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Kertha Gosa  

by on Tuesday, 6 March 2007One Comment | 4,495 views

Kertha Gosa, the Hall of Justice is situated at the main road intersection side of the town of Klungkung, 40 kilometers northeast of Denpasar. Kertha Gosa was a building for solving problems concerning security, prosperity, and justice of the Kingdom of Bali. It was not known exactly who was the founder of this palace, but according to the Candra Sengkala carved at pemedal Agung (Palace’s main door), it had been existence in the year Caka, Cakra Yuyu Paksi Paksi which means the year Caka 1622 or around the year 1700 A.D, when Dewa Agung Jambe governed the Kingdom of Bali.


During the feudal era, every year on “purnamaning kapat“, or fourth full moon of Balinese Caka calendar, a meeting was held at Kertha Gosa attended by the regional kings throughout Bali where the king of Klungkung gave his direction concerning problem in accordance with the needs and the situation of the Kingdom of Bali.


Every month on “Buda Kliwon” special Wednesday, the king of Klungkung held a meeting attended by “Manca” (assistance of the king) in the regency of Klungkung. Kertha Gosa was also used for receiving priest and priest of the king (Bhagawanta) for having lunch, and receiving foreigners who wished to meet the king.


On April 28 1908, Dutch’s soldiers came to conquer the Kingdom of Klungkung. But the King and his people gave massive resistance to the Dutch’s soldiers and bloodshed could not be avoided. The king and people of Klungkung gave the last resistance (Puputan) to Dutch’s soldiers and at last Klungkung was ruled by the Dutch.


Since then Kertha Gosa functioned as a court of justice, that solved the problem concerning customs and act against the religious practices. The court was equipped with a table and six chairs. The chair with the symbol of lion was for the king as chief of court justice. The chair with the symbol of cow was for priest as lawyer an adviser of the king in making a decision. The chair with the symbol of dragon was for the secretary. The people being tried sat politely cross legged on the floor.


There are five statues, three of which were made by Chinese sculptor and the other two made by Pedanda Gede Kereta, a Balinese High priest from the village of Dawan. On the ceiling, there are pictures of Wayang (Balinese shadow play). These pictures show:


The lowest part is about “Tantri Kandaka” which describes about all kinds of cheating found in society.

The second and the third part is about “Atma Presangsa”, which describes about the punishment and sufferings of the souls of the dead. Bimasena saw all these on his way to find his parents souls.


The fourth part is the story of “Sang Garuda Amerta” a mythical bird in a form of big eagle which is looking for the water of eternal life.

The fifth part is the story about “Palelindon”, or earthquake. Earthquake could forecast what might happen in the near future.

The sixth and seven parts, Bimasena met God in heaven. He was fighting to rescue his parents’ souls from punishment.


The eighth part is about “Sorga Roh” a special place in heaven which is provided for the souls of those who faithfully follow the teaching of their religion or those who have done many good deeds in their life.

The ninth part is the story of God who guards the equilibrium of world.


At the left side of Kertha Gosa, lies Taman Gili. “Gili” means a piece of land on the middle of the pond. Taman Gili is a garden on the middle of the pond. It is also known as bale Kambang or floating house and it is as old as Kertha Gosa. Actually the original form of Bale Kambang (floating house) was different from the one we see today. During the feudal period, it is a small and low structure and it did not has as many pillars as it today. It functioned as King Guard’s headquarter. The Dutch restored this building and changed it into its present form. Since then the function of Bale Kambang is not certain.


The ceiling of Bale Kambang is decorated with Wayang pictures.
Part I from below is about horoscope.

Part II is a story of “Pan Brayut”, a children story about a couple who had 18 mischievous children.

Part III, IV, V and VI, are stories of “Sutasoma”, written by Mpu Tantular in 1365 during the period of Prabu Hayam Wuruk in Majapahit.

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