ULUWATU Temple is perched right at the edge of southern cliff of Bali Island. Maybe no other temple has position like this across this archipelago. Built in the eleventh century by Mpu Kuturan, this temple is used to venerate Lord Rudra.
Other than adjacent to forest inhabited by grey monkeys, this temple has magnificent sunset view. At the same time, it also presents daily Kecak Dance performance taking the storyline of Ramayana epic. This Kecak a cappella will look so dramatic when coincides with the arrival of lovely twilight. Thus, in once visit guests can get multiple attractions, namely seeing ancient temple, sunset view and cultural performance.
WITH a total height of 120 meters, the statue of Garuda Wisnu Kencana located at this cultural park at Ungasan village, South Kuta, now becomes the second highest statue in the world. It depicts Lord Vishnu mounting the great Garuda mythical bird.
As a cultural park, it offers a variety of cultural attractions worth visiting. They include regular cultural performances, rich culinary adventures and shopping experiences. The park spreading across the area of around 60 hectares has a number of cultural venues. One of the important sites is Lotus Pond having hosted a number of prestigious world scale events.
FRESH sea breeze and leisure adventure may meet in the water sport. When wishing to pamper this passion in Bali, Tanjung Benoa is the right place to go. Located in the north of Nusa Dua or next to Benoa Harbor, it offers complete water sports you can choose from.
Have fun and get splashed with one of the water sports you like best. There are a number of options such as snorkeling, diving, parasailing, Jetski, seawalker, wakeboard, fly fish and so forth. No matter which one you choose, you’ll get the memorable sensation of the water sport delights.
IMMERSE yourself with unusual promenade to traditional village. Penglipuran village in Bangli, for instance, can offer a variety of uniqueness to see. As soon as entering the intersection area from parking lot, when turning left or right, the beauty of village is before your eyes.
This village has well-arranged its spatial settlement. Symmetrical home living sits on the right and left side. House and entrance gates with bamboo mosaic roof tiles look traditional and natural in combination with earth-used wall of the house compound. It strengthens the elegant of traditional architecture designed to show off proximity to nature. Each telajakan or open space between public pathway and compound wall beautifies the landscape. The temple sits at northern end of the village. Another attraction is bamboo forest at the other end.
EXQUISITE sunrise view from the top of Mount Batur has made many visitors fascinated. To enjoy it, visitors must be willing to spend the night in the local area or get up early in the morning at hotel if staying outside Bangli. Then, your climbing is begun at dawn.
Wonderful view of Mount Batur is better seen from Penelokan area on the Kintamani-Singaraja road section. But, if you wish to get closer, come down to Toya Bungkah and Batur lakeside. An overlay of black lava stone overgrown by grasses will welcome around you. Hot spring and floating restaurant will be awaiting your arrival. If you still have enough time, Trunyan village across the lake is worth visiting. By boat you can reach this ancient village. Here people do not bury the dead bodies of their family, but only lay down on the cemetery protected with bamboo cage.
DERIVED from the words love and ina (Indonesia), Lovina Beach has indeed generated people’s love to make a visit again and again. Slowly but surely, it has become new alternative destination for visitors wishing to look for serenity on the island.
This black sandy beach destination in West Buleleng has been equipped with complete facilities like hotel, restaurant and attraction. One of the famous attractions here is dolphin tour. Departing in early morning by traditional boat, you can watch dolphin that surfaces and disappears one after another. In addition, you can also do snorkeling or go to Pemuteran Beach for diving. Approximately 10 km west of Lovina Beach sits the Banjar hotspring.
COOL breezes flowing merged with vapor of Gitgit waterfall are just like to welcome the arrival of each visitor. This waterfall with a height of around 35 meters is located around 70 km north of Denpasar. Set on foothills among green valleys, it will refresh your body and mind.
To reach the location, you have to walk and pass through lush clove plantation, paddy fields with the backdrop of verdant hills and a row of art shops. Enjoy the tropical atmosphere of the nature attraction bordered with rainforest. When getting tired, you can unwind at the gazebo at riverside nearby.
PROBABLY Gedong Kertya Museum has the most complete collection of palm-leaf manuscripts in Bali. Established during the Dutch administration in 1928, the museum is so important to those wishing to learn Balinese art and culture. It is situated near the office of Buleleng regent.
Lontar or palm-leaf manuscript is one of the references in religious and cultural life of Balinese community. The ancient manuscripts stored in the museum cover various categories such as mantrastawa (mantras), niticastra (ethics), wariga (astronomy and astrology), tutur (advice), usadha (traditional healing), geguritan (psalmody), babad (chronicle) and satua (folklore). The manuscripts are written in Balinese and Old Javanese scripts.
THIS white sandy beach has been well known to foreign visitors since 1930s. A Belgian painter named Le Mayeur decided to reside on Sanur Beach while immortalizing the beauty of Bali through his works. His house was then transformed into Le Mayeur Museum. It displays his paintings featuring the uniqueness of Bali and social life.
