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Directory Home> City and Regencies> Singaraja Regency
 
SINGARAJA / BULELENG REGENCY
 
In 1849 Buleleng district became the first region to be colonised by the Dutch that there on conquered the rest of the island. The area is still full of buildings reflecting the reminissence of Dutch architecture. The influence of the performing arts of Buleleng can be seen in the southern parts of Bali which proves that it takes the lead in the cultural realm.

Once Bali's major port, Buleleng traded with Indian merchants some 2000 years back as evidenced by the discovery of ancient beads in Pacung, 40 km east of Singaraja. This finding, in fact, was the first sign of Indian trade with the Indonesian archipelago. Small stupa effigies recently unearthed in Lovina also point to a presence of Buddhist monks in the 6th century, who later travelled south, where their culture blossomed some ,00 years later. These discoveries bear witness to the role of the early sea routes in the history of Buleleng.

In the central north of buleleng lies the city of Singaraja (100,000 inhabitants), which was the capital of Bali during Dutch times. Today it is a mix of Moslem kampung, Chinese shops, tree-lined avenues of colonial houses and neo-Balinese government offices. A Chinese temple (kelenteng) stands near the old harbor, not far from Kajanan mosque, whose mirhab pulpit has an interesting combination of Moslem and Balinese decorative motifs. The Balinese elements of the city appear pushed to the periphery of the city while traditional traders (the Bugis and the Chinese) occupy its center. Visit the Gedung Kirtya library, where there are thousands of lontar manuscripts in the Javanese and Balinese scripts, and you can also buy prasi paintings, done in the ancient fashion on lontar palm leaves.
 
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