Tampak Siring Presidential Palace

Where To Go | Written By, NOW! BALI |

Tampak Siring is a village in Gianyar Regency which is located between the historical village of Pejeng and the famous hill station of Kintamani. The name of the village is derived from the story of an egomaniac King called Mayadenawa who considered himself a God. His behaviour made the Lord Indra so furious that he sent an army to destroy the king.  Fleeing to the forest, Mayadenawa deliberately distorted his footprints so that the army didn’t recognize his footprints as human. Hence the name Tampak Siring, where Tampak means “footprint” and Siring means “oblique”.

Text & Photos by Kartika D. Suardana

Tampak Siring is a village in Gianyar Regency which is located between the historical village of Pejeng and the famous hill station of Kintamani. The name of the village is derived from the story of an egomaniac King called Mayadenawa who considered himself a God. His behaviour made the Lord Indra so furious that he sent an army to destroy the king.  Fleeing to the forest, Mayadenawa deliberately distorted his footprints so that the army didn’t recognize his footprints as human. Hence the name Tampak Siring, where Tampak means “footprint” and Siring means “oblique”.

One of the highlights of the area is the Presidential Palace, an establishment which was initiated by Indonesia’s first president, Soekarno. Designed by R.M Sudarsono, the construction of the palace began in 1957 and finished in 1960. The palace, which was built in several stages, started with two sections, Wisma Merdeka and Wisma Yudhistira. The entire palace was finally completed in 1963, however some refurbishment was carried out in 2003 due to the Summit ASEAN XIV held in Bali.

I was at Tirta Empul Palace recently admiring the palace building nestled on a higher landscape than the temple. The bridge connects one section of the palace to another section looking beautifully symmetrical. The simple palace is surrounded by lush green grass, it looks more like family resort than a palace. Feeling intrigued, I decided to take a look at the palace.

Unfortunately, there are strict regulations for visitors to the palace. Firstly, potential guests must send a letter to the Presidential Office in Tampak Siring proposing a visit to the palace. Only once permission is granted are tourists allowed to enter. A dress code is also applied by the Presidential Office, so be sure to wear formal attire, including proper shoes and collared shirts for men. Since I hadn’t sent any letter and I was only wearing shorts, I couldn’t enter the presidential palace. However the guard was very hospitable and informative.

From outside the main gate I could see an enormous lush green yard where dozens of deer were roaming around and relaxing under the trees. I wondered what was inside the compound where some important international heads have stayed, such as King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, the President Ne Win of Burma (now Myanmar), President Tito of Yugoslavia, President Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam, Prime Minister Nehru of India, Prime Minister Khruchev of the Soviet Union, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, and the Emperor of Japan Hirihito.!

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