Just off the popular Candidasa in East Bali, Tenganan Pegringsingan is an ancient village that, in the midst of the modernity Bali recently sees, still embraces the rural life as it was centuries ago.
The village still retains much of its centuries-old layout, and villagers, too, still maintain a strict cosmology and social organization; thus, they must live inside the village and marry from within. The village itself is of a long rectangular shape, which is laid out in tiers, with wide stone steps in between. The houses are constructed out of bricks with no outer layer covering them.
The walled village is laid out in three parts to suit different functions: dwelling, gardening and rice farming. The houses all sport the same design and are backed off by one central living and trading vein.
While change has come into the village, Tenganan is still remarkably intact. Culture prospers here, with ceremonies to observe one’s cycle of life and rite passage commonly calling for colorful celebrations. Adhering to its own local calendar, the festivities at the old village have garnered reputations as some of the must-see ‘real Bali’ attractions. Visitors in the know and especially photographers flock the village to immortalize the event, or simply to indulge in the carousal unique to Tenganan.
The villagers are known as fine makers of baskets and double ikat traditional woven cloth, as well as calendars that are written on palm lontar leaves. And this in a way also creates a unique shopping experience, where traditionalism, culture are offered at unique shophouses of the villagers. The best thing is there is no pressure for every visitors to buy the products, and you can directly bargain with the stall owners.
Passing the gate into the village, you’ll notice the villagers tending to their souvenirs stalls, or sitting by the door of their homes, welcoming visitors to step inside and have a look at their humble store inside. Displayed on the stalls here are the calendars decorated with Balinese letters and characters from the Hindu tales. Painted wooden eggs and ata and wicker weavings (baskets and bags) are also Tenganan’s hot selling items. Both the ata baskets and bags are so sturdy, they’re said to last 100 years. They’re made from a vine collected from the hills behind the village