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Baliís Presidential Palace

A Brief History of Baliís Presidential Palace at Tampaksiring

(6/8/2014) The Tampaksiring Palace located in the regency of Gianyar, on one of the roads leading to Kintamani, is one of Bali’s most picturesque and historical locales, but remains hidden to most island visitors.

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One of six presidential palaces maintained by the national government, Tampaksiring was built on the initiative of Indonesia’s first president Sukarno – who traced his family roots to Bali and sought on the Island a cool hillside retreat for his family and visiting heads of state.

Phased construction began in 1957 according to plans drawn up by architect R.M. Soedarsono. The Tampaksiring Palace is comprised of four buildings: the Wisma Merdeka (1,200 square meters), Wisma Yudhistira (2,000 square meters), Wisma Negara and a multi-purpose structure.

Final construction was completed in 1963.

According to Beritabali.com, the name “Tampaksiring” derives from two Balinese words: “tampak” and “siring," respectively meaning “footprint” and “slanted.”

Local legends recorded on ancient lontar leave writings tell of the footprints of King Mayadenawa – a powerful and brilliant ruler who was also said to be highly egotistical. The ruler is said to have also considered himself to be a deity and ordered his subjects to adore him.

Mayadenawa’s behavior so angered one of the Gods – Batara Indra that he sent an army to met out a proper punishment. Terrified, Mayadenawa fled into the jungles of Bali where he sought to evade being tracked by walking on the sides of his feet.

Despite these efforts, Mayadenawa was eventually captured by the soldiers of Batara Indra. Shortly before capture, the King used his remaining powers to create a water source that was poisoned in an effort to kill his pursuers. In response, Batara Indra created another water source of sweet, clean water called “Tirta Empul” (“sacred water”).

To this day the Tampaksiring Presidential Palace sits high on the banks of the Pakerisan River, overlooking the sacred bathing pools of Tirtal Empul.