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Catching early Bali

Published Jan 02, 2023
Updated Mar 08, 2023

📍 🇮🇩 Catching early Bali

The balinese archeological site of Yeh Pulu is a quiet place, far away from mass tourism and an exceptional testimony of Bali's cultural heritage. The small site is a 25-meter-long wall with beautiful carved relief that depicts the ancient Balinese life and dates back to the 14th century.

Located in Bedulu village (near Ubud in the centre of Bali) between greenish ricefields and a springwater, Yeh Pulu means « water of the stone vessel » and was discovered by locals in 1925.  With a width of two meters, the beautiful carved wall is composed of a series of scenes of the Balinese everyday life such as a man carrying a jar or a prince riding a horse.  Other scenes took their inspiration from the Panji tales, a cycle of Javanese stories that tell the adventures of the Prince Panji looking for his beloved, Princess Candra Kirana.  At the end of the wall, the narration ends with the carving of Ganesh, the patron of arts and science in Hindu religion.

Compared to other reliefs that can be seen in Borobudur and Prambanan temples in Central Java (Island of Java), the figures of the Yeh Pulu reliefs look more naturalistic.


Wayan Adnyana, «The Scene of a Woman Grabbing a Horse’s Tail in Yeh Pulu Relief, and Its Connection to Panji Narrative: The Basis of Contemporary Painting Creation », Cultura, International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology.

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14th century