Kerta Gosa

Welcome to Kerta Gosa at Klungkung Semarapura Bali which is one of the famous tourism destinations in Bali and many visited by tourist every day. Kertha Gosa is located in the heart of Semarapura town and it is name is taken away from a Sanskrit namely Kertha which is meaning Peaceful and Gosa from the Gosita word mean announcement. Thereby, the word's meaning of Kertha Gosa is a building of a kind Jurisdiction in form of Bale for the king who announces the legislation, jurisdiction, penalization etc.

The building is very unique and full of high art value so that this place is a unique place to visit in Bali. This place also owns Taman Gili, a building floating or sees like floating because it is intentionally founded in the middle of a fish pond. The decorative painting at the roof of Kertha Gosa building is painted with the story motif.


The painting is started from Panil at eastside with the plot rotate according to Pradaksina direction and finish at Panil north side. Kertha Gosa is founded in 18 century with unique building like the plafond come from asbestos which is dotted with the famous style of Kamasan painting in the year 1930. During Dutch colonization (1908-1942), Kertha Gosa remains to be wearied as a justice place for lawbreaker, especially criminal. Along with colonial governance, the punish system in Indonesia has changed from system of death duties Majapahit (traditional) become the continental punish system which is brought by Dutch. The evacuation system is non aim to as retaliation, but improve the perpetrator so that acceptable to its society. The painting decorating on the conference hall's plafond is aim to awake all trespassers in order not to repeat the badness.

The style of the paintings is Kamasan (wayang) and has a 2-dimensional puppet-like appearance, as it takes its form from the wayang-kulit shadow puppets. The humid atmosphere and lack of close attention mean these precious pieces will not be with us for long. Originally the paintings were on canvas, but in the course of restoration work in 1960 they were transferred to fibrous cement sheets. More restoration was done 15 years ago but the painting area again falling into disrepair as they are open to the elements. The other bale structures have some decoration and the museum is set back from the road, featuring early farming tools, paintings, models, kris (traditional knives) and other items including a Barong, the lion dance costume.


Other building is called Bale Kambang and this building looked to be impressing float on the fishpond water. There is a museum which is called Semarajaya located on the right external of Kori Agung yard. This Museum is set in a building which is ex- Dutch High School and its physical form is solidarity from Dutch style era architecture with the Balinese traditional architecture. In this museum we can see the ancient object, history object inclusive photos of documentation from Klungkung King Family and clan.



As the seat of the Dewa Agung, nominally the highest of the old Balinese Rajas, Klungkung holds a special place in the island’s history and culture. As artistic centers, the palaces of Klungkung’s rajas  and noblemen patronize and developed the styles of music, drama and the fine arts that flourish today.

The capital was shifted to Klungkung from nearby Gelgel in 1710, and a new palace built. Probably towards the end of that century the original Kerta Gosa,  Hall of Justice, was erected. An exquisite example of the Klungkung style of painting and architecture, the present justice hall at the town’s main intersection is beautifully laid out within its moat. Cases were brought here only if they could not be settled among families or individual villages, as the Kerta Gosa was the island’s highest court of justice and by far the strictest.

The paintings here depict the story of Bima Swarga (Bima in heaven). One of the great Pandawa heroes, Bima went looking for his parent in heaven and in hell. The Balinese strongly believe in karma phala, whereby one is punished or rewarded for one’s actions, either in this lifetime or a subsequent one, as the Balinese believe in reincarnation. Therefore, if one was a miserly king in one lifetime, for example, then he might be a pauper in the next one so that he would learn about the gift of material wealth. These paintings show the good and bad consequences of our deeds.

Two km (about a mile) south, between Klungkung and Gelgel, lies the village of Kamasan, the present day center of the kamasan style, which draws its main themes from Old Javanese literary classics; the figures look like the wayang puppets.

In 1973, Nyoman Mandra started a painting school where young artists imitate the master’s stroke. Mangku Mura is still alive and lives in Br. Siku; another of the fine exponents of this style is Ketut Rabeg in Br. Sangging. Kamasan is also a famous center of gold and silversmithing. In the shop of Klungkung, one can but modern and antique Klungkung-style paintings, carvings, silverwork, silks as well as antiques.