With over 40 old temples in the
region between the rivers Pakrisan and Petanu, the
Pejeng area contains Bali's richest collection of
antiquities-from the earliest known kettledrum and
clay 'stupa' to relatively modern Shivaite sculptures
and rock-cut Buddhist sanctuaries and bathing places.
Most antiquities are in the form of worn statues
kept in important area temples. Because Balinese
Prince Udayana married a Javanese princess, East
Javanese cultural influences started to appear in
Bali in the beginning of the 11th century and the
language used in inscriptions changed from Old Balinese
to Old Javanese.
The town of Pejeng, 48 km northeast of Denpasar,
is named after an illustrious kingdom concentrated
in the Bedulu-Pejeng area from the 9th century to
the 14th century, when it fell to Majapahit invaders.
Today it has a powerless but high-status 'puri'
(Pemayun) and is full of Brahmans.
Most visitors drive from Denpasar right through
Bedulu and Pejeng on their way to Tampaksiring and
Penelokan, sometimes stopping en route at the Gedong
Arca archaeological offices in Bedulu. No accommodations
or restaurants in Pejeng, but some good markets.
From Pejeng, take the wonderful walk to Manggis,
lots of small villages, emerald green rice fields
and dense green forests.
There are many archaeological odds and ends in
this 'Valley of the Kings' in the middle of Bali's
rice belt. Follow the directory on Pejeng's main
street. A strange 120-cm-high 'linga', surrounded
by eight upper-body statues of Shiva, is found in
the open bale of Pura Ratu Pegening east of Pura
Panataran Sasih. It's a nice walk to the 14th-century
cut-rock 'candi' at Kalebutan near Tatiapi, one
km west of Pejeng Timor.
To reach this group, which looks like a scaled
down version of Gunung Kawi, start on the path from
the second crossroads after the 'puri' leading to
Pejeng's graveyard. A landslide uncovered this 'candi'
in 1928. Vegetation covered it again after the war
and yet again in the 1950s. The 3.5-meter-high temple
has been carved in relief from a two-meter-wide
niche cut into solid rock. In 1951 a cloister with
cut-rock niches and a courtyard were discovered
on the other side of the ravine.