The day begins with the beating of drums in Tenganan, the village hidden among the hills where, since the VIII Century, the most authentic Balinese traditions are rigorously maintained. The inhabitants regard themselves as descendants of the island’s original population - they have never accepted the Hindu caste system, believing in the spirits of nature and practicing ancient rites. One example is makare-kare, a fight with thorny leaves gathered from the pandanus, a plant in the rainforest, carried out by the men for various holidays. Also typical are the sacred clothes known as the “double ikat”, made by hand and hand-dyed as well, capable, according to tradition, of healing and protecting whoever wears them. In Tenganan, there are no inequalities between men and women who have the same rights and obligations. However, life in the village is not for everyone - citizenship is reserved to those who are born there and it can be lost immediately just by marrying a foreigner. Beyond the entry gate, typical architecture distinguishes Tenganan from all other Balinese villages. The houses with their narrow doors are all built around a single courtyard along with the Drum Tower and the Ceremonial Pavilion. At the northern-most point is the village temple, the Pura Puseh.
Following the eruption of Monte Batur in 1926, an entire village and the adjoining temple were totally submerged in lava. However, the main sanctuary remained and the temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012, was rebuilt quickly in a safer location.