The LATA MAHOSADHI Art Documentation Center is a technical implementation unit of the Denpasar Indonesian Art Institution which functions to support academic research and community service activities. This Pusdok handles hardware collections for various branches of art, in order to broaden and deepen the knowledge of the academic community and society. To carry out the Tri Dharma of Higher Education tasks, ISI Denpasar has a mission to become a center for the study of arts and culture and plays a role in exploring, preserving and developing arts and culture.

Viewed from an etymology perspective, LATA MAHOSADHI consists of two words, namely LATA which means plant growth and MAHOSADHI which means miracle medicine. Thus, LATA MAHOSADHI is a plant that is used as a miraculous antidote. The name is taken from the epic Ramayana which describes the power of Lata Mahosadhi who was able to cure Laksamana from the threat of death after being pierced by Ravana’s weapon. Hanoman, who was ordered by Rama to look for medicinal plants, felt confused about choosing between other plants. So in order to save Admiral’s soul, Hanoman brought a mountain before Rama. Then Rama separated Mahosadhi from other plants to be used to heal Laksamana. The philosophical meaning of Lata Mahosadhi’s words means that the effectiveness of art documentation centers in various art collections can eliminate difficulties and boredom for visitors. This story is visualized in a rock relief standing behind the entrance to this art documentation center.

The Lata Mahosadhi Building stands majestically on 4000 square meters of land and was built in two floors by architect Ida Bagus Tugur, on the initiative of the chairman of STSI, I Made Bandem. As an arts documentation center for displaying various kinds of national arts and culture, the front of the building is equipped with a canopy in the shape of a bajera or large bell. This building was inaugurated by the Minister of Education and Culture, Prof. Dr. Wardiman Djoyonegoro on June 16 1997. Lata Mahosadhi has various collections of art objects which include various types of gamelan, dance costumes, masks and paintings, which are unique from other museums in Indonesia. Apart from that, a Taksu temple was built, a small theater for seminars, film screenings, videos and dance demonstrations.


1. Gong kebyar: Includes a new class of gamelan created by I Gusti Nyoman Panji, around 1915 in the Bungkulan area, Singaraja. This instrument is a new creation in the development of Balinese music that emerged in North Bali because it is more open to modern influences. It is called a kebyar gong because all the instruments are hit simultaneously at one time to produce a loud and unified sound at the same time, with a pelog paca nad barrel. A kebyar figure in Jagaraya succeeded in creating the kebyar legong dance which was later refined into the Terunajaya dance. Until now, the most common type of gong kebyar gamelan is found in almost every banjar, because of its multidimensional function.

2. Gong Gede: including middle class gamelan which functions to accompany the Dewa Yadnya ceremony and ceremonial dances, such as the Baris dance, rejang and others. This instrument uses a squat gangsa with a five-tone pelod barrel and generally consists of percussion music which is played slowly because the percussion tool and instrument are larger than other gamelan percussion instruments. As accompaniment to the God of Yadnya, they are still actively found in Batur and Sulahan (Bangli), Sebatu, and Tampaksiring (Gianyar).

3. Gamelan Semar Pegulingan: as a middle class gamelan, it has a smaller instrument than the gong kebyar and is sweeter because it is equipped with a gender vine, does not have a large reong dang gangsa, and uses a 7-note pelog barrel. Used as an instrumental and usually used to accompany Legong dances. Ancient gamelan is found in Kamasan (Klungkung), Teges (Gianyar), Binoh and Pagan (Denpasar).

4. Gamelan Pelegongan: used specifically to accompany the legong dance and is thought to have been developed from the gamelan gambuh and semar peguligan which belong to the middle class. This gamelan is similar to Semar Pegulingan, only without a telescope and using a five-tone pelog barrel.

5. Gamelan Selonding: is a relatively old sacred gamelan originating from Tenganan (Karangasem). The word selonding is thought to come from the words salon and ning which means holy place. This gamelan is sacred and is played at any time in connection with certain ceremonies in Tenganan which can function as an instrumental, accompanying the war of pandan and anchovies.

6. Gamelan Gambang: one of the sacred gamelans in Bali which is used for ceremonial purposes, both for odalan or god yadnya ceremonies and for Ngaben (Pitra Yadnya). Gamelan gambang is made from bamboo with long blades and a pelog barrel. Consists of four gambang instruments played with both hands and two saron made of openwork. Gambang is still found in Tenganan, Banyakdem (Karangasem), Singapadu, Blahbatuh (Gianyar), Kerobokan, Sempidi (Badung) and others.

7. Gamelan Angklung: as a relatively old gamelan, it is used to accompany death ceremonies (Pitra Yadnya) which uses slendro barrels. In some areas, it is used to replace the function of the big gong to accompany the Dewa Yadnya ceremony. Angklung bamboo is a famous instrument in West Java that uses diatonic tones. Gamelan angklung consists of four blades and simultaneously has four notes. In North Bali there is a type of angklung that uses seven notes and is called tembang kirang. Apart from accompanying death ceremonies, it is also used to accompany ceremonial dances such as Baris and Rejang.

8. Gamelan Gandrung: gamelan used to accompany the gandrung dance, joged pingitan and leko, made from bamboo with a pelog barrel. The barungan consists of two rindik pengugal as melody holders, two barangan, two jegogan, two jublag, and is equipped with a kemplung, kendang, cengceng, kajar and gong komodong for the finalists.

9. Gamelan Wayang: classified into old music which consists of two to four slendro-tuned genders, to accompany Parwa Leather Wayang and Lemah Wayang. When accompanying the Ramayana Shadow Wayang and Wong Wayang, the gender is added with a pair of drums, a ceng-ceng, kajar, kelenang and kempur.

Apart from Balinese gamelan types, there are also displays of several gamelan from other regions in Indonesia, such as a set of Javanese gamelan, Sundanese Angklung, Rebana from Lombok and East Java and Sumatran talempong.

The second floor is equipped with various types of performing arts in the form of statues wearing legong dance costumes, loose dances, masks and gambuh. There are also Barong ket, Barong Landung, Barong Bangkal, Barong Macan and Wayang Wong tapels.