The surface of Bali's island is dominated by volcanic mountains range that stretch across the north and scattered with lakes which flow into numerous rivers that allows rice to be grown all year round with centuries-old irrigation system. Much part of the island is under cultivation with some virgin rain forest in the central mountains, which are under government protection.
Lying 8 ° south of the equator and 115° East longitudes in the central Indonesian archipelago with an area of about 5620 sq km, measuring approximately 140 km by 80 km. Bali is located in the Indian Ocean in the center of the Indonesian archipelago.
Near the equator,
Prehistory: There is evidence of the Stone Age people on Bali and it was certainly as a proof that
* 9th century: The earliest written records are inscriptions on a stone pillar found in Sanur, south
1019~1042: It is the period when Hindu Java began to penetrate
1049: Airlangga was died, East Java was ruled by the
1597: The Dutch arrived in
By the early 1600s, the Dutch had established trade treaties with Javanese princes and controlled much of the spice trade, but they were interested in profit, not culture, and barely gave
1846: The question of the ancient right of the Balinese to claim cargo of wrecked ships which washed up on the shore, brought the first Dutch military expedition to north
1894: The Dutch landed a large expedition in
1904: A small Chinese steamer was shipwrecked in Sanur and looted off Sanur just three miles from Denpasar in the region of Badung. The owners held the Dutch government responsible who, in turn demanded the Rajah of Badung to pay damages of three thousand silver dollars and punish the culprits. The rajah refused it.
1906: The Dutch anchored a fleet of warships off Sanur. Several days later, an army of Balinese equipped with golden spears made a surprise attack upon the fleet. Within few days