Palace of Justice
"Puri Klungkung Kertagosa (also called Kerta Gosa) is a historical building complex situated in the capital of the Klungkung Regency in Bali. Kertha Gosa means - “the place where the king meets with his ministries to discuss questions of justice.” The ceiling of this beautiful floating pavilion is painted in a traditional Balinese wayang (the shadow figure) style, with story of a Hindu epic referenced from the Mahabharata and Ramayana. There is also a museum in this complex."
The Kerta Gosa or officially "Puri Agung Semarapura" , is a historic building in the center of the city Klungkung, near the roundabout.
Immediately to the left beside the entrance is the Kerta Gosa, the court. The Kerta Gosa is part of the royal palace "Puri Semarapura" and has two main conference rooms - the Bale Kerta Gosa, which ceilings are filled with paintings in Kamasan or wayang style. The other part is the Bale kambang or "floating pavilion", which lies in a lotus pond.
Because the Kerta Gosa was the court of the high king of Bali, cases on the island which could not be resolved were transferred to this site. Three Brahmana priests presided over the court. The convicts (as well as visitors today) were able to view the ceiling which depicted different punishments in the afterlife, the results of karma, while they were awaiting sentencing. The Kerta Gosa was in fact the highest court of the island - and by far the most severe.
The Kerta Gosa complex dates from 1686 when it was built by Dewa Agung Jambe. He was the then ruler of the kingdom of Klungkung in Bali. In the Kerta Gosa are six chairs and a table used by the Balinese kings.
The Kerta Gosa has undergone a series of restorations in the past and is one of the main historical attractions of Bali.
The building is open to the public.
Taman Gili Kerta Gosa is spacious and it has open rooms within the walled area. The unique and traditional Balinese architecture can be seen in all fences, walls and main sections. The most important and distinctive highlights of the Kerta Gosa are the magnificent painted ceilings in the halls.
These paintings are painted using a technique, which is often described as the Kamasan style. Kamasan itself is a small village south of Semarapura, which is known for painting in the typical style of wayang and painting the traditional Balinese shadow puppet play (wayang figures). Kamasan paintings are inspired generally by notable Hindu epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The Kamasan style can also be found in other temples.
The paintings, which adorn the ceilings of the Kerta Gosa halls were originally made on textiles. But by a series of restorations, which were carried out in 1930, the paintings have been painted on drywall. The paintings depict spiritual teachings and guidance. When you examine the details, it is striking that all of the pieces tells a different story. Sometimes it's a part of the karma and reincarnation, the other moment you'll see a stage of human life from birth to death and the path to Nirvana.
The much larger Bale Kambang is surrounded by a moat and seems to float in the middle of the lotus pond. The paintings on the ceilings depict the stories of an ancient Javanese Sutasoma epic, with Prince Sutasoma as his protagonist. Both sides of the bridge in the direction of this "floating pavilion" are decorated by guards who portray characters from the story. The surrounding moat is full of lotuses. The hall served as an important place for the royal family to perform important rituals and rites. It also served as a courtroom during the Dutch occupation of Klungkung 1908-1942.
Kerta Gosa was considered the highest court of Bali. Three Brahman priests presided over by the judge were known for their harsh and inhuman punishment.
Nearby are two other buildings, Pemedal Agung Semara Jaya Museum. The Pemedal Agung is the major gateway to the Klungkung Palace. Today the palace transformed into a residential complex, which is only to see the main entrance yet.
In the museum are many ancient objects that have historical value. For example, a stone throne, an original chair used in Bale Kerta Gosa, old towels, daggers and old newspapers collections.
Jalan Puputan Klungkung,
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From a Travel Report:
The main "town" is basically one long road that runs the length of the bay and whose beach side is lined by most of the hotels and guesthouses. The road forms a section of the main around-Bali-road so traffic noise is an issue — while you may notice it less during the day, in the evening and especially early morning it is a bit annoying to be awoken by thundering trucks rolling through town, so try to get a room as close to the water as possible — better to be woken by the waves than the number 42 bus.
The town is split by an especially pretty lagoon that sits between the main temple in Candi Dasa and the sea. Lotus filled, with a small islet it is lovely in the early morning and late afternoon and it empties out onto a slither of sand where a handful of fishing boats are pulled up. You'll find more fishing boats on any bit of beach they can fit them onto.