Tenganan Village in East Bali is one of the Bali Aga (original Balinese) communities in Bali and it is famous for its well-preserved village layout and the ongoing survival of its traditional crafts. The village is only an 8-minute drive from the main resort hub of Candidasa, East Bali. It comprises two sub-villages: Dauh Tukad (loosely, “west of the river”) and Pegringsingan. Pegringsingan is best known for its traditional gringsing tie-dyed ‘double ikat’ cloth. The annual Perang Pandan war dance, featuring friendly duels among village males, is definitely worth seeing if your visit coincides with this event.
Visiting Tenganan Village
A visit to Tenganan Village can be a highlight of your trip to the East Bali region any time of year. The village retains much of its ages-old layout and architecture. Even though television antennae and electrical wiring are now visible here and there, most of the stone and earth brick walls, bamboo and thatch roofing are reminiscent of earlier times. Almost all the house compounds welcome visitors, each offering something different for the curious visitor to see. Inside, you will see craftsmen at work weaving a gringsing, carving wooden masks, or making various baskets.
Throughout the village streets home stalls sell arts and handicrafts. Here, you can directly bargain with the stall owners. Some generic Balinese items, such as sashes, batiks, and wayang puppets, you can find almost anywhere in Bali. However, there are some handicrafts that are original to the village and are worth looking at. These items include hanging wall decorations in the style of lontar palm leaf manuscripts. These come displaying images of everything from a map of Bali, an annual calendar, to Barong and Legong dancers. Most don’t bear price tags – start negotiations at half of the initially offered price.
Original gringsing double ikat weavings are heirloom items. Producing a single length is a painstaking process that requires intricate weaving and dying processes to produce the final product. The natural dyes are also unique, sourced from various indigenous tree barks, plants, and herbs. There are several types of gringsing and some very rare specimens are believed by the Tenganan villagers to have mystical powers. This is your opportunity to have your own exotic piece of ‘magic’ from one of Bali’s oldest villages. The simplest versions range from IDR 500,000 (USD 40), while the most intricate ones can reach IDR 25 million apiece. Entrance to Tenganan Village is based on “a donation” at the ticket booth near the village entrance. Expect to pay around IDR 15,000 (a dollar) per person.
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- Location: Jalan Raya Nyuh Tebel, Tenganan Village, Karangasem, East Bali