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Bali History

The end of prehistoric period in Indonesia was marked by the arrival of the Hindu people who brought influences in that time. The first centuries AD until the year of 1500, (i.e. with the fall of Majapahit kingdom) constituted the Hindu influence period. With the coming of Indian influences, the Indonesian prehistoric period was ended because there was written information about the existence of the Indonesian people.
Based on the information found on an 8th century AD inscription, it could be said that the Ancient Balinese historical period covered the time between the 8th and the 14th century AD when the Majapahit's Gajah Mada expedition invaded and defeated Bali.

The name Balidwipa is not a new name, it has existed since time immemorial. This has been discovered from various inscriptions. Among others the Blanjong charter which was issued by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 913 AD which mentioned the word Walidwipa. Similar evidence was from King Jayapangus charters, such as Buwahan D inscription and Cempaga A inscription of 1181 AD.

Bali's historical period is divided into three phases. i.e. 882-1343 period, 1343-1846 period and 1846-1949 period.

882-1343 Period
A. During that period, Bali was governed by the following kings :

Singhamandawa Dynasty
Warmadewa Dynasty
a. King Sri Kesari Warmadewa
b. Queen Sri Ugrasena
c. King Candrabhaya Singa Warmadewa
d. King Dharma Udayana Warmadewa
e. King Marakata
f. King Anak Wungsu
g. Sri Maharaja Sri Walaprabu
h. Sri Maharaja Sri Sakalendukirana
i. Sri Suradhipa
j. Sri Jaya Sakti
k. King Jayapangus
l. King Sri Astasura Ratna Bumi Banten

B. System of Government.
Among the Balinese kings who left a lot of written information which described the structure of government at the time were Udayana, Jayapangus, Jayasakti and Anak Wungsu.

In running the government, the king was assisted by a Central Advisory Board. In the oldest charter 882 AD ? 914 AD, the board was called panglapuan. Since Udayana's time, the Board was called pakiran-kiran i jro makabaihan. The Board members comprised several commanders senapatis and Siwa and Buddhist priests.

1343 ? 1846 Period
This period started with the coming of Gajah Mada's expedition in 1343. The details of this period are as follows:

1. The coming of Gajah Mada's Expedition.
Gajah Mada's expedition to Bali was done when the Bedahulu kingdom under King Astasura Ratna Bumi Banten and Patih Kebo Iwo governed Bali. After killing Kebo Iwo, Gajah Mada and The Comander Arya Damar led the expedition and the troop of Aryan people assisted them. The attack resulted in a battle between Gajah Mada's forces and the army of the Bedahulu kingdom which was led by Pasungripis. The king of Bedahulu and his son were killed in the battle. After Pasungripis surrendered, there was a vacancy of the government in Bali. For this reason, Majapahit appointed Sri Kresna Kepakisan to lead the government in Bali under the consideration of the existence of a blood relation between he and the people of Bali Aga.

2. Samprangan Period.
Arriving at Bali, Sri Kresna Kepakisan chose Samprangan as the center of the government. This event began ? in Balinese history ? the Samprangan period. The kings, during the Samprangan period, were Dalem Sri Kresna Kepakisan (1350 ? 1380) and Raden Agra Samprangan (1380). Raden Agra Samprangan was the eldest son of dalem Sri Kresna Kepakisan.

3. Gelgel Period.
Due to the failure of Raden Agra Samprangan to properly rule of the kingdom, Dalem Ketut Ngulesir, who moved the center of government to Gelgel, replaced him. This was the beginning of the Gelgel period and King Dalem Ketut Ngulesir was the first regent. The second King was Dalem Watu Renggong (1460-1550) who took the throne and inherited a stable kingdom. Therefore, he was able to develop his ability and integrity to bring prosperity to Gelgel kingdom. Under the reign of Watu Renggong, Bali (Gelgel) achieved its highest point.

When Dalem Watu Renggong died, he was replaced by Dalem Bekung (1550-1580). Meanwhile, the last king of Gelgel period was Dalem Di made (1605-1686).

