Tenganan Ancient Village Bali carefully preserves a cultural legacy dating back to the Majapahit Empire, and offers a singular glimpse into the lives of the first Balinese.
Midway through every year, an undercurrent of intense excitement surrounds the unique Balinese village of Tenganan. A buffalo is ceremonially slaughtered, while amazing textile heirlooms are displayed within the open. An ancient wood ferris wheels is specially made. And, maybe most ominously, strips of thorny pandanese leaves are piled up, prepared for the combat to start.
All the action is in preparation for the village’s fifth-month celebrations. For many years, Tenganan Ancient Village Bali has maintained its cultural believability through daily, weekly and monthly ritual and ceremony according to strict customary law. For the traveler, a visit to at least one of Bali’s most pristine villages could be a glimpse of Bali because it once was – a time capsule preserving the lives of the first original Balinese. And one of our tour packages East Side Bali Tour provides a trip to this village.
Tenganan Ancient Village Bali could be a walled communal village that has preserved its animist cultural practices for many years. The village lies at the top of a narrow valley at the base of Bali’s sacred Mount Agung, regarding 3km into the hills from the eastern coastal resort of Candi Dasa.
Locals call the Tenganese as Bali Aga, or Bali Mula, meaning original Balinese. As such, their culture predates the Majapahit Empire (1294 to 1478) from which most mainstream Balinese claim cultural and spiritual descent. The 300 or so members of this village communally own land that spreads far beyond the surrounding hills. They are reputed to be among the riches tribes in Bali.
You might not suppose Tenganan Ancient Village Bali was so wealthy and socially complex at first sight. At this non-descript walled village, there are no roads or cars, merely the two rows of houses doubling as shops, which face each other across an ancient village green.