In 1948 my grandfather built a watergarden complex which he gave the name Tirtagangga.

The religious function of the spring, the cool climate and the scenic beauty of the surrounding hills inspired him to build recreational watergardens for himself and his people. Making watergardens of all sorts had always been his hobby. He not only did all the designing himself, but he also used to work together with his labourers, digging in the ground, standing knee deep in the water, dirty with mud. It was always a great surprise for the visitors after some time looking at the work in progress to discover the tiny figure of the Raja among the workers. People liked it and it was one of his many charming traits.

The construction of the watergardens had been severe interrupted by the eruption of the Mount Agung which lasted from February to September, 1963. A series of eruptions occurred during those months. Lava and hot ash from the mountains had killed all vegetation. The grounds had not been affected by the lava flows which found their way along the valleys to the east and to the west of the complex. However, what had been built thus far was for the greater part destroyed by earthquakes of more and less severity during all those months. In addition to the natural disaster vandalism done by people who fled their villages and had no food had taken its heavy toll. The Raja family took refuge to saver place on the island. Tirtagangga was abandoned and fell pray to looting. Everything that could be taken away and sold such as furniture, windows, tiles, pipes, chinese porcelain, flower pots, statues and so on disappeared in the course of time.

When after about ten months the calamity was over the Raja returned, only to find the beautiful garden in ruins. There was no money for rebuilding the ponds and structures. With the introduction of the Land Reform Bill the Rajas, like all the other great land owners, had lost their means for extravagant undertakings. The rehabilitation of Tirtagangga could only be done in a very frugal and haphazard manner.

Since 1979, after a long duty period abroad, my father supervised the rehabilitation of the garden. With a slight increase of the entrance fees in 1985 a little bit could be accomplished. With the help of the local government the upper swimming pool was rehabilitated. Little by little the watergardens are coming into a better shape.

As my father became older, he was less capable in supervising the garden. In the nineties deterioration started again as very little maintenance was executed. During a walk in 1999, while overwhelmed by the majestic Banyan tree of the garden, I received a vision to transform the distressing state into the one of splendour. This vision was the reason why I found the foundation, drawn up the masterplan, build this website, seek for donation, incorporated the Balinese Hinduism-Buddhism concept in the complex, design the buildings, bridges, sculptures and so on to be able to restore the garden until the present shape.




This might be the view towards the area of the watergarden before it was built. The tree at front of the Banyan tree must have been die or cut, as it stood approximately on the spot of the present Versailles pond. The hill behind Tirtagangga was less covered by vegetation than it is today.


+/- 1952. The Balekambang (floating building). Notice that the southern part of the pond around the building was not yet completed.

   +/- 1955. Overall view of the gardens. The building on the left was my grandfather's vaforite verandah. Except for the entrance gate, there was no border betwen the gardens and the rice-fields.

  +/- 1955. View from the upperwest swimmingpool towards the Seraya hills. The beauty of the surrounding emphasizes the beauty of the gardens.

 +/- 1957. Approximately the same view, in completely different sphere. It shows the large candi bentar of the entrance gate at the background. Notice the large porcelain plates decoration.

 +/- 1957. The elephant north of the middlewest swimmingpool. Many of the sculptures were painted with beautiful colours.

 +/- 1957. View towards the fountain tower, surrounded by classical sculptures and large decorated octagonal flower pots.


 +/- 1958. My grandfather (3rd from left) with a priest and family members at front of the fountain tower.



1977. View towards the upperwest swimmingpool. The gardens were still in ruins. The statute in the middle was the backside of Krisna's cart, where He announced the famous Bhagawadgita to Arjuna during the battle of Kurusetra in the hinduism Mahabharata epos.

1977. View to the middlewest swimmingpool. On the left the two barongs which were colourfull and decorated with pieces of mirror. A crocodile was kept in the box on the right.


1988. One of the first rehabilitation works was to let water running again from the fountain tower and the various sculptures, like the one that poured from the mouth of the pig, then still with a broken nose.

March 1988. Construction of simple metal fences allows collection of fee in the middlewest swimming pool, which was necessary to be able to continue rehabilitation works.


25th October 1990. A view as my grandfather would love it: Tirtagangga was smarten up and enjoyed again by many people. Notice that the top of some trees was cut to allow view from the higher part of the gardens to the rice fields and the sea.