Gedong Kirtya, a Historical Museum Displaying Balinese Arts & Culture in Buleleng

Ticket price: Free, Operational hour: 08.00-16.00 WITA, Address: Jl. Veterans, Great Package, Kec. Buleleng, Kab. Buleleng, Bali; Folder: Location Check

Gedong Kirtya is a museum in Bali that stores various antiques and heirlooms. It is located in the area Buleleng and not far from the city center. The main collection is none other than lontar and libraries which contain the history of Balinese civilization and culture at that time. Of course there are many other collections that make this museum always visited by tourists.

The existence of a museum that stores various ancient objects further complements the category of historical tourism in Bali. If at this time we only know beaches, waterfalls or mountains, then there’s nothing wrong with visiting this historical tour. Indeed, there is no fun and excitement that you get during your visit, but you can add insight and knowledge.

Because there are many collections of libraries, some people think of them as libraries. Although not too crowded, but still every day many visitors who come. The main purpose of building this museum is none other than to preserve the ancestral heritage, which in the progress of the times like this is often forgotten.

History of the Gedong Kirtya Museum

History of the Gedong Kirtya Museum
Image Credit: Google Maps Lato Kartiko Wibowo

Gedong Kirtya was founded in 1928 by the Patih of the Kingdom of Buleleng named I Gusti Putu Jelantik. He is also a writer and collector of rare manuscripts. The museum’s initial collection came from his private collection and the collection of manuscripts from the Balinese royal family. But gradually, the collection became more complete because it was imported from several regions.

Initially, the museum which also functions as a library serves as a storage place for rare manuscripts that are threatened with extinction. Over time, this library has become a place of study and research for scholars and researchers interested in Balinese history, culture and literature.

Even now, Gedong Kirtya is also starting to digitize his manuscript collection. The aim is to facilitate access for researchers and the general public who wish to study Balinese history and culture. This museum is one of the oldest and largest libraries in Indonesia with a collection of ancient manuscripts. It has also been recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO in 2013.

Collection of the Gedong Kirtya Museum

Collection of the Gedong Kirtya Museum
Image Credit: Google Maps A fifah (Mbkfah)

Like museums in general, here also has various well-maintained collections. This collection can be seen by visitors to add insight and knowledge. Here are some of the collections in Gedong Kirtya!

1. Lontar Manuscript

Lontar script is a form of traditional Balinese writing made from palm leaves carved using traditional tools. This writing usually contains about science, religion, history, literature, and art. Until now, the number has reached more than 4,000 copies, some of which are very rare manuscripts and hard to find elsewhere.

One of the manuscripts that may not be found elsewhere is Kakawin Sutasoma. This manuscript was written in the 14th century and is a masterpiece of Balinese literature. It contains teachings of wisdom and morals that are used as a guideline for life by the Balinese people. Not only in ancient times, but also until now.

2. Important Documents

Apart from the lontar manuscripts, Gedong Kirtya also has a collection of other important documents. Some of the documents referred to are inscriptions, official letters, and historical documents. The inscriptions kept here include the Blanjong Inscription found in Sanur in 914 AD. This inscription is an important source for understanding the history of Bali in the past.

3. Drawings and Paintings

Although there are not too many, this oldest museum in Bali also has a collection of ancient drawings and paintings, for example images of wayang and paintings used in religious ceremonies. There is also a collection of artifacts and art objects, such as statues, ceramics, traditional Balinese fabrics, and many others.

4. Multimedia Collections

Multimedia also includes the Gedong Kirtya collection that you need to know and maybe you are interested in. The multimedia collection in question includes sound recordings, videos and photos related to Balinese history and culture. The existence of this collection helps enrich understanding of Balinese culture and history.

Address and Route to Location

Gedong Kirtya address
Image Credit: Google Maps Kirtya Building

As previously mentioned, this historical tour in the form of a museum is in a very strategic location, so it’s easy to find. From the city center it is only about 1 kilometer, you only need less than 5 minutes to arrive at the tourist attractions. The main benchmark is Singaraja City Park if you are in Buleleng.

For more details, please go to the address Jalan Veteran, Paket Agung, Buleleng District, Buleleng Regency, Bali. For those who come from outside the city, for example Denpasar, you can still use Singaraja Park as the main benchmark. To make it easier, you can use the help of Google Maps or other GPS applications.

Entrance Ticket Prices for Attractions

To fill vacation time does not need to be expensive, there are many cheap tourist destinations. Gedong Kirtya is one of them, you only need to prepare 5,000 rupiah for one person. Interestingly, this fee is only needed if you come Monday to Friday.

If you come on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays, then this tourist spot in Bali is free of charge or free. Additional costs are needed, for example parking fees. But it’s still cheap, because you only need to add 2,000 for motorbikes, and 5,000 for cars. Please come according to operating hours, namely 08.00 – 16.00 local time.

Interesting Activities to Do at Gedong Kirtya

Interesting Activities at Gedong Kirtya
Image Credit: Google Maps Lato Kartiko Wibowo

At first glance, there really isn’t any interesting activity at Gedong Kirtya, but that’s not the case. On the contrary, visiting this place is never boring because you can do many things. Most relate to art, culture, and add insight or knowledge.

1. Visit the Library

Visiting the library is a must-do activity for tourists who are interested in Balinese history and culture. Here, you will find a collection of ancient lontar texts, inscriptions, ancient drawings and paintings, as well as Balinese artefacts and objects. Please see a collection of images that you may have never seen.

Even though it is only a painting, there is a meaning that can be learned if you look at it in detail. Especially for ejection manuscripts, you can read them according to the category you want. The staff at Gedong Kirtya will assist you in selecting and reading a script that suits your interests. This is a very interesting experience and a rare opportunity to understand Balinese culture.

2. Take a Cultural Tour

This historical tour actually does not only provide various ancient objects so that it is said to be a library or museum. The museum also organizes cultural tours around Sangsit village. In this tour, you will be invited to visit historical places such as Dalem Sangsit Temple, Taman Ayun Temple, and Besakih Temple.

3. Watching Art Performances

To add to the impression that this place really provides Balinese experience and knowledge, the management often holds art performances. Some of the arts that are often seen are the Kecak and gamelan dances. You can also watch Balinese art performances such as the Kecak dance and gamelan at Gedong Kirtya. This will provide an interesting experience to see Balinese culture first hand.

Facilities Available in Tourist Areas

Gedong Kirtya facilities
Image Credit: Google Maps Stefan Fuchs

Gedong Kirtya has many supporting facilities so that visitors feel more at home for long. Call it a reading room, you are more relaxed and can focus when reading a manuscript in this room. Other facilities encountered include a parking area, toilets, gift shop, and a large resting area.

Bali has tourist attractions that can guarantee your vacation is memorable and not boring. As a tourist, of course you don’t have to visit natural attractions, beaches or temples right? Occasionally, Gedong Kirtya can be used as the main choice to add insight into Balinese history, art and culture.