Ujung Water Palace – Taman Ujung Sukasada Karangasem Bali

Less well known than its sibling, Tirta Gangga Water Palace, Ujung Water Palace (Taman Ujung or Taman Sukasada) was built by the same Karangasem king, Gusti Bagus Jelantik. It’s been widely renovated since its near destruction in Mt. Agung’s eruption and presents a charming landscape of ponds, bridges, pagodas, pavilions, and statues. The Basics There is a small charge to visit Ujung Water Palace, payable on arrival at the gate (cash only). You don’t need a guide to appreciate its unusual mixture of Balinese, Dutch, and Chinese architectural features or to wander around the shady pools, but if you’re visiting on a tour a guide can help unfold the history behind the palace. Ujung Water Palace is most often visited as part of an east Bali tour, which may include Gusti Bagus Jelantik’s other palaces as well as salt farms at Kusamba and perhaps the town of Klungkung. Things to Know Before You Go Although it’s barely 100 years old, Ujung Water Palace is a popular choice for history buffs as it shows off the power of Bali’s different kingdoms. Taman Ujung was extensively damaged during Mt. Agung’s eruption in the early 1960s, so the reliefs you see are mainly made of concrete. Ujung Water Palace is one of three watery palaces built by Gusti Bagus Jelantik. The others are Tirta Gangga Water Palace and the Puri Agung Karangasem. The tiered layout of the water gardens makes for numerous steps: bring drinking water. How to Get There Set 3 miles (5 kilometers) south of Amlapura, the town formerly known as Karangasem, Ujung Water Palace is hard to reach by public transport. Given the risks of driving in Bali and the hassles of piecing together early morning “bemo” minibuses, most travelers choose to visit on an east Bali tour or with a private driver. When to Get There Taman Ujung is open seven days a week from morning until evening; late afternoon is a good time to visit for photographic purposes. Ujung Water Palace is rarely very busy, but people who value solitude should come early in the morning and visit during the week rather than on weekends. The Kingdom of Karangasem The town of Amlapura was known as Karangasem until Mt. Agung’s 1963 eruption damaged it, when a name change was felt provident. Although east Bali is now one of Bali’s poorest regions, the kings (raja) of Karangasem once ruled territory that extended to the neighboring island of Lombok, helping fund building projects like the water palaces of Ujung and Tirta Gangga.