Klungkung, the northern part of the island is residing the ancestral heritage of a gong maker back to the 14th century in a village called Tihingan. It is the crafting centre of traditional music instruments which Balinese traditional music gambelan is created since hundreds of past generations.
The fact that an ancient prapen, the archaic furnace which become a historical site preserved in this village demonstrates that Tihingan is the provenance of this single shape of metal tools which bringing out the melodious resonance used all over the island and beyond. About 1.5 hours driving from the airport to the west of Semarapura city, we can find this captivating village that almost all of the residents are pande, the gong artists.
A set of gambelan can take about two months to make it ready. Visiting this village, we will be able to satisfy our curiosity by observing the making process of each instrument starting with the crude work. Krawang or bell metal, the hard bronze alloy of brass and copper mixture which produce the rigidity and the resonance is heated and shaped in the fireplace to form the specific musical objects. Then it comes to the true expertise when the pande will do their skill and knowledge inherited from their progenitor to synchronize the sound.
A series of gambelan instruments like gong, bonang, selonding, gende, semar pegulingan, gender puppet, and angklung come out from the hand of this pande. The gong itself is an integral part of Balinese culture and their enchanting spiritual activities which also reflect the highest value of life depicted in its round figure. It has a role as the unifier and balancer when played together with the complete set of gamelan instruments. In Balinese music performance, it is also played as the opening and closing of a musical arrangement.
In Tihingan, visitor will also be presented with gambelan performance and traditional dance in numerous local workshops, and they will also provide the privilege to play the instruments and join and learn some steps of this rich expression folk arts.
Nowadays, being developed with concept of tourism village Tihingan is further passing on its alluring rhythmic beat to worldwide audience. Balinese traditional music art enthusiasts from various parts of the world lead to this village to reserve their own set.
This artisan village is also blessed by astonishing natural attractions. Trekking through the rice fields, plantation of henna flowers and hidden waterfalls will delight our adventurous soul. Pura Dalem Silaparang temple, the long-established landmark has also riveting route leading to other temple Pura Ulun Suwi in Tihingan hamlet while enjoying the scenic surroundings.
There is also irrigation tunnel built at least in last five decades which stretched more than 2 km. Tempek Enjung the hall of the village to manage the subak, the world known irrigation system of Bali is also great point to stop by to broaden our knowledge. Visiting local market is also exciting where we can try to savor the tasty unique cuisine of this area pepes klengis, a dish made from the extract pulp of traditional coconut oil making then roasted inside the banana leaf rolls.
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