Intervention of the dutch / Puputan 1906

The Dutch intervention in Bali in 1906 was a Dutch military intervention in Bali as a part of the Dutch colonial suppression, killing over 1,000 mostly civilians. It was part of the Dutch campaign for the suppression of most of the Netherlands East-Indies. The campaign killed the Balinese rulers of Badung and their wives and children and destroyed the southern Bali kingdom of Badung and Tabanan, and weakened the kingdom of Klungkung.

9 kingdoms on Bali, around 1900. Badung in the south.

* Foto Puputan Bali 1906: link 

* Video history of Bali 45.000 BC until 2020 AD: link

Intervention of the dutch, Puputan 1906

On September 14, 1906, a substantial force of the Royal Dutch East Indies Army, named the Sixth Military Expedition, landed at the northern part of Sanur beach. It was under the command of Major General M.B. Rost van Tonningen.

Dutch troops landing at Sanur, 1906.


Overall, the force managed to move inland without much resistance, and arrived in the city of Kesiman on 20 September 1906. There, the local king, a vassal of the king of Badung, had already been killed by his own priest, as he had refused to lead an armed resistance against the Dutch, the palace was in flames and the city was deserted.


The force marched to Denpasar, Bali, as if in a dress parade. They approached the royal palace, noting smoke rising from the puri and hearing a wild beating of drums coming from within the palace walls.

Upon their reaching the palace, a silent procession emerged, led by the Raja being borne by four bearers on a palanquin. The Raja was dressed in traditional white cremation garments, wore magnificent jewellery, and carried a ceremonial kris. The other people in the procession consisted of the Raja’s officials, guards, priests, wives, children and retainers, all of whom were similarly attired. They had received the rites of death, were dressed in white, and had had their ritual kris blessed.

Wrapping the body of the Raja.

When the procession was a hundred paces from the Dutch force, they halted and the Raja stepped down from the palanquin and signalled a priest, who plunged his dagger into the Raja’s breast. The rest of the procession began killing themselves and others, in a rite known as Puputan (“Fight to the death”). Women mockingly threw jewellery and gold coins at the troops. A ‘stray gunshot’ and an ‘attack by lance and spear’ prompted the Dutch to open fire with rifles and artillery. As more people emerged from the palace, the mounds of corpses rose higher and higher. The whole procession numbered hundreds, and is said to have been over 1,000 people in all. It was mown down by Dutch gunfire.
 Alternative accounts describe that the Dutch first opened fire on the Balinese people moving outside of the palace gate, only equipped with traditional krises, spears and shields, and that survivors killed themselves, or had themselves killed by their followers according to the dictates of the puputan.

The soldiers stripped the corpses of the valuables and sacked the ruins of the burned palace. The palace of Denpasar was razed to the ground.

The same afternoon, similar events occurred in the nearby palace of Pemecutan, where the co-ruler Gusti Gede Ngurah resided. The Dutch let the nobility at Pemecutan kill themselves, and proceeded with the looting.

The massacre is remembered locally as the “Badung Puputan” and is glorified as an example of resistance to foreign aggression. A huge bronze monument was elevated on the central square of Denpasar, where the royal palace used to stand, glorifying Balinese resistance in the Puputan.

Corpses of the puputan at Denpasar. Dutch troops are standing on the left.


The Dutch force continued to the kingdom of Tabanan, where the king Gusti Ngurah Agung and his son fled, then surrendered to the Dutch, and attempted to negotiate a settlement to become a regency of the Dutch.
The Dutch only offered them exile to nearby Madura or Lombok, and they preferred to kill themselves (puputan) in prison two days later. Their palace was plundered and razed by the Dutch.


The Dutch also moved troops to Klungkung and considered an attack on king Dewa Agung, the nominal ruler of all Bali, but eventually refrained from it as Dewa Agung refrained from military action against the Dutch and agreed to sign agreements to destroy his fortifications, deliver his firearms and renounce import and export taxes.
 A strong pretext for the Dutch to attack Klunkung would appear later, and materialize in the 1908 Dutch intervention in Bali, which would put a final end to autochthonous rule in Bali.


– Wiki:
Puputan, Balinese ritual mass suicide:

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