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KLUNGKUNG REGENCY

 

Kertha Gosa, which is situated in the central town of Semarapura, was the place for administration and traditional justice in the pre colonial times by a council consisting of the great king and his priests. Next to The Kertha Gosa is Taman Gili known as a Floating House (Bale Kambang) which was the King Guard's headquarter. These two buildings are decorated with Kamasan Traditional Paintings. A colonial building, located next to these two buildings, is Semarajaya Museum, collecting some handicraft of Klungkung, pre-historic and historic articles especially those used in the period of Klungkung heroic battle. In the southern part of the museum area, there stand the main gate of Semarapura Palace "Pemedal Agung".

Driving to the west, of the town of Semarapura, is the village of Tiingan, most famous as the village of Gamelan Smiths. Not far from Tiingan, there is a Museum of classical painting "I Nyoman Gunarsa", collecting Multifarious kind of classical Balinese paintings. Moving north of Semarapura along the main road, one will arrive at The majestic "Mother Temple" of Besakih.
 
The Klungkung Palace is a historical building complex situated in Semarapura, the capital of the Klungkung Regency (kabupaten) on Bali, Indonesia. The palace (puri) was erected at the end of the 17th century, but largely destroyed during the Dutch colonial conquest in 1908. Today the basic remains of the palace are the court of justice, the Kertha Gosa Pavilion, and the main gate that bears the date Saka 1622 (AD 1700). Within the old palace compound is also a floating pavilion, Bale Kambing, which was added in the 1940s. The descendants of the rajas that once ruled Klungkung today live in Puri Agung, a residence to the west of the old palace, which was built after 1929.
 
The Klungkung kingdom was considered to be the highest and most important of the nine kingdoms of Bali from the late 17th century to 1908. It was the heir of the old Gelgel kingdom, which had dominated the island since long but had broken up in the late 17th century. In 1686 (or, in another version, 1710), Dewa Agung Jambe I, a prince descending from the old Rajas of Gelgel, moved to Klungkung (also known as Semarapura) and built a new palace or puri. Although he did not have the prerogatives of his Gelgel forbears, the new palace maintained a degree of prestige and precedence on the politically fragmented island. The palace was built in square form, being roughly 150 meters on each side with the main gate to the north. It was divided in several blocks with various ritual and practical functions. The complex displayed a deep symbolism according to a fixed structural pattern.
 

The descendants of the first king, Dewa Agung Jambe (r. 1686-c. 1722), ruled under varying fortunes for more than two centuries. They were always known by the title Dewa Agung. Dewa Agung Gede alias Surawirya ( rc 1722-1736) allied with the influential king of Mengwi and performed an expedition to Java together with him. After his death in 1736, internal fighting broke out between his two sons Dewa Agung Gede (Jr.) and Dewa Agung Made. The former called in help from the Karangasem kingdom, but was defeated. The victor Dewa Agung Made was succeeded by a mentally ill son, Dewa Agung Sakti (r. before 1769-end of 18th century). His wife fled to Karangasem where her son Dewa Agung Putra I was brought up. In about the end of the 18th century his Karangasem helpers established him on the throne of Klungkung. Dewa Agung Putra I appears to have been a strong leader but fell in a minor war in Bangli in 1809. He left a son, Dewa Agung Putra II (r. 1814-1850) and a daughter and co-regent, Dewa Agung Istri Kanya.

Together with the other Balinese rajas, Dewa Agung Putra II signed a contract with the Dutch colonial authorities in 1843, but the varying interpretations of the contract soon caused friction. This was the background to the three Dutch military expeditions in 1846, 1848 and 1849. The last of these expeditions invaded Klungkung territory. The enterprising queen Dewa Agung Istri Kanya fought the Dutch to a standstill, and this was followed by a general reconciliation between the Balinese rajas and the Dutch authorities. In the following decades the kingdom was led by a grandson of Dewa Agung Sakti, Dewa Agung Putra III (r. 1851-1903 ). He was an activist leader who intervened in the affairs of the other south Balinese kingdoms, which were still only nominally attached to the Dutch East Indies. In 1885 he imprisoned the Raja of Gianyar, and in 1891 he was heavily responsible for the destruction of the Mengwi kingdom. After 1900 Dutch presence made itself increasingly felt in south Bali. In this situation Dewa Agung Putra III died and was succeeded by his son Dewa Agung Jambe II (r. 1903-1908 ). He took a defiant attitude against the encroaching colonialis.

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