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Ubud Royalty: Then VS. Now

in Blog
June 12, 2021
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Do You Know that Ubud Royalty Still Exists?

Even though Indonesia has become a republic with a presidential system, some areas still retain an exceptional monarchy system. One of the most popular ones is Yogyakarta Sultanate. For your information, Bali also has the Ubud Royalty.

A Brief History of Ubud Kingdom

The history is traced back to the beginning of the 15th century when the Majapahit Kingdom collapsed. It resulted in a massive migration of the nobles from Java to Bali. Then, they built the Gelgel Kingdom in Klunkung, the southeastern part of Bali.

After that, the King of Gelgel expanded his power across Bali and built small royal palaces. One of which was the Sukawati royal palace, located in Ubud. At that time, Sukawati King also shared the authority to his brothers, Tjokorde Ngurah Tabanan and Tjokorde Tangkeban.

During the Dutch colonial in the 19th century, there was a massive battle named Puputan. It was because the Dutch interfered with the kingdoms’ political affairs.

The Recent Situation

In this current era, Ubud Kingdom does not take much authority for the area as it becomes one of the subdistricts of the Gianyar regency. The palace is now under the rule of Prince Tjokorda Raka, the head of Bali’s royal family.

The Royal Family and Palace Also Become More Open to Commoners

Some of the royals even marry foreigners or Indonesian people outside Bali. For example, Prince Tjokorda Raka married an Australian teacher, Asri or formerly named Jane Gillespie. Then, his son, Prince Tjok Gus or known as Max married an Indonesian celebrity, Happy Salma.

Ubud Also Becomes One of the go-to Places for International Tourism

That openness of Ubud Royalty all thanks to the former king, Tjokorda Gde Agung Sukawati. He was a visioner king that combined the essence of Balinese culture and modern knowledge. The late King also gave chances to foreign researchers and artists, like Bonnet and Walter Spies, to study together.

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