History of Ubud

The Ubud Area from the Bronze Age to the Information Age

Culture and Religion
Megalithic Monuments and Wandering Mystics
The "Golden Age" of the Majapahit Kingdoms
Competing Rajadoms Rise and Fall Rise Again

Ubud as a Darling of the Dutch Colonists
Yet Another Era of Battle, International and Internal
The World Sends Its Curious to Call
Prognosis for Paradise
Culture & Religion
News & Gossip
by The Ubud Team
At the end of the l9th Century, the Dutch began to involve themselves in Balinese internal affairs, fuelling conflicts among rival kingdoms, which collectively were referred to as "The Wars of the Rajas." The raja of the kingdom of Gianyar, and associated feudal lords, including the Sukawatis who established the royal palace of Ubud, capitulated to the Dutch and benefited by their protection. To escape prevailing turmoil elsewhere, artists, musicians and literati took refuge in Ubud, and were welcomed by eager patronage from the palace and the Dutch colonial administrators who stood behind and beside it

During the latter part of the l9th Century and the first decade of this one, Bali's kingdoms fell one by one to the Dutch, following bloody battles, and in some cases, ritual masssuicides called puputan (meaning"finishing"). The Gianyar region was spared from large-scale tragedy, which in part accounts for its cultural wealth and consistent prosperity, not to mention the survival of its royal bloodlines.

Under Dutch colonial controleurs, Ubud was favored as a co-operative and exemplary Balinese community, and the palace was given relative autonomy to preserve and develop traditional arts and culture with the encouragement of its colonial overseers. During the 20s and 30s, Ubud was heralded as a cultural hotspot, and became a chic destination for adventurous foreign writers, anthropologists, artists and other creative spirits and culture vultures. Tjokorda Gede Agung Sukawati opened the main palace of Ubud to foreigners by creating within its walls, Ubud's first hotel (still in operation under the management of Tjokorda Putra, a son of the last king).

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