What to do on Sanur Beach? You can have a promenade along the seaside pathway or cycle with family. Many restaurants can be found on the beach side and so are traditional markets where to purchase souvenir. For foodies, this is the right place to hunt local delicacies ranging from seafood (Warung Mak Beng), Balinese rice (Men Weti) and others.
Sanur Beach also serves as traditional pier for speedboat to Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan and Gili Trawangan.
SET in 1978, the Denpasar Art Center has played great role in exploring, preserving and promoting Balinese culture. Pioneered by Prof. Dr. IB Mantra, this venue has complete stages to show off various art performances in the form of several open stages (including Ardha Candra amphitheater), museum, exhibition buildings and closed stage.
The greatest annual art extravaganza held here is the Bali Arts Festival (BAF) commonly taking place from around mid-June to mid-July. During this one-month festival, visitors can explore the distinctive arts from various regions across Bali through this art rendezvous. It includes the art performance, cuisines and handicrafts.
OMED-OMEDAN is a unique tradition held by the youth of Banjar Kaja, Sesetan, Denpasar. It is held once a year right after Nyepi Day or better known as Ngembak Geni Day by Balinese. The word omed-omedan in Balinese language means to ‘mutually pull.’
This tradition involves young people aged 17 to 30 years and unmarried youth. Commonly, the participants are divided into two groups consisting of 40 men and 60 women. This activity begins at 15:00 preceded with a joint prayer to ask for salvation.
After getting instruction from the elder, one of each group members in face-to-face positions is paraded in turn on the main road of the village to mutually embrace and kiss. The couple is not allowed to choose its partner to be kissed. They will be separated after getting splashes of water from the committee. This attraction always draws thousands of visitors.
PERCHED in Tampaksiring village, the Tirta Empul Temple founded circa 962 AD is surrounded by springs. This temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu has two pools with around 33 showers. Physically, the temple is divided into the outer, middle and innermost courtyard.
As the name implies, the Tirta Empu meaning ‘holy spring’ is taken advantage to perform self-purificatory rite. For this purpose, people usually use the pool in the middle courtyard. They have different functions, 14 showers for purification, 2 showers for curse and oath remover, 6 showers for healing serious diseases and ritual. Until these days, many visitors do self-purification, including domestic and foreign visitors.
ASIDE from dignified cultural heritages such as royal palace, dances, paintings and woodcarvings, Ubud still retains more other charms to explore. So, be ready and take more days to browse the remaining uniqueness.
For foodies or culinary adventurers, having explored the charming beauty of Ubud area and its activities, you need to pamper your appetite. Try local delicacies like the crispy roasted suckling pig or the tender and delicious steamed (betutu) chicken and some others. Nearby, Ubud also offers sacred monkey sanctuary in a small forest or enjoy the scenic Campuhan ridge walk.
PERHAPS Ayung River is never quite from the activities of whitewater rafting adventurers. This river running near Ubud offers unforgettable moment as you will discover a hidden waterfall, lovely scenery, carving on cliffs and encounter some attractions like paddy field, jungle and Kingfisher.
In terms of difficulty, Ayung River belongs to Class II-III so that it is very appropriate for beginners. One day, test your adrenaline with friends or family to get awesome experience by conquering the rapids to finish line. For safety in exploring this eco-tourism adventure, each participant will be given instruction and escorted by experienced tour guides.
MAKEPUNG or buffalo race is a traditional sport inspired by agrarian culture of Jembrana community. Originally, it was a post-harvest agility race of pulling plough in the field by means of buffalo. Some visitors dub it as the grand prix of Jembrana.
In the passage of time, this tradition develops at some villages like Yehembang, Banyubiru, Delod Berawah and Tegalcangkring. A pair of buffalos beautifully embellished pulls a wooden plough under control of a jockey. Today, it further expands to beyond the circles of farmers and is well managed into tourist attraction. By and large, the race season commonly lasts on Sunday from July to November. So, guests have many optional dates to see it.
JEMBRANA retains eco-tourism objects worth visiting. One of them is the Bunut Bolong or ficus tree tunnel. Located at Manggisari, Pekutatan, it is approximately 86 km west of Denpasar.
In the southern side of the ficus tree, right at east side of the road, lies the Pujangga Sakti Temple, while on the western side sits a shrine with typical effigy in the form of tiger. According to the legend, the temple was established as a special tribute to an ancient sage named Danghyang Sidhimantra. Nearby follows various plantations such as clove.
KNOWN for its spicy taste, this betutu (steamed) chicken has become one of the Balinese famous delicacies. Both domestic and foreign travelers will always attempt to taste this cuisine before leaving the Island of the Gods. How about you?
One of the restaurants having popularized this culinary heritage is Warung Men Tempeh at Gilimanuk Terminal (West Bali). Basically, a portion of steamed chicken includes white rice, steamed chicken, fried peanut, water spinach with spicy sauce, raw condiment and drink. This delicious heritage will definitely enrich your culinary experience. If having no enough time to go there, this kind of steamed chicken can be found everywhere across this island.
