With its Gambuh dances, carried out during Full Moons, the Balinese temples with their intricate wood carvings, local craftsmanship and the artistic style born in the 1930s which evolved into the typical Batuan painting, this vil-lage in the heart of Bali is a kingdom of art and dance. This fascinating centre of art surrounded by rivers, temples wrapped by mazes of tiny streets and, on the main street, the pavilions that host dance performances, is a destination not to be missed by anybody visiting the island. Batuan is, above all, home to the painting style of the same name - one of the three categories that differentiate the forms of Balinese art - known for the use of somber colours, generally black and white, this painting in miniature with immense attention to detail, stylised vegetation and the use, in its figurative elements, of scenes of daily life. It is different from Ubud in this latter aspect for instance. Today, the artisans of Batuan are dancers, sculptors and painters who crowd their works with spectres, monsters and bizarre animals fluttering about a gloomy atmosphere. This very style originated right in this village, evolving in the ‘30s after a group of inhabitants began experimenting with ink paintings on black backgrounds, then moving on to tempera and acrylics.
Dating back to the XVII Century, the Temple of the Garden on the Water has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012 - lotus flowers, elegant architecture and an enchanting landscape recall the splendour of a vanished kingdom.