Bedugul is a cool tourist area at 1,200 meters above sea level that is very famous in Bali. The panoramic view of the mountains and lakes is the main dish, located in the middle of the island between Denpasar and Singaraja. It is in Tabanan Regency, about 55 kilometers north of the provincial capital or about 20 km south of Singaraja.
There, there are three clusters of crater lakes resulting from the eruption of Mount Lesung, an ancient volcano. Namely, Lake Beratan, Lake Buyan, and Lake Tamblingan are colored by the presence of dozens of temples or houses of worship of Balinese Hindus.
One of the most famous is Ulun Danu Temple in Beratan, a lake covering 159 square kilometers and the deepest point reaching 88 meters. Ulun Danu Temple with four temple complexes that have been established since the 17th century and a lake with dimensions of 75 km long and 25 km wide is in Candikuning Village, Baturiti District.
Citing data from the Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara Cultural Preservation Center, the four temple complexes within Ulun Danu Temple include Pura Lingga Petan, Pura Penataran Puncak Mangu, Pura Terate Bang, and finally Pura Dalem Purwa.
Still in the same village, there is also a tourist attraction that is no less interesting. The name of the tourist attraction is Eka Karya Botanical Garden or known as the Bali Botanical Garden which is managed by the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN).
This is the first botanical garden founded by the sons of Indonesia, namely Kusnoto Setyodiwiryo, as Director of the Nature Research Center Institute, together with I Made Taman, Head of the Nature Preservation and Preservation Institute. Established on July 15, 1959, Eka Karya Botanical Garden initially covered only 50 hectares, but has grown to 157.5 ha since the beginning of the 21st century, making it the largest botanical garden in the country.
Since its establishment, Eka Karya Botanical Garden has functioned as an ex-situ conservation center for tropical mountain plants typical of eastern Indonesia, especially needle-leaved plants or Gymnosperms. Many early collections were imported from the Bogor Botanical Garden and Cibodas Botanical Garden in West Java such as Araucaria bidwillii, Cupresus sempervirens and Pinus masoniana.
Other species that are native to the Bedugul area include Podocarpus imbricatus and Casuarina junghuhniana. Eka Karya Botanical Garden also collects several types of plants such as orchids, ferns, begonias, cacti, and plants used for Balinese Hindu ceremonies.
As quoted from the Bali Botanical Garden website, the oldest plant collection in this botanical garden comes from the Ficus genus and is more than 100 years old and can be found in Rasamala Forest, one of the thematic areas of the Bali Botanical Garden. The thematic areas include the 1,600 square meter Usada Park which contains around 300 types of medicinal plants from various districts on the Island of the Gods.
Next is Taman Surya Nirwana on the east side of the Bali Botanical Garden with panoramic views of Lake Beratan and Pengelengan Hill and an amphitheater concept, usually used for performances or open stages. There is also the Rhododendron Garden, named after a type of exotic flower, smelling fragrant and brightly colored. The collection is 20 species and 155 specimens from Java, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, Papua, around Bali, although there are also crosses from Taiwan, Germany, the United States, and Japan.
The ferns have also created a special area called Cyathea Park on 2 ha of land, the most extensive among other thematic areas. There are more than 80 species of Cyathea including the tree ferns Cyathea contaminans and Cyathea latebrosa in addition to the kidang fern (Dicksonia blumei) from Pohen Hill, Tabanan.
The Bamboo Garden contains 58 local Indonesian bamboo species and six endemic Balinese bamboos, along with the Lotus Garden which contains a six-tiered pond. The Panca Yadnya Garden contains 580 plants from 42 tribes, 81 genera, and 130 plant species. Plant species that make up the collection include the dadap tree, betel nut, banana, and vegetable ferns.
Meanwhile, cacti and begonias have been given a special place with a greenhouse theme. In a 500 m2 greenhouse, the Bali Botanical Garden maintains 68 species of cactus (Cactaceae). Cacti are plants that commonly grow in hot desert areas. With leaves that have been modified into spines, cacti can live in dry areas.
But cactus is also able to grow and thrive in cold highland areas such as the Bali Botanical Garden. Some of them are even taller than 5 meters. The cactus collection in this special greenhouse also comes from Mexico, Germany and Argentina. These include Echinocactus grusonii, Cephalocereus senilis, Mammillaria durispina, Espostoa lanata, Opuntia sp. and Cleistocactus micropetalum.
The greenhouse is dominated by Begonia rex, which has a variety of beautiful colored leaves such as silver, green, red, or variations of these shades. There are around 213 types of begonias growing in Indonesia out of around 1,700 types in the world. In addition to begonias that grow in nature, the Bali Botanical Garden collection also consists of a hybrid begonia named Begonia tuti siregar and several others. There are more than 920 specimens of 94 types of this plant collection that have developed in the Bali Botanical Garden’s special begonia greenhouse.
The Bali Botanical Garden also features six large statues on Ramayana Boulevard with Pengelengan Hill in the background and is one of the favorite locations for visitors to take pictures. The botanical garden is open every day and the visiting time is Monday to Friday at 8:00 WITA and closes at 16:00 WITA. While on weekends and national holidays it operates from 8:00 WITA and closes at 17:00 WITA by paying an entrance ticket of IDR 30,000 per person as quoted from the website www.tiketkebunraya.id.
Every year the Bali Botanical Garden is visited by around 700 thousand people. To get to Bali Botanical Garden can be reached by road trip for 1.5 hours from the capital city of Denpasar, or if from Singaraja it can be reached in about 45 minutes. It is recommended to bring or rent a motorcycle, car, or bus for groups because there is no public transportation that passes through the Bali Botanical Garden.
Don’t forget to stop by one of the attractions that complement the charm of Bedugul if you are visiting the Island of the Gods. Happy vacation! (Indonesia.go.id)