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Yeh Pulu Temple

Relief yeh Pulu is located in Bedulu village, in ricefield area, about 300 meters in the east of Batulumbang village, less than 26 km from Denpasar, in situation of traffic lane Denpasar – Tampak Siring – Kintamani. This monument was found by “ Punggawa Ubud” on 1925, has researched and published by Archeological Department of Holland which was lead by Dr W. F Sutterhien on 1929.

The figures showing mixed between the fairy tales of wayang ( puppet show ) and like a common people. If we see the area of Pejeng, it is rich with ancient stone carvings,  and also  wayang figure is found  near the village of Pejeng preserved at a temple called ” Arjana Metapa ” From the site itself   it is hard to give estimated date of the construction. From iconographic study we can only use as typological date based on the ancient relief  of Candi Penataran in east Java. It is commonly agreed that Penataran temple was constructed during the end of Majapahit kingdom, around 1400 AD. If it is associated with the chronicle about Wayang puppet in Bali, it was around 16th century, when Bali kingdom controlled Blambangan kingdom ( now Banyuwangi regency ). According to the chronicle during the attack of Blambangan, boxes full of wayng puppet were confiscated and were brought to the palace in Klungkung. In Klungkung near the capital city of the kingdom was the first wayang style introduced by a painter inspired by the wayang figure brought from Java. The place is now known as Kamasan village. So it was probable that this rock carving was made around this period.

relief yeh pulu at bedulu gianyar bali

The name Yeh Pulu derived from the word Yeh and Pulu. Yeh means water and Pulu means container of rice and its position on the centre of hollywater in the west of relief Pulu. It was made from lime stone that carved on the rock, about 25 meter longer and 2 meters wide. Generally, this story described about real life in the forest and daily life of old Bali Kingdom. Other than classic carving it has, this monument has also “ceruk-ceruk” as meditation place of Bedahulu King before he passed away on Majapahit war on 1343 century. Yeh Pulu relief is the longest of old Bali relief which one of The Bali Classic monument in old Bali period ( 14 cnetury) which rich of art knowledge deeply, eternally and harmony discovered by Rice Grower’s Association ( SUBAK) as agriculture aspect responsible in Bali.
relief yeh pulu at gianyar bali
relief yeh pulu gianyar bali

An important aspect from this art is that a new style had emerged. It is well understood that the art of Bali during ancient time was very idealistic and superhuman in nature, but this Yeh Pulu relief showing realistic and vigorous nature. It is hard to understand why the artist had deviated from the rules at the time. They did not only carved wayang figures but also human figures.

The whole scene of the relief is divided into 5 episodes:

    In this episode one figure is interesting that a man is carrying something with pole on his shoulder, look like a guci ( English " Urn "). In Bali guci is a place for palm wine ( Bali : tuak ).
    One of the important figure is a dwarf like person with ascetic's turban which is the prototype of present day Bali priest's crown.
    Showing a bear hunters in attacking the bear and a man sitting on horse,
    Two men carrying bear with pole,
    A woman holding the tail of a horse.

So far it there is no traditional story that could be used to identify what is actually the depiction of these all. An extensive local folk tales have been recorded, but no one seems explaining the episodes.

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