A three-hour drive from Ngurah Rai international airport, Taman Soekasada Ujung or well-known as Ujung Water Palace, has gained its reputation as one of the best spots in Bali for a pre-wedding session. It was the early 2000’s decision of restoration project that brought this beautiful water palace back to life, allowing the visitors to feel the original past grandeur of the site as a recreational area for the royal family and for entertaining important guests visiting the Karangasem Kingdom.
While Karangasem area is more popular for its diving and snorkelling destination in Amed and Tulamben area, the city of Amlapura, the capital of Karangasem Regency is worth considering for a pleasant visit rather than to only drive through. The traces of the former Karangasem Kingdom can be easily found and seen, notably, Ujung Water Palace which is only about 5 kilometres from the downtown.
Visiting Taman Ujung, however, offers far more than simply finding a truly amazing spot for taking photos. Imagine a King who decided to build a space for him to rest, meditate, and enjoy family time. Yes, this palace is a please for the eyes and sense. Featuring three pools and several floating pavilions connected by ornamental bridges. Its surrounding garden adds to the tranquillity of the complex.
It is good to know something about a place before going, so here are three interesting facts you should know about Ujung Water Palace.
Built in 1901
Let’s start with a bit scary thing. This area was originally built and named as Kolam Dirah, or Dirah Ponds. It was said that people who practised black magic were exiled into the area. The water from Dirah Ponds was used to test if the people really possessed black magic or not. But, in 1909, the king assigned architects to design and expand the complex to be the rest and recreational area for the royal family. Pools were added and buildings were erected until the place was ready to use in 1921. Additional buildings added since then until 1937.
Been ruined for years
The power of nature showed its great power upon its glory and majesty. The massive eruption of Mountain Agung in 1963 and the earthquake 1975 brought down parts of the complex to the ground. After that, the complex remained untouched until the project of restoration in the early 2000s. It finished in 2004 and Taman Ujung Soekasada opened for public.
Balinese – European – Chinese mix on the architecture
For fans of architecture and old buildings, Ujung Water Palace offers more pleasure to them as they discover the influence of Balinese, European, and Chinese architectural traditions throughout the buildings. A relaxing spot for a leisure walk, even in the middle of the day, visitors can explore the paths, stairways, to find amazing spots from where the eyes will be amazed by the view of the park as a whole, panoramic ocean view, or green lush hill.