Just outside of Ubud within the Gianyar Distric lies an even smaller sub district with the poetic name Blahbatuh, where, watched over by the peak of the holy mountain Mount Agung, a giant’s head rests inside the temple Pura Gaduh. The big stone head, sometimes even mistaken for a giant baby, is actually the portrait of Kebo Iwa, a legendary minister to the last king of the Bedahulu Kingdom. Apparently, Kebo Iwa was quite fond of food and ate so much that first his parents went bankrupt trying to provide for him, and afterwards, even the whole combined effort of his village didn’t manage to feed him. Still, in thanks, he helped built wells and damns and protected the villagers from conquerors. In short, he was a hero – until the invading troops from Majapahit Empire had him buried alive. The temple is a reconstruction of a former shrine, which was destroyed in an earthquake in 1917.
In Blahbatuh you can also find the temple Pura Kutri with a beautiful statue depicting Durga, the six-armed goddess of death and destruction killing a demonic water buffalo and if that doesn’t already sound exciting enough for you, the region is also known for the great views over the many rice paddies as well as the Tegenungan waterfall, which can be reached from Kemenuh village. There is also a royal palace from the 16th century, where the king used to grow and keep his orchids and while the flowers are no more, the place is still worth a visit.
Blahbatuh is located about 8 kilometers outside of Ubud, where most public busses going in that direction make a stop. From there, it’s easy to take a taxi or scooter to Blahbatuh.