SITUATED on the slope of Mount Agung, the Besakih Temple as the mother temple of Bali looks quite magnificent and majestic as made from lava stone. Among the 22 units of temple complex, the most important is the Penataran Agung.
This temple was established in 1027 AD and claimed as the central temple of Hinduism in Bali in the fifteenth century. Hindu pilgrims will throng the temple to say prayers on full moon. However, more pilgrims worship on the festival of Ida Bhatara Turun Kabeh held on full moon of the tenth month in Balinese calendar (April). This ceremony lasts for nearly three weeks.
PANDANUS War is a Balinese tradition of ritual combat where thorny pandanus leaf is used as the weapon. This is typical tradition also known as mekare-kare is carried out by Tenganan community of an ancient village in Karangasem. This annual event is usually held in June-July.
In practice, the war utilizes a bundle of thorny pandanus leaf and a shield made from plaited ata or creeping fern. This tradition has something to do with the worship of Lord Indra as the prominent deity, the god of the war. Though suffering from bloody or many injuries, the fighters will be cured with turmeric blended with coconut oil. Then, all the fighters may not take revenge after that.
EXACTLY it means ‘the court of justice.’ Formerly, this pavilion located in the heart of Semarapura town was a part of Semarapura Palace. It was built in the end of the eighteenth century. What uniqueness it offers? Until now, the set of table and chairs used by the king to judge a case remains on display.
Uniquely, ceiling of this pavilion is decorated with puppet painting attractively depicting the karmic law and punishment sentenced to particular crimes. Other buildings in this complex are the floating pavilion (surrounded by fish pond) and a museum collecting the ancient artifacts of Klungkung kingdom. The buildings reflect the Balinese architecture of the 17th century. Due to its lovely building and garden, sometimes it is taken advantage as venue of pre-wedding photo session.
AS the name implies, Kamasan painting is the art heritage of Kamasan village. In terms of theme, this classical painting style commonly features the Ramayana and Mahabharata epic story. For examples, this painting can be seen on the ceiling of Kertha Gosa.
Other than painting on canvas, today this Kamasan style is also made on various medium, such as bamboo hat, t-shirt, bag and other souvenir products. Thus, the teachings contained in the epic story can be delivered through various functional media. If you happen to visit Kerta Gosa, you can see the daily painting demonstration in the floating pavilion. It is presented by painters of Kamasan village done in turn.
WATERFALL in Unda River is newly developed tourist attraction in the east of Semarapura town. At a glance, when passing through the bridge above the Unda River, visitors can see clearly the waterfall.
When streams run normally, the waterfall offers beautiful view. Children like to play water here while taking a bath. Undeniably, it becomes a lovely object of photographers. Surely, it looks more attractive if the photographer can give creative ideas. Some couples take advantage of this for pre-wedding photo session. Today, this object has been equipped with restaurant facility.
SUPERB sunset view and fantastic temple on sea rock are two key words of Tanah Lot tourist attraction. Perched on the rock, this temple established around the sixteenth century by Danghyang Nirartha becomes the most wonderful temple in the sea. It is dedicated to venerate Lord Varuna.
When high tide, the temple looks to float in the ocean and visitors can see from safe place at terrace near the cliff. Another attraction is the black-white sea snake in the cave where for visitors’ safety has been secured by a diviner. While waiting for sunset view here, visitors can kill time by enjoying young coconut drink on the seaside restaurant.
MAJESTICALLY situated on the height of 1,200 meters above sea level, the Ulundanu Beratan Temple in Bedugul is encapsulated by cool atmosphere. This temple complex has shrine units at lakeside and in the lake. It has something to do with irrigation cooperative (subak) and is dedicated to Goddess Danu or the goddess of prosperity.
This attraction is equipped with graceful tropical garden, boat rental, fishing activities and self-portrait service. Last but not least, this object is instragrammable and appropriate to take your amazing selfie.
VERDANT rice terrace of Jatiluwih is situated in Penebel subdistrict, Tabanan. Spreading across the area of around 22 hectares and having seven subak or irrigation groups, Jatiluwih has been appointed as rural tourism.
UNESCO has approved it as one of the world’s cultural heritage. Perhaps, it is the one and only socio-agrarian organization established around 1000 AD that remains to survive on earth today. Other than seeing delightful terraced paddy field with the background of Mount Batukaru, visitors can have closer look at farmers’ activities. Here, farmers still grow local rice varieties in organic system and cultivate their land traditionally.
INSPIRED by agrarian activities like raising cattle, the community of Banjar Belong, Kerambitan immortalizes and expresses its daily activity into amazing performing art. Originally, they made large cowbell in combination with other sources of sound to generate traditional music to dispel catastrophe or plague.
After that, people went around the village while shaking the cowbell suspended on their neck. This simple music had mystical function. In modern time, it gets artistic touch where the cowbell is painted with typical Balinese ornament and added with choreography. Ultimately, it results in a performing art named Okokan Dance.
The Beauty of Bali