Kingdom of Theives

940A stony demon stood in the middle of the path,  baring his fangs to remind us of impending perils that lay ahead. The moss infested kingdom was home to lawless brutes that followed their own code-of-conduct.

Moments later, I looked back towards the entrance; a tourist appeared, swinging his camera in one hand and clutching a bunch of bananas in the other one.

Pointing at the sauntering sitting duck, my friend,Shannon said, “Is he stu-”

The man screamed,  the bananas were snatched, and  his noble quest was over. Only bravest, rather naïve, visitors would think of feeding the monkeys. Surely, there was a symbiotic relationship between the monkeys and the banana vendor, who stood at the main entrance of the forest.

Feast of Yam and Sweet Potatoes!

Feast of Yam and Sweet Potatoes!

The stony path led to a serpent that held in its coils meters wide pool of water; a pool that indulged the juvenile primates in diving games, that was common amidst their human counterparts. Branches of dead trees stood next to the water providing them a perfect perch. Beside the pool laid a feast of yam and sweet potatoes. While the mature males of the troupe were busy stuffing their faces, the youngsters monkeyed around in water. Next to a massive banyan tree, not far from the water,were rocks. It was the place to dry up in the sun.

The tailed acrobats had us under their spell and we watched them for a while. Suddenly, one of them dashed towards me. Having worn a white shirt, there was no possibility that I would let a soaking wet feral monkey on me. I swung my shoulder bag and deflected the marauder, who quickly deflected atop Shannon. After thoroughly wiping himself on Shannon’s hair and shirt, he left.

On walking a bit further, I heard a monkey squeal. No sooner had I turned my head than he jumped on my back. He rummaged through my bag. As instructed by the handlers, I avoided any sharp movements. We handed him a piece of Fisherman’s mints. He licked it, frowned and dropped it to the ground. He already had fresh breath. Soon, he lost interest in us, and I lost my latest live accessory.

The protected forest area of about 27 acres was  in the village of Padangtegal,Ubud. Four groups of more than 300 crab eating macaques call the sanctuary home. Islanders believe that forests are an abode of spirits. May be that was why Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal  or Temple of Death, dedicated to Dewa Siwa or Shiva, was built in the forest.

On our way to the Temple of Death , we came across a mother  macaque with a baby clung to her. She sat and dozed on a platform soaking in the sunlight that filtered through rainforest canopy. She looked content and reminded me of Madonna and the Child. No wonder they call her home the Sacred Monkey Forest!

———

Madonna and the Child

Madonna and The Child

Local Watering Hole...

Local Watering Hole…

A Spot Under The Sun!

A Spot Under The Sun!

Absolute Bliss

Absolute Bliss

My Favourite Accessory

My Favourite Accessory

Holy Spring Temple

Holy Spring Temple

A Relief , Holy Spring Temple

A Relief , Holy Spring Temple

A Statue near Temple of the Dead

A Statue Near the Temple of Death

Just Outside Temple of the Dead

Just Outside the Temple of Death

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20 responses to “Kingdom of Theives

  1. Great post there is more to bali than drunk aussies huh?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful shots and very well presented…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful pictures! ‘Madonna’ is the best….and informative too..the Temple of Death looks quite intriguing…

    Like

  4. The dramatic opening did make me sit straighter on the couch but I was never prepared for the perilous rendezvous with the tailed tormentors. It was wonderfully written as always —I could have visualised it all without those vivid photographs. I loved the pinch of humour too.

    Like

  5. Reblogged this on A Flash Packers Guide and commented:
    Beware of the monkeys in Monkey Forest Ubud – be warned Flash Packers – a banana for your camera returned!!

    Like

  6. NYC bro…really fantastic…..grt words nd method f playing WD words…. Loved it

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Very well written .. and the monkeys look mischievous.. brilliant photography 🙂

    Like

  8. Diganta Mohanty

    Nice Bis. Good descriptions . Monkeys are same all over the world.

    Like

  9. Well written! You find theives of different kind in most relegious places.

    Like

  10. Temple of death! Is it worshiped? Keep writing.Nice to read.

    Liked by 1 person

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