Tenganan, northwest of Candidasa, is situated about 5km from the main
road. Tenganan is a symmetrically laid out Bali Aga village with a
walled homes and unique crafts. Bali Aga was the original inhabitant of
Bali, before the arrival of Hindu Javanese. Tenganan retains its ancient
pre-Hindu customs through a strong code of non-fraternization with
outsiders, further enforced by the protection of its surrounding walls.
Tenganan is charming and has some very fascinating authentic
traditional festival (ritual dances and gladiator) like Bali Aga of
Tenganan often holds the battle between local youths. The people of
Tenganan are skilled in the unique technique of weaving, called the
'double ikat', where the belief in the magical power of the fabric is
essential in bringing out the beauty of the ikat cloth.
There are some versions of story telling us the history of
Tenganan village. Some say that the word Tenganan was derived from the
word "tengah" or "ngatengahang" which means, "move to the inner area".
This derivation of word was having a relation with the movement of the
villagers from the seaside to a rural area, in which the position of
this village is in the middle of hills, which are western hill (Kauh
Hill) and eastern hill (Kangin Hill). Another version reveals that the
people of Tenganan came from Peneges village, located in Gianyar,
precisely near Bedahulu. Based on the folklore, once upon a time
Bedahulu King lost one of his horses. The people looked for it to the
east and the horse was finally found dead by Ki Patih Tunjung Biru, the
King's right hand. For his loyalty, the King finally gave Ki Patih
Tunjung Biru an authority to govern the land as far as the aroma of the
carrion of the horse can be smelled. Ki Patih was an intelligent person,
so he cut the carrion into pieces and spread it as far as he could.
Thus he received a quite large area.
Visitors will feel comfortable when visiting this area, for some
facilities are available here, like food stalls, good toilets, arts
shops and a quite large parking area. If we wish to have meal in
restaurants or to spend the night near this area, we can go to
Candidasa, which is only 3 km from this village. To get to Tenganan, get
a lift up from the main road by ojek; and have a pleasant walk back
down to the main road contemplating the intricacies of the Bali Aga
culture. There is no entrance fee to Tenganan but a small donation is
requested as we enter the village.