The Enchantment of Penglipuran Village in Bali, the Third Cleanest Village in the World

There is always something interesting to explore from Bali. Besides being beautiful in landscape, Pulau Seribu Pura is also rich in arts and culture.

Even visiting Bali doesn't seem boring. In fact, many people are now impatient to set foot on the Island of the Gods. This is reasonable considering that Indonesia's tourism sector, including Bali, has been closed for almost two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now, the situation has changed as the pandemic has gradually been brought under control. Moreover, the achievement of Covid-19 vaccination in Bali has touched the figure of 99.75 percent for the first dose and 85.13 percent for the second dose, as reported by the Ministry of Health (Kemkes) website, Monday (25/10/2021).

Therefore, the government is optimistic to reopen the tourism gates of the Island of the Gods. This opening is also a #ItstimeforBali momentum.

As a tourist paradise #DiIndonesiaAja, Bali has many choices of tourist objects and attractions, besides the beach. One of them, Penglipuran Village which has been certified for Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environmental Sustainability (CHSE).

Penglipuran Village is one of nine traditional villages in Bali. The location is in Bangli District, Bangli Regency, and is about 45 kilometers from Denpasar City.

According to local legend, this village has existed since 700 years ago, namely during the time of the Bangli Kingdom. The story circulating also states that Penglipuran Village is a gift from the King of Bangli to the people who fought against the Kingdom of Gianyar.

As a traditional village, the people of Penglipuran Village firmly adhere to the traditions of their ancestors that are hundreds of years old. They also still apply two traditional laws in society, namely awig-awig and drestha. The ability to maintain tradition makes Penglipuran Village so unique.

So, what is interesting about Penglipuran Village? Why does this village deserve to be a tourist destination in Bali? Here's the review.

1. | Named the Cleanest Village in the World

Penglipuran Village is the third cleanest village in the world, after Mawlynnong Village in India and Giethoorn in the Netherlands. So, scattered garbage, noisy traffic jams, and air pollution are impossible to find in this village.

In order to maintain cleanliness, local people provide trash cans in the village. In fact, every 30 meters there is a trash can.

In addition, the village also applies a number of strict customary rules. One of them is the prohibition of using motorized vehicles to keep the air quality clean. Tourists who want to get around Penglipuran Village inevitably have to walk or bike.

Even so, you don't seem to be tired, let alone bored. The reason is, when you enter the village, rows of green plants and colorful flowers, such as bougainvillea, hibiscus, roses, and frangipani will welcome you. The deeper you go inside, the view of the village looks more pleasing to the eye. The air was getting colder.

Even if you are tired on the trip, you can stop at a food stall in the village or relax for a moment in the traditional banjar in the middle of the settlement.

In addition to the title of the cleanest village in the world, Penglipuran Village has also received several other prestigious awards, such as the Indonesia Sustainable Tourism Award (ISTA) in 2017 and the Sustainable Destinations Top 100 version of the Green Destinations Foundation.


2. | Adopting the spatial concept of the ancestral tradition

In the midst of modernization, Penglipuran Village still maintains the traditions and noble values ​​of its ancestors. One of them can be seen from the village layout which adopts the Tri Mandala concept.

Tri Mandala is the division of land into three zones based on the value of holiness which is sorted from the north as the holiest place to the south as the most unholy place.

By local people, the main zone of the mandala, which is located in the north, is considered the contest of the gods. Therefore, places of worship were only established in this area. One of them, Pura Penataran, a place to worship Lord Brahma who is the creator of the entire universe according to Hindu belief.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the village, there is an intermediate zone of the mandala. This area is used as a residential area.

Furthermore, the most unholy zone in the south is referred to as the nista mandala. This area is designated as the final resting place for people who have died, aka the cemetery of residents.

3. | Traditional residence

The ability of the Penglipuran Village community to maintain traditions is also seen from their dwellings. Most of the yards-as houses are called-in this village are built with traditional concepts. This can be seen from the use of bamboo as the main building material.

Architecturally, the houses in Penglipuran Village also look unique because they have a uniform pattern. This uniformity is seen from the shape of the angkul-angkul, the building area, and the division of the room plan.

Each house in Penglipuran Village has a bedroom, living room, kitchen, halls, barns, and prayer rooms. This uniformity makes this village different from other traditional villages in Bali.

In addition to village spatial planning, the Tri Mandala concept is also applied to residents' houses with almost the same provisions. The main part is only for places of worship, the middle (room and kitchen) for daily activities, and the outside is used as a place to dry clothes or as well as cattle pens.


4. | Surrounded by tens of hectares of bamboo forest

Around 40 percent of the total area of ​​Penglipuran Village is a bamboo forest area. According to local beliefs, this forest did not grow alone, but was planted by ancestors.

In other words, the bamboo forest is considered part of the history of Penglipuran Village. Therefore, the local community conserves the forest.

In addition to caring for ancestral heritage, conservation is carried out in order to maintain a balance between humans and nature. This is because the forest also functions as a water catchment area.

There are about 15 species of bamboo that grow in the bamboo forest of Penglipuran Village. Bamboo from this forest is also one of the best bamboo in Bali.

The use of bamboo from the forest is mostly prioritized for Laba Pura (maintaining temple buildings), then followed by other buildings, such as houses.

5. | Religious ritual traditions

Like other traditional villages in Bali, Penglipuran Village also has religious rituals that continue to be carried out to this day. One of them is the Ngusaba ceremony which is usually carried out to welcome the Nyepi Day.

Through this ceremony, the community makes various offerings in the temple courtyard. This offering is a form of gratitude for the harvest.

In addition, every 15 days, the people of Penglipuran Village will also come to Penataran Temple to pray. This ritual continues to be carried out because it has been taught by traditional elders and is a teaching handed down by the ancestors.

Another interesting tradition that can be witnessed in Penglipuran Village is the celebration of Galungan Day which is celebrated every 210 days.

However, keep in mind, you must follow the etiquette that applies when witnessing the religious ceremony to respect the local population.


6. | Unique culinary offerings loloh cemcem and tipat cantok

In addition to beautiful scenery and culture full of noble values, Penglipuran Village also has unique dishes that you must try, namely loloh cemcem and tipat cantok.

Loloh cemcem is a special drink made from cemcem leaves with digestive properties. The manufacture of this drink is still using traditional methods so that there are no preservatives and artificial sweeteners.

Meanwhile, tipat cantok is a ketupat dish with boiled vegetables and served with peanut sauce.

Besides having a tongue-in-cheek culinary delight, Penglipuran Village also has a variety of creative economic products (ekraf) in the form of crafts. For example, carved bamboo masks, miniature Penglipuran traditional houses, and painting baskets.

In order to make the shopping experience more interesting, the local community also provides opportunities for tourists to learn to make handicrafts directly from the craftsmen there.

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