4. Klungkung Kingdom Period.
The Klungkung Kingdom was actually the continuation of Gelgel dynasty. The rebellion of I Gusti Agung Maruti resulted in the wrecking of the Gelgel kingdom. This occurred after the son of Dalem Di Made grew up and be able to defeat I Gusti Agung Maruti and Gelgel palace was not restored. Gusti Agung Jambe as the son who had the right to the throne, was unwilling to reign in Gelgel, on the other hand he chose a new place as the center of government, i.e. his former hiding place, Semarapura. As the result of it, Dewa Agung Jambe (1710-1715) became the first Klungkung king. The second king was Dewa Agung Di Made I, while the last Klungkung king was Dewa Agung Di Made II. During this Klungkung period, the kingdom was divided into small kingdoms. These small kingdoms then became autonomies (numbering eight) which during the time of independence were known as regencies.

1846--1949 Period

1. Fight Against the Dutch
That era constituted with the period of fighting against the Dutch in Bali. Those years were marked by the out break of various wars in Bali. The wars could be described as follows:
Buleleng (1846)
Jagaraga (1848-1849)
Kusamba (1849)
Banjar (1868)
Puputan Badung (1906)
Puputan Klungkung (1908).

When the Dutch won all the battles and the Klungkung kingdom fell down into their hands, this meant that Bali as a whole was under the foreign influence.

2. Dutch Colonization Period.
When Buleleng fell down into the Dutch's hands, the Dutch government began to intervene in the management of government in Bali. This was done by changing the name of the king as regional head to regent for Buleleng and Jembrana areas and placing P.L. Van Bloemen Waanders as the first controleur in Bali.

The government in Bali remained ingrained in the traditional structure, i.e. continuing to activate customary leadership in running the government in the regions. For Bali, the position of the king constituted the highest holder of power which during the period of colonial government was accompanied by a controleur. In the matter of responsibility, the king reported directly to the Resident of Bali and Lombok which domiciled in Singaraja, while for South Bali, the kings reported to the Assistant Resident that domiciled in Denpasar.

In order to meet the need for the administrative personnel, the Dutch government opened the first elementary school in Singaraja (1875) which was known as the Tweede Klasse School. Then, in 1913, a school that was called Erste Inlandsche School was also opened. Then, it was followed by the opening of a Dutch school named Hollandsche Inlandsche School (HIS) where students mostly came from the aristocratic and the wealthy families.

The Birth of the Movement Organization
As the result of educational influences, students and some people who had jobs in Singaraja initiated the founding of an organization called Suita Gama Tirta with the purpose of educating Balinese people in science through religious teachings. Unfortunately this organization did not last long. Then several teachers who were still hungering for religious education, founded an organization which was named Shanti in 1923. This organization published a magazine called Shanti Adnyana which was later changed to Bali Adnyana.

In 1925, an organization named Suryakanta was also founded in Singaraja and published a magazine called Suryakanta. Like the Shanti organization, Suryakanta also expected that Balinese people would make progress in science and eliminate traditions which were no longer suited to the progress of the times.

In the meantime, in Karangasem, an organization which was called Satya Samudaya Buadana Bali Lombok was founded with whose members were civil servants and the public. Their purposes were to raise and save money for study fund.

3. Japanese Occupation Period
After going through several battles, the Japanese army landed on Sanur Beach on 18 and 19 February 1942. From Sanur, the Japanese army entered Denpasar without encountering any resistance whatsoever. Then, from Denpasar Japan controlled Bali entirely. At first, the party that established Japanese power in Bali was the Japanese Army (Rikugun). Later, when the situation was in a stable time, the power of government was handed over to a civilian government.
During the Japanese occupation, since the situation was in a conflict, all activity was focused on the war effort. Young people were trained to become Country Defending soldiers (Tentara Pembela Tanah Air ? PETA). For Bali, PETA was established in 1944 where programs and conditions of education were formed after PETA in Java.

4. Independence
Following the Proclamation of Independence, on 23 August 1945, Mr. I Gusti Ketut Puja arrived in Bali by bringing the mandate of his appointment as Governor of Sunda Kecil. It happened since his arrival in Bali that the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence in Bali was spread throughout the villages. It was the time that preparations for the arrangement of government in Bali were made as the Sunda Kecil with Singaraja as its capital.

The first attempt to remove weapons from Japanese hands was carried out on 13 December 1945. However, the effort failed. For this reason, it was decided to seek assistance and weapons in Java. This was carried on by I Gusti Ngurah Rai and his people. After Ngurah Rai returned from Java, the entire struggle in Bali was merged into one principal force "Dewan Perjuangan Rakyat Indonesia Sunda Kecil" under the command of Komando Markas Besar Oemoem (MBO).

Since the landing of NICA in Bali, Bali had always been in a fighting arena. In the battle, the Indonesian forces used the guerilla system. Therefore, MBO as the mother force was always on the move. In order to strengthen the defense in Bali, Indonesian Navy assistance was sent from Java which later joined forces with those in Bali. Because of the frequent battles, the Dutch sent a letter to Rai to negotiate, but Balinese fighters refused and continued to strengthen their defense by involving the people.

To facilitate contact with Java, Rai applied the strategy for removing the Dutch attention to eastern Bali. On 28 May 1946, Rai sent his force to the east then it was known as "a Long March". During this "Long March", the guerilla force was often ambushed by the Dutch power so that battles frequently occurred. The battle that brought victory to the winners was the Tanah Arun battle, i.e. a battle that broke in a small village at the foot of Agung Mountain, Karangasem Regency. During the Tanah Arun battle which broke on 9 July 1946, many Dutch soldiers were killed.

After the battle, Ngurah Rai's force moved to the west and they arrived in Marga Village (Tabanan). In order to save the energy because of limited weapons, some members of the force were ordered to fight with people altogether.


When MBO staffs were in Marga, Ngurah Rai ordered his force to take NICA police weapons in Tabanan. The order was carried out on 18 November 1946 (at night) and they made it finally. Several weapons and ammunition as well were taken and then a Nica police commandant joined with Ngurah Rai's forces. After that, the force returned to Marga Village.

On 20 November 1946, by starting the violence at dawn, the Dutch force began to encircle Marga Village. The battle between Nica force and Ngurah Rai's had occured for 10.00 hours. In the war, many members of the Dutch advanced force were killed. Therefore, the Dutch immediately asked for some helps from all of its forces in Bali and also the bombers which were sent from Makasar. In the serious battle which involved all members of Ngurah Rai force, were determined not to leave the war until the last drop of blood. It was here that Ngurah Rai force held Puputan so that all 96 members of the force were killed, including Rai himself.

On the other hand, about 400 members of the Dutch force were killed. To commemorate the event, a Hero Monument was constructed on the former battle ground.


The Denpasar Conference took place in Bali Hotel on 18-24 December 1946. The conference was opened by Van Mook with the purpose of forming the Eastern Indonesia State (NIT) with the capital of Makasar (Ujung Pandang).

With the formation of the Eastern Indonesia State, the structure of government in Bali was re-established during the periods of the kings. The such government was held by the king who was assisted by patih, punggawa, perbekel and also the lowest government which was called the kelian. Besides that, there was a council with the position that the king was one step behind it and it was called as the council of kings.


The first military aggression against the Indonesian government forces was carried out by the Dutch on 21 July 1947. The Dutch again did the second aggression on 18 December 1948. During the second aggression, continually efforts were being focused on Bali with the purpose of establishing the more effective guerilla fighting movements. In connection with this, in July 1948, a fighting organization called Gerakan Rakyat Indonesia Merdeka (GRIM) was formed. Then, on 27 November 1949 GRIM merged with the other fighting organizations called Lanjutan Perjuangan. Then the name was changed again into "Pemerintah Darurat Republik Indonesia (PDRI) Sunda Kecil.

During the RIS (Republik Indonesia Serikat) period, the East Indonesia Military Commission tried to settle the problem of freedom fighters in Bali, especially those who remained in the mountains. The commission tried to call the members of DPRI who remained in the mountains to be included in an army force called Arjuna (15 January 1950). On the other hand, KNIL (Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger) was turned into the Army of the Republik Indonesia Serikat since June 1950. Meanwhile, the Round Table Conference (KMB) which was based on the agreement between Indonesian-Dutch Union was started at the end of August 1949. Finally, on 27 December 1949 the Dutch recognized RIS sovereignty. Then, on 17 August 1950, RIS was changed into the Republic of Indonesia.

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