A tunnel created of thick bamboo forests at both sides of the narrow road invites me to stop for a brief. Getting out from the car, I have a moment to fill the lungs with clean and fresh air and take a deep breath. At about 700 metres above the sea level, the bamboo forest seems to be a welcoming area – as if at a hotel when a staff hands me a wet hand towel and a refreshing welcome drink upon arrival. But, this time nature is the host, preparing me for the next journey to Penglipuran Village in just a few steps away.
Tucked away in a quiet area, around 6 kilometres from Bangli, Penglipuran Village is one of traditional village tourism destinations in Bali. Not only known for its authenticity of Balinese culture in its traditional architecture, culture and social rules, this village is well-managed by the community, making it considered as one of the cleanest villages in the world.
Fresh, clean, neat are among your first impression upon entering the village area. No vehicle is allowed to enter the area. All must be parked at the designated area outside the village complex. Passing through the welcome sign, I walk slowly through the main paved road. There is only one main road here where all the houses are lining along the road. Each house has a similar entrance gate, called angkul-angkul. Everyone is welcomed to visit the house.
As you follow the road, you’ll notice that the village’s layout is designed in a certain way. It is adapted from the Three Mandalas concept of Balinese Hinduism. At the higher area is the sacred area where temples sit. Following down the road, the settlement area in the middle, and graveyard at the bottom area of above. Unlike another Balinese community, the deceased here is buried instead of cremated (Ngaben).
The real charm of Penglipuran Village in its nature, culture, and traditional way of life is worth experiencing. Fortunately, here you can stay longer for one night or more to be able to absorb the peaceful serenity. There are homestays inside the village with adequate facilities. The village also holds an annual festival each year, Penglipuran Village Festival, to celebrate the cultural treasures as well as to attract tourist. This year, the festival is planned to open from December 17th.
The tale said that a group of villagers came to the area from nearby Bayung Gede Village, and lived until now. It is believed to have a connection with the name of Penglipuran, which is derived from Balisene language Pengeling Pura, meaning remembering the ancestors. Another interpretation is also existing, telling that it came from the word ‘Pelipur Lara’, while there are also some people that say ‘Pangleng’ and ‘Pura’, which means four temples on every point of the compass.