Bali

Libraries & Museums

Explore the Cultural Heritage Bali has to offer

Here will will provide an insight into the vast Cultural Heritage scene that Bali holds, we will suggest a Library and a Museum or two that we feel are worth exploring while you are in North Bali. This guide is not intended to provide every detail and fact, but to give you the highlights so as to wet your appetite for exploring all the wonderful historical places Bali has to offer.

Gedong Kertya Library

Why is this Library at the top of our list?, because it is The Only One of its Kind in the World. The museum was established in 1928 during the Dutch Colonial era, the library is dedicated to the preservation of Lontar Scripts ('Lontar' derived from the Old Javanese words; ron = leaf, and tal = the rontal tree; meaning 'the leaf of the rontal tree). The tree is from the palm family and the leaves were used to write or rather enscribe on, it was a lengthy process to cut and dry the leaves, steam them and dry them again, clean again and press them flat, cut them and store them for up to six months before they were ready to be used / engraved.

Gedong Kertya Library and museum  Lontar Scripts Storage  Ancient Lontar Scripts

Above; 1) Gedong Kertya Museum / Library. 2) Lontar Script Storage. 3) Ancient Lontar Scripts.

The library holds thousands of these ancient scripts dating back hundreds of years, many subjects are covered in these scripts, such as; Holy Books, Religious Rules and Laws, Ethics, Astronomy and Astrology, Homeopathy and Healing, History and Geneology, Ramayana & Mahabherata Epics, Performing Arts and also some Ilustartions. The collection can be viewed by visitors, we were actualy permitted to hold one of these scripts when we made a visit. Amazing to hold something that is approximatly 600 years old. The Library is currently digitising and translating the whole collection.

The staff at the museum / library are extremely friendly and helpful.

There is a museum adjacent to the library, this is worthwile visiting, many old and very interesting Balinese artifacts are to be found inside. 

Entry to the museum is by way of donation, we suggest a decent donation as this goes toward the preservation of these artifacts, you can then visit the library for free after this. 

Gedong Kertya, Jl. Veteran, Singaraja.

Opening times : Monday to Thursday 07.30am to 3.30pm and Friday 7.00am to 12.30pm

See our Adventure Guide Location Map for museum / library location.


 

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