum of Buleleng. Art performances are regularly organized at the Sasana Budaya building, and you are also welcome to visit the traditional Royal weavery factory which produces typical Buleleng sarong and cloth.
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