Preserving the area based on the concept of Tri Hita Karana, is the mission of the tourist place Ubud Monkey Forest which was also known as Mandala Suci Wenara Wana. Tri Hita Karana is one of the philosophies in Hinduism which means three ways to achieve mental and self welfare.
The nature of Tri Hita Karana is to teach how humans can maintain the harmonic relation in life. Those three relationships unite the harmony to other human, nature and God.
The implementation of Tri Hita Karana concept that is applied in Monkey Forest can be seen in two ritual activities performed by local society. The Ritual of Tumpek Kandang that related to animals and the Ritual of Tumpek Ngunduh that related to maintain the harmony with nature.
Located in Pakraman Padangtegal village, Ubud district, Region Gianyar, this location is more or less 35 km from Ngurah Rai International Airport. Ubud Monkey Forest is a natural protected forest with an area of 12,5 hectare. Green lush tree appearing tall made this area that is located 300m above sea level has a cool and fresh air.
As it called, Ubud Monkey Forest is an area that specially built as the habitant of apes. The preservation in this area is highly protected by the local community; moreover the ape is a spiritual symbol for them.
There are around 600 monkeys living in this Monkey Forest area. Spread into five groups, each has 100 to 120 members. The type of monkey that lived here known as the Balinese long-tailed monkey or in scientific term called Macaca Fascicularis. In English it’s called Macaque.
One of the uniqueness of Ubud Monkey Forest is that the visitors can personally interact with the tame monkey that was released. They can personally see the behavior, feed them or take a picture with the monkeys. Besides that, visitors can also interact with a few deer that live in here.
In Ubud Monkey Forest, visitors can also see 115 tree species spread all over the forest. A few type of tree in this area considered sacred and used as a spiritual practice to the local community, like Majegan tree that used to build temple and Banyan tree which leaf used for cremation ritual.
The beauty of Ubud Monkey Forest increases along the addition of three temples in the area. The three temples are Dalem Agung temple located in the southwest of the forest, Beji temple located in northwest, and Prajapati temple in the east.
Ubud monkey forest is not only a tourist spot but also the lungs of the city. Monkeys and plants in that area is not just a spectacle to the visitors, but also an important component in the spiritual act and life to the local community. Its existence had become the center of conservation and a research center to the research institution from all over the world.
Things that need to be remembered to all visitors are to constantly treat the forest, animals and the environment in the Ubud Monkey Forest area well. Besides that, as the area that sanctified by local community, there are parts that can’t be enter by everyone. For example, the sacred temple area. These areas can only be entered by those who come to pray and wearing a complete Balinese traditional cloth.
The tourism concept of Ubud Monkey Forest will make visitors to feel harmony between humans and nature that gives a calm feeling and serenity to anyone who comes to the most remarkable forest in Bali.