village at the
crossroads beyond Pejeng was once the center of early Balinese
dynasties. In the 14th century, the armies of the Majapahit dynasty in
Java threatened many parts of the archipelago. One ruler refused to
submit: Dalem Bedaulu or Raja Tapolung (Fall from Meditation), the last
king of the Pejeng dynasty, a man reputed to be endowed with
supernatural powers. Boastful of his awesome powers, he was punished by
to one version
of the legend, Bedulu at his own command would have his head cut off by
a servant and then replaced, without causing him harm. One day,
however, the king's head accidentally fell into a river and was carried
away by the torrent. The desperate servant hastily decapitated " ti pig
and thrust its head onto the shoulders of the king.
after, the king
dwelt on a high throne and forbade his subjects to raise their eyes in
his presence. Alas for all secrets in Bali, the sharp eyes of a passing
child espied him. The word was spread throughout the land of "Bedulu",
versions of the
story it is the Majapahit prime minister Gajah Mada who discovered that
the king had a pig's head. Granted an audience, he asked to eat boiled
ferns and drink from a spouted water pot. But to eat and drink he had
to raise his head, thus discovering Bedulu's bestial appearance.
Scholars have a more prosaic theory for the origin of the name:
formerly the name may have been Badahulu, or "(the village) up-stream".
Bedulu was the
last monarch of the Pejeng dynasty which fell in 1343 to Gajah Mada's
forces from Java. Shortly thereafter a new ruling dynasty which owed
allegiance to Majapahit was established at Samprangan, just east of
Gianyar. A century later the capital was moved to Gelgel near
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