If you’re interested in historical tour, probably you must go to Soekasada Ujung Park in Karangasem. Because the remains of the Karangasem Kingdom still stand majestically among modern buildings around it. One of the former royal buildings that can be visited is the Soekasada Ujung Park.
Soekasada Ujung Park
Soekasada Ujung Park is one part of Puri Kanginan or the residence of a noble family. This park is located at Br. Dinas, Tumbu Village, Karangasem District, Karangasem Regency. It took about 15 minutes to drive from Amlapura city. But if you go from Denpasar, you can spend around two hours. It would be better if you stay one to two days in Amlapura, so you can explore other Puri Kanginan buildings, such as Tirta Gangga Water Park and Puri Agung Karangasem.
Soekasada Ujung Park was first established in 1919 by the first King Karangasem, Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut Jelantik. This park serves as a recreational place for the family of Raja Karangasem and is built on 400 hectares of land. However today, the area of the palace complex only reaches 11 hectares. Because most areas have been distributed to the people in the era of agrarian reform. Formerly, ordinary people were prohibited from entering the park area. But over time, this place was opened to the public and became one of the mainstay vacation spots that must be visited in Karangasem.
This park has five bale buildings with different functions. You can see the first Bale after the entrance. It's called Bale Gili. It is located in the middle of a very large pool of water with a depth of about four meters. It functions as a resting place for kings and families while visiting the park. On the inside, there’s the king's private room, lounge, and children's playroom. Where there are photos of the king and his family and portraits from childhood to adulthood hanging on the wall. This place is so calm and quiet, because the king often used it to meditate.
From the Bale Gili, you will see Bale Kapal standing on a hill. Now, to reach this bale you need to climb 35 steps. It's not much, but quite draining, especially when the sun is hot. Bale Kapal functions to monitor ships sailing from Lombok to Karangasem. It becomes a very iconic photo spot in Ujung Soekasada Park, because it offers a stunning Pantai Ujung scenery.
A few meters from Bale Kapal, there is Bale Lunduk which is used as a place for guard soldiers. From here, the whole area of the Soekasada Ujung Park will be clearly visible. Usually visitors will take a break at Bale Lunduk before exploring the rest of the other bale buildings. Below Bale Lunduk, there’s Bale Bundar, an alternative place for the king to meditate. Finally, Bale Kambang. This building has the same function as Bale Kambang in Puri Kertha Gosa, Klungkung: as a court place.
Because this place is still influenced by Dutch and Chinese, you’ll hear some music instruments from these countries in every corner. Also, the architecture of the building still carries the style of the two countries. Almost all parts of the park are ‘eye-catching’, so it’s often be used as a background for taking pictures. Even often used as a favorite pre-wedding portrait location.