Light of the Moonstone: A History of Batubulan

Batubulan is a village located northeast of Bali’s capital, Denpasar, just about 8 (eight) kilometers (km) away. Bali itself is an island in Indonesia, most notably known for its forested volcanic mountains, rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. Strategically situated under the equator line, the tropical Island is sunny almost all year ‘round, making it the best site to visit anytime.

Governed under the area of Sukawati, Gianyar, Batubulan’s land stretches over 6.422 km and has a population of 21.443 people (2014, Projection by BPS). A place rich in history, the origins of the name ‘Batubulan’ goes way back to the time of Badung Kingdom in the 17th (Seventeenth) century.

Just east of Badung Kingdom, there reigned a King named I Gusti Ngurah Jambe Pule, whose adoptive son, Dewa Agung Kalesan was the founder of the village. The King granted the permission for Kalesan to build his very own castle in the middle of a forest and with the King’s blessing in hand, Kalesan and his hundreds of followers made their way to said forest.

Upon arriving at the forest’s border, he witnessed a stone that shines just like the moon, hence the name Batubulan, which literally translates to ‘moonstone’. With Batu meaning ‘stone’ and Bulan meaning ‘moon’. There, he built a castle and settled with his followers, broadening their area of power to Batuyang and Batuaji located east of Batubulan. His reign over the two areas outside of Batubulan could be proven by the discovery of family puras (temple), which Kalesan fondly built in each of his areas.

The ever so famous moonstone found by Dewa Agung Kalesan is now safely tucked at Pura Merajan Agung, Batubulan.

Present day Batubulan is a village known for its impeccable art of sculpture and jewelry making—silver in particular—along with its traditional dance performances. The village is divided into three desa adats (traditional villages), which are Tegaltamu, Jerok Kuta, and Dlod Tukat. Each desa adat is divided again into banjar (communities). Some responsible for agriculture, some become the provider of traditional dance performances.