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" Kerta Gosa "

It lies at the capital city of Klungkung, about 30 kilometers from the city of Denpasar. The roads are fairly a very good and serve as a connection from Denpasar to Karangasem. It ca be easily reached from anywhere by anything.

Courts of justice, the more famous painted ceiling of the Kerta Gosa has also gone through numerous changes this century. It had to be restored after the devastating earthquake of 1917 and was again repainted during the 1930’s by Pan Sekan, a master artist from nearby village of Kamasan. Thirty years later, Pan Sekan’s son, Pan Semaris, directed the total replacement of his father’s weather-eaten ceiling. With the exception of a few panels added in the last decade, which stand out because of their crudity and the fact that acrylics instead of natural pigments were used, the ceiling is as Pan Semaris created it in 1960. In the small pavilion, you will find on the brink of three worlds. Below you to one side are the noisy bustle of modern Bali while to the other lies the old-worldly calm of the water garden, and rising overhead in a pulsating pyramid of richly painted panels (left) is the realm of gods and demons. During the thirty years of the Dutch rule, suspected criminals would be tried beneath these salutary paintings. The panels are arranged in nine layers, the lowest being a series of small panel telling five tales of Tantri’s series. Most of the 267 panels relate episodes in the story of Bima Swarga in which Bima, the most unruly of five semi-divine Pandawa brothers of the Mahabharata ventures in to the underworld to rescue the lost souls of his earthly parents. The Karmic fate of those who have transgressed is illustrated, while Bima battles with demons and overturns cauldrons in his quest. We follow Bima’s journey through the various stages of the heavens in quest of the elixir of immortality that will revive his parents. The entire epic is, in fact, a heroic journey of self-discovery. The astrological calendar appears on some panels, with particular emphasis on earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, which must have been on everyone’s mind at time.

The ceiling of the beautiful “Floating Pavilion” is painted in Klungkung style. Again, the different rows of paintings deal with various subjects. The first row is based on the astrological calendar, the second on the folk tale of Pan and Men Brayut and their children, and the upper rows on the adventures of the hero Sutasoma.

There are a few archeological pieces and some quite interesting contemporary accounts of the 1908 puputan on display in this simple museum. There are old photos of the royalty, and displays in English as well. The rigors of salt production along the nearby coast are well documented.

Kerta Gosa
Foto gallery

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