Like the more famous and more crowded Tirta Gangga Water Palace, this royal palace in eastern Bali is a memorable reminder of the power that the kings of Karangasem once possessed when they controlled most of the island of Lombok. Interesting parts to see from Puri Agung Karangasem include multi-storey entry gates, good photo taking, and quiet fish ponds. The royal family still uses this castle as a place to live.
After tourists reach the quiet city of Amlapura, Puri Agung Karangasem is easy to reach independently. There is a small ticket fee and the staff provides English language information sheets. If tourists are very lucky, a member of the royal family can help in showing and explaining objects in the castle. Travelers may get more experience if they come with a guide who can provide transportation, cultural explanations and information about history more fully.
Puri Agung Karangasem is an excellent choice for fans of Balinese culture, history and architecture. While currently East Bali is one of the poorest parts of Bali, Karangasem is one of the most powerful of all kingdoms in Bali in the past. It is possible to stay at Puri Agung Karangasem because some rooms are available as for rent.
The main building of the palace is known as Maskerdam, an adaptation
of the word Amsterdam, because it was a gift from Dutch colonial forces.
Located in Amlapura, not far from the main road to the east coast of Bali, Puri Agung Karangasem is quite easy to reach by rental car and driver. Public buses as local transportation equipment operate from Batubulan and Singaraja. The Perama Tourism Bus operates shuttle buses from popular tourist destinations including Amed, Ubud, and southern Bali to Tirta Gangga, which is located about 7 kilometers north of Puri Agung Karangasem.
Puri Agung Karangasem is open from morning to evening every day and can be visited throughout the year, so there is no bad time to visit. If visiting during the rainy season in Bali, which is around October to March, consider coming in the morning for a slightly better opportunity to avoid rain.
The last king of the Karangasem Kingdom, Gusti Bagus Djelantik ruled with the title of Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem until 1966. Besides having a dozen wives, he was a builder who expressed the results of abstract contemplation in architectural form. He built two water palaces: the Tirta Gangga Water Park and the Ujung Water Park which were destroyed by the eruption of Mount Agung.