Penglipuran, the Ancient Bali Village with a Century-Old Bambo House

Arfi Bambani
A century old bambo house in Penglipuran, Bali
A century old bambo house in Penglipuran, Bali - "Welcome to Penglipuran Tourism Village" is written on a brown board, right at the entrances to the settlement. The writing is with the Balinese script at the top.

Penglipuran Tourism Village is located in Kubu District, Bangli Regency, Bali Province, which is 45 kilometers from Denpasar City to the east toward Kintamani Hill. From I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, it takes two hours through winding, uphill, and not too wide roads.

There, visitors are greeted with carved fences and Balinese statues, hundreds of traditional houses lined up and some of them are made of bamboo. The type of road in the village has steps so that it is certain that no vehicles of any kind pass by and the majority of the houses and yards look the same.

In total there are 77 yards and each yard consists of two traditional houses, a traditional kitchen and a Sakenem hall (ceremonial place) as well as a sacred place called Sanggahan. Each yard has four doors, namely the front access to the village road, right and left to the neighbors, and back to the circular road as a vehicle road.

The number of residents in the village whose name is now worldwide is 1,038 people and 240 families. "The number can change, because there are residents here who after marrying other villagers come with their families, but there are also those who live here," said Penglipuran Tourism Village Manager, I Wayan Moneng.

The man who is an elder of local customs is grateful to be able to introduce his village to the wider community, not only domestically but also abroad.

Penglipuran received various awards, including First Place Cipta Award 2013, Tourism Village Second Place National Level 2014, ASEAN Standard Tourism Village 2017, First Place Provincial Homestay, Asian Homestay Standard, Green Destination Sustainable 2019, and Non-Tourism Award as Climate Village.

The concern is now not just for its residential buildings and clothing but also for the everyday language the community is using. The key to managing traditional villages there, he said, is a commitment to upholding cultural principles and respecting cultures that come from outside so that there are no clashes.

"We respect the culture of other people who are brought here, but this village also has cultural principles that must be maintained and respected," he said.

Bamboo house

Penglipuran traditional village was inaugurated as a tourist village in 1995 by the then Minister of Tourism, Soesilo Soedarman. Even so, in the current era of modernization, Penglipuran Tourism Village has not lost its magical power. This village has become one of the most sought-after destinations by tourists on the Island of the Gods.

One attraction is a century-old traditional house made of bamboo. "Our village is indeed located in a bamboo forest area. Therefore, my grandfather endowed the bamboo house to my father, then passed it on to me again," said Nanglibat (76), a resident of Penglipuran, when describing the 'bamboo village' which is a third of the 112 hectares of the village area which is a bamboo forest.

At that time, his father said that the bamboo house was 90 years old, so if it was calculated from his grandfather to his father, it would have been more than a century old, but his grandfather and father were good at taking care of the heritage, so it still looked good. "There are two bamboo houses in my place and I have changed the roof from thatch to tile in one of them because it is rotten," said the father of two children who work as farmers in the opposite village, Kubu Village.

He also built two more houses for his son made of bricks and wood. "I myself built it for my children, but I lived on the other one because one of my children was with her husband in Java," he explained.

The rows of traditional houses in Penglipuran Tourism Village are not all made of bamboo. The majority are made of bricks and wood. However, in each clump of houses for one family, there are 1-2 houses out of 6-7 houses, made of bamboo.

To enter each of these houses, tourists must pass through "angkul-angkul" (the Balinese gate). Besides angkul-angkul, there is also a sacred building (merajan), kitchen, bed (bale), living room, barn (place to store rice), and bathroom.

What may be new is the guest room or "Bale Delod" which has been transformed into a shop for displaying various types of souvenirs made by residents, some of whom are no longer just farming. The souvenirs on display include traditional woven fabrics.

Tourists can also go in and out of hundreds of traditional houses made of bamboo from bamboo forests which are estimated to have existed since the XI century freely. The estimate from the XI century is evidenced by the existence of a sacred building (pelinggih) "Ratu Sakti Mas Pahit" around Penglipuran Village.

In addition to the beauty of the "past" in the Penglipuran Traditional Village, said the Head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office, Tjok Bagus Pemayun, tourists who vacation in Bali Province can also enjoy superior cultural activities that are included in the list of Kharisma Event Nusantara (KEN) 2022.

"There are seven cultural festivals that have passed the KEN 2022 list from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy and one of them is the 'Penglipuran Village Festival' which this year will take place on December 7-10, 2022," said Tjok Pemayun.

For the safety and comfort of tourists, his party asked tourist attraction managers (DTW) in various districts/cities on the Island of the Gods to remain compliant by using the PeduliLindung application barcode scan to screen visitors who come, even though the COVID-19 case has been sloping.

"The use of PeduliLindung is not only to trace visitors when there are positive cases of COVID-19, but it is also important to measure the carrying capacity of DTW. For managers, from using PeduliLindung, DTW managers can find out the peak times of tourist visits, to prepare officers and optimal services," he said.

In addition, Tjok Pemayun also encourages DTW managers and hotel management to remain disciplined in implementing the CHSE protocol or Cleanliness (cleanliness), Health (health), Safety (security), and Environment Sustainability (environmental sustainability) whose certificates have been bagged.

"Thus, tourists can feel safe and comfortable when traveling to Bali. Especially now that foreigners who come to Bali must ask whether they are CHSE certified or not," said the former Head of the Economic and Development Bureau of the Bali Provincial Secretariat.

So, by visiting Penglipuran Tourism Village in Bangli, Bali, not only will your heart be filled, but you will also be able to enjoy the various uniqueness of the past that is in it. Penglipuran means consolation, however, some say that Penglipuran comes from the word Pengling Pura which means a sacred place to commemorate the ancestors.

Tag # penglipuran village # bali # asean standard tourism village

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