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Other transcription(s)
 • Balinese ᬳᬸᬩᬸᬤ᭄
Monkey Forest Street in Ubud
Monkey Forest Street in Ubud
Ubud is located in Bali
Location in Bali
Coordinates: 8°30′24.75″S 115°15′44.49″E / 8.5068750°S 115.2623583°E / -8.5068750; 115.2623583Coordinates: 8°30′24.75″S 115°15′44.49″E / 8.5068750°S 115.2623583°E / -8.5068750; 115.2623583
Country Indonesia
Province Bali
Regency Gianyar
Time zone UTC+08
One of the halls of Ubud Palace
Royal funeral and cremation ceremony (2005)
The kings' tombs at Gunung Kawi temple

Ubud is a town on the Indonesian island of Bali in Ubud District, located amongst rice paddies and steep ravines in the central foothills of the Gianyar regency. Promoted as an arts and culture centre, it has developed a large tourism industry.[1]

Ubud has a population of about 30,000 people. It can be difficult for visitors to distinguish the town itself from the 13 villages that surround it.[2] The area surrounding the town is made up of small farms, rice paddies, and dense forest.


Market scene in Ubud, around 1912

Eighth-century legend tells of a Javanese priest, Rsi Markendya, who meditated at the confluence of two rivers (an auspicious site for Hindus) at the Ubud locality of Campuan. Here he founded the Gunung Lebah Temple on the valley floor, the site of which remains a pilgrim destination.[3]

The town was originally important as a source of medicinal herbs and plants; Ubud gets its name from the Balinese word ubad (medicine).[3]

In the late nineteenth century, Ubud became the seat of feudal lords who owed their allegiance to the king of Gianyar, at one time the most powerful of Bali's southern states. The lords were members of the Balinese Kshatriya caste of Sukawati, and were significant supporters of the village's increasingly renowned arts scene.[3]

Tourism on the island developed after the arrival of Walter Spies, an ethnic German born in Russia who taught painting and music, and dabbled in dance. Spies and foreign painters Willem Hofker and Rudolf Bonnet entertained celebrities including Charlie Chaplin, Noël Coward, Barbara Hutton, H.G. Wells and Vicki Baum. They brought in some of the greatest artists from all over Bali to teach and train the Balinese in arts, helping Ubud become the cultural centre of Bali.

A new burst of creative energy came in the 1960s after the arrival of Dutch painter Arie Smit (b. 1916) and the development of the Young Artists Movement.

The Bali tourist boom since the late 1960s has seen much development in the town; however, it remains a centre of artistic pursuit.[3]


The main street is Jalan Raya Ubud (Jalan Raya means main road), which runs east–west through the center of town. Two long roads, Jalan Monkey Forest and Jalan Hanoman, extend south from Jalan Raya Ubud.


Puri Saren Agung is a large palace located at the intersection of Monkey Forest and Raya Ubud roads. The residence of Tjokorda Gede Agung Sukawati (1910–1978), the last ruling monarch of Ubud, it is still owned by the royal family. Dance performances and ceremonies are held in its courtyard. The palace was also one of Ubud's first hotels, opening its doors back in the 1930s.

A number of Hindu temples exist, such as Pura Desa Ubud, which is the main temple, Pura Taman Saraswati, and Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal, the temple of death. The Gunung Kawi temple is the site of the royal tombs. Goa Gajah, also known as the Elephant Cave, is located in a steep valley just outside Ubud near the town of Bedulu.

The Moon of Pejeng, in nearby Pejeng, is the largest single-cast bronze kettle drum in the world, dating from circa 300BC. It is a popular destination for tourists interested in local culture.


The economy of Ubud is highly reliant on tourism which focuses on shopping, resorts, museums, and zoos. In contrast to the main tourist area in southern Bali, the Ubud area is less densely populated. A number of smaller boutique-style hotels such as the historic Tjampuhan Hotel are located in and around Ubud, where spa treatments, massage parlors, taxis, or treks up nearby mountains are commonly offered.


The town and area has a number of art museums, such as the Blanco Renaissance Museum, the Puri Lukisan Museum, Neka Art Museum, and the Agung Rai Museum of Art. The Museum Rudana in Peliatan is nearby.

The Tek Tok is a traditional Balinese dance that is accompanied by musical sound of mouth 'Tek Tok' altogether with various combinations of body movement and other sounds. The story Draupadi Parwa told in the Tek Tok Dance tells a moral message, when a woman who embodies the values of patience, sacrifice, compassion, devotion, and holy sincerity is disrespected, then disasters and calamities will befall a kingdom or state. This story also conveys the message that truth, virtue, devotion and genuine compassion will always be protected by God. The Tek Tok dance performance is held regularly at the Bali Culture Center (BCC) in Ubud four times a week. Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) is held every year, which is participated by writers and readers from all over the world.


The Mandala Suci Wenara Wana[4] is known to westerners as the Ubud Monkey Forest. The grounds contain an active temple and are located near the southern end of Jalan Monkey Forest road. This protected area houses the Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal, and as of June 2017, approximately 750 crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis) monkeys live there.[5] In 2016, an Australian man was bitten by a monkey during a visit to the Monkey Forest, exposing him to potential rabies and Hepatitis C.[6]

The Campuhan ridge walk is a hill in nearby Campuhan, from where one can see two rivers, Tukad Yeh Wos Kiwa and Tukad Yeh Wos Tengen, merge. A one meter wide paved-block track runs about two kilometers to the top of the hill.[7]


  1. ^ "Ubud, Bali". Sydney Morning Herald. 2005-03-02. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  2. ^ "World Gazetteer: Ubud". World Gazetteer. Archived from the original on January 5, 2013. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
  3. ^ a b c d Picard (1995)
  4. ^ "What you need to know before going to the Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali". Unofficial Guide Philippines. 2018-09-18. Retrieved 2018-09-03.
  5. ^ "Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud Sanctuary - Mandala Wisata Wenara Wana - Padangtegal Ubud Bali". Desa Adat Padangtegal. Archived from the original on 2009-04-15. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  6. ^ Cronshaw, Damon (2016-03-15). "NSW man faces rabies risk after monkey bites in Bali". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2018-09-03.
  7. ^ Tri Hatma Ningsih (August 27, 2014). "Yuk Mendaki Bukit Cinta".


  • Picard, Kunang Helmi (1995) Artifacts and Early Foreign Influences. From Oey, Eric (Editor) (1995). Bali. Singapore: Periplus Editions. pp. 130–133. ISBN 962-593-028-0.

External links

  • Ubud travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Weather station in Ubud for live, accurate weather conditions
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