Kerta Gosa - Court of Justice

Kerta Gosa, The former Temple of Justice

Kerta Gosa, also ‘Kertha Gosa’ and referred to locally as Taman Gili Kerta Gosa, is a historical landmark in Semarapura, the main town of the Klungkung regency in East Bali. Kerta Gosa forms part of the Puri Semarapura royal palace complex and features 2 main structures – a grand hall or the namesake Bale Kerta Gosa, which has ceilings filled with Kamasan or wayang-style paintings, and the Bale Kambang ‘floating hall’ or pavilion that's surrounded by a moat. The site dates back to 1686 when it was commissioned by Dewa Agung Jambe, then ruler of the Klungkung kingdom. It has undergone a series of restorations in the past (the latest in 2014) and is one of Bali’s most important historical sites.

Highlights of Kerta Gosa

Kerta Gosa’s spacious and open halls are laid out inside a walled compound. You can admire the unique and traditional Balinese architecture in the gates, walls and main structures. The main distinctive highlights, though, are the painted ceilings of the halls. These paintings are a fine showcase of the technique known as Kamasan style. Kamasan itself is a village in Klungkung, renowned for the typical painting style that depicts wayang or traditional Balinese shadow puppet figures. Scenes are generally inspired by episodes from notable Hindu epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The paintings were originally applied to textile, yet a series of past restoration projects had pieces repainted onto plasterboards. Most of the paintings tell of spiritual teachings and guidance – each piece telling a different tale, ranging from karma and reincarnation to phases of human life, from birth to death and towards nirvana. The Bale Kambang pavilion is uniquely surrounded by a moat. The paintings on its ceilings depict the tales from the old Javanese Sutasoma epic, with Prince Sutasoma as its protagonist. Both sides of the bridges towards this ‘floating hall’ are adorned by guardian statues and the moat is filled with lotuses. The halls served as a venue for the royal family’s rituals and rites of passage. It also served as a court during the Dutch occupancy in Klungkung from 1908 to 1942 – that’s what gave it the nickname, ‘hall of justice’.

Good to know about Kerta Gosa

During the battle against the Dutch military expedition known as Puputan Klungkung on 28 April 1908, the last ruler, Dewa Agung Jambe, and his followers died. The accounts of the battle are inscribed at the Puputan Klungkung monument – you can see it at the intersection just north of the north-eastern hall (the hall’s raised position gives you a vantage point over the monument). After the defeat, the inner courtyards of the Semarapura palace were destroyed. The remaining structures were these Kerta Gosa halls with the Bale Kambang floating hall and the Taman Gili gardens. Check out the museum displaying Klungkung’s history, within mere walking distance to the west of the Kerta Gosa complex.

Structure Kerta Gosa Building

Kerta Gosa consists of two buildings (bale), namely akerta Gosa Bale and Bale Kambang. Bale Kambang called because the building is surrounded by a pond that is Gili Park. The uniqueness Kerta Gosa with Bale Kambang this is surface on the ceiling or roof bale is decorated with traditional painting style of Kamasan (a village in Klungkung) or style of puppet that is very popular in the community Bali. Initially, the paintings that decorate the ceiling are made of cloth and parba. New since 1930 is replaced and created at the top of the plasterboard direstorasi ago according to the original image is still intact and up to now. Cultural heritage as Kingdom Semarapura, Gosa and Kerta Bale Kambang enabled to judge the matter and the religious ceremony that is especially yadnya cut teeth (mepandes) like children king.

Function Kerta Gosa

Function of the two buildings is closely related to the function of education through the paintings that were presented at the puppet ceiling buildings. The paintings are a series of stories that take on the key themes, namely Swargarokanaparwa and parwa Bima Swarga a guide punishment Karma Phala (result of the good-bad deeds performed during a human lifetime) and the re-incarnation into the world because of the deeds and sin - sin. Because no one said that if the psychological, theme paintings decorate the ceiling Kerta Gosa building load values education mental and spiritual. Painting is divided into a row of six terraced.

Story of Painting at Kerta Gosa Building

Bottom row illustrates the themes derived from Tantri Story. Suite second from the bottom illustrates the theme of the story. Bimaswarga in Swargarakanaparwa. Catenarian next theme Bagawan Kasyapa story. Fourth row to take a theme that is characteristic Palalindon or meaning and the meaning of the occurrence of earthquakes in mythologist. Continuation of the story is taken from the theme Bimaswarga painted on the fifth row that is located almost on the cone-shaped roof building. In the last row or the sixth place by a description of the life of Nirwana. In addition to the building ceiling Kerta Gosa, puppet paintings also decorate the ceiling in the west that is Kerta Gosa Bale Kambang. On the palate this painting Bale Kambang puppet who comes to take the themes from the story of Kakawin Ramayana and Sutasoma.

The theme comes from guide kakawin this function that the building is the place Bale Kambang under one's belt religious ceremony that is Manusa Yadnya cut teeth children in Klungkung king. The attractiveness of Kerta Gosa paintings than in the traditional style of Kamasan at Kerta Gosa Bale and Bale Kambang, other important heritage that is still around and cannot be separated in terms of the value of history is noble pemedal (gate). Pemedal Court located in the west Kerta Gosa emits a very cultural heritage values Palace. Pemedal this Court on the value of art are traditional Balinese architecture. This is the gate that functions as a cantilever holder of the throne of power mechanisms (Dewa Agung) in Klungkung for over 200 years (1686-1908). In the event of war against the Dutch military expedition known as the Puputan Klungkung on 28 April 1908, the holder of the throne last Dewa Agung Jambe followers and autumn. (The recording of this monument is now enshrined in Puputan Klungkung which is located across the Kerta Gosa). After the defeat in the building core Palace Semarapura (viscera) and destroyed the settlement was made. Rubble highest remaining Kerta Gosa, Bale Kambang Taman Gili with its Portal Palace and the object appeared to be a very interesting both in the tourism and especially cultural historical studies. Kerta Gosa was also work as the center court during the Dutch colonial bureaucracy in Klungkung (1908-1942) and since nominated officials head into indigenous areas in the kingdom of Klungkung (Ida I Dewa Agung Negara Klungkung) in 1929. In fact, the court used equipment such as chairs and tables, wood carving and the paint is still there prade (gold paint). Objects to the evidence the court heritage institutions such as the traditional customs that apply in Klungkung in the colonial period (1908-1942) and the period of Japanese occupation (1043-1945). In the year 1930, had made the restoration of the painting there is a puppet in Kerta Gosa and Bale Kambang painted by the artists of Kamasan. Restoration last painting done in 1960.

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