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Bedulu Village

The 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 the gods.

According 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.

Ever 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", "He-Who-Changed-Heads".

In other 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".

Dalem 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 Klungkung.

 

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