The Kerta Gosa Pavilion is a Balinese architecture building located in the Klungkung Palace, Klungkung city, Bali, Indonesia. The Kertha Gosa Pavilion was built in the early 18th century by the Great God Gusti Sideman. Kerta Gosa means “the place where the king meets with his ministry to discuss the issue of justice”.The first function of the pavilion is for court activities. Kerta Gosa was also repainted in the 1920s and again in the 1960s. This pavilion has an epic Hindu Mahabharata section, called Bhima Swarga, which is depicted on the ceiling of the pavilion.
The Story of Bhima Swarga
The Kerta Gosa Pavilion is seen from Bale Kambang In Balinese language, Bhima Swarga means, Bhima goes to the abode of the gods. Swarga literally means every place where the gods live, heaven or hell. According to the epic, Bhima, the second oldest child of five Pandava brothers, was assigned by his mother, Kunti, to save the lives of his father, Pandu, and his second mother, Madri, from Hell, and take them to Heaven. Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadewa, and Yudistira brothers, passed through Hell with Bhima; while there they watched people being tortured for their sins. Along the way, Bhima was accompanied by two loyal servants, Twalen and Mredah. These complementary characters are important for the story because they represent ordinary Balinese people .walen wears a black checkered waistband and helps Bhima by translating what Yudishtira and Kunti say. Mredah always wears a red checkered waistband and lightens the mood by solving jokes to lighten the atmosphere. When Bhima reached Hell, he found his parents in a large tub of hot water. Bhima reversed the large cauldron, released his parents, and they were taken to Heaven. The devil is angry and Bhima must fight them. Furthermore, the Gods did not like the idea of Bhima bringing his parents from Hell to Heaven. Bhima fought with the Gods and died in Heaven. The highest god of all returns Bhima back to life and gives Bhima an eternity drink. The last scene of Bhima Swarga shows justice, even with Hell’s punishment.
The story of Bhima Swarga occupies five lines and is read in a clockwise direction, starting from the far northeast corner of the ceiling. The first two lines represent Bhima’s appearance in Hell, and the top three lines, his journey to Heaven. In the middle of the ceiling, there is a lotus surrounded by four doves, symbolizing luck, enlightenment, and ultimate salvation.