Bali Sangeh Monkey Forest located at the northern Sangeh Village, Abiansemal District Badung Regency. Sangeh is the name of a village of which its northern pan is overgrown with nutmegs to the extent of M hectares, and which is occupied by hundreds of monkeys. It is about 21 km from Denpasar and can be reached by car easily with a good road condition. In the 17th century during the golden period of Mengwi Kingdom, I Gusti Ketut Karangasem, son of Gusti Agung Made Agung (King of Mengwi) founded a temple in the midst of nutmeg tree forest, later it was called bukit Dari Temple.
Such nutmegs can not be found in other places in Bali, and thee existence at Sangeh is a mystery. The nut meg tree forest with extent of 10 hectares is a holy territory that is securitized by Sangeh Customary Village and its vicinity. In the middle of such green and dense forest, lives over 600 tame and friendly monkeys that all the time appeal to visitor, Part from functioning as sacred places, the forest along with the monkeys comes to be fascinating tourist object that is worth visiting.
According to the mythology from the local villagers, the word Sangeh is derived from the root “Sang” that means a determiner for person and “Ngeh” mean seeing or observing. It is said that the nutmeg trees growing in the forest were originated from Mount Agung that performed a journey to Tama Ayun. They would be going to festoon the garden belonged to Mengwi Kingdom. Their journey was carried out in the evening to avoid from being observed. Unfortunately, people saw the nutmeg trees walking in a procession. They suddenly stopped. Spot where they stopped was named Sangeh that means one who sees.
A small temple blanketed or covered with mould is hidden among the high nutmegs. The back pillar of the temple is carved with an eagle statue, a mystic bud which is told in the story of Samudramantana to be seeking for holy water (caled Tirta Amerta m Balinese language) at the bottom of the ocean. Then, thanks to his met to seek for the holy water, the eagle was presented with a swallow of the water by the God manifested as Wisnu (Batara Wrsnu), and eventually became the faithful vehicle of this God.The other legend tells that the inhabitants of the forest are monkey soldiers that were used in the battle of killing Rahwana. The monkeys fell down together with hunks of mountain forest that were used to press Rahwana’s body, and then settled permanently in that forest
The other story also tells that a princess Mengwi kingdom named Mayangsari, who was smitten with love, faded to be engaged, finally fled to the nearby forest, and became a hermit. In her escape, she did not wear any sheet of dot so that she had to use her long hair to cover the most forbidden part of her body. She faced to each her dream, died mysteriously. The local community believed that the goddess now becomes Batari Mayangsari.