Article: The Bale Agung Temple in the village of Julah, North Bali. A unique ancient village with a unique history told by Ketut Sideman, caretaker of the temple. The village of Julah must be one of the oldest villages in Norh Bali. It is located at 29 kilometers east of the former capital of Bali, the city of Singaraja. Its history goes back more then 1000 years. For this reason the village has been the object of research by numerous scholars from Indonesian and foreign countries over the years. A very good way to get an insight into the history of this unique village is to study the history of its main temple. The Bale Agung Temple of Julah at one stage had twenty plagues of bronze inscriptions which were telling the history of a period stretching over 6 kingdoms, from the period of king Ugrasena until king Jaya Pangus. Ketut Sideman, caretaker of the temple tells the story. “We know this is an old village because of the archeological findings. The Bale Agung temple is an old temple which was built end of the 9th century or early 10th century. We know this because of the original Cakra symbols still remaining on the wooden door in the temple. At a certain time this village was called Cakra Sari village. This temple was built on the advice of a community leader called Kumpi Gowinda during the kingdom of Sang Ratu Sri Ugrasena who is a descendant of Warmadewa.
The temple has three parts; the Purian, the Jaba tengah and the Jaba. In the Purian which is the divided into two parts again, were altogether eighteen shrines and the Jaba Tengah houses four sacred buildings. There are no sacred buildings in the outermost part of the temple since this is the place that is usually used for making preparations for ceremonies. From the descriptions we learned that Jumlah village at a very ancient time was called Cutak village. Archeological findings strengthen this. Ceramics found at the site could be traced back to a site in India where ceramics were produced and where the name Cutak was found as well. Around the beginning of the tenth century the village was renamed Cakra Sari village. We can interpretate this as follows; the word cakra means exchange and the word sari means results. Cakra Sari could stand for ‘meaningful exchange’, which is then the exchange that took place at that time and which had a meaningful result, the result of the trade, crops or culture that took place between the two places.
The descriptions found in the temple deal with many administrational issues. To go back to the origine of the name of the village; in the seventh century the village suffered enormously from disasters like robberies from pirates. Most inhabitants fled the village and moved to higher ground to escape the robberies and protect their families and cattle. This displacement of Cakra Sari village, as it was called at that time lead to the renaming of the village again, and this time it was called Ijulah village. Ijulah has got two words, Iju which means’fast’ and Ulah which means ‘to leave out of necessity’. Hence the birth of the new modern name of the village as it is still going by today; Julah. The temple is more then worth a visit. On the temple area there is an impressive Banyan tree which is made up of four trees of a very large size. The trees are believed to be of the same age as the temple. The have fallen over the years, but new trees keep growing back on the spot of the old one’s. The trees have a very special relationship with the temple and the village. It is widely believed that if one day the leaves of the tree will start falling unnatural disaster will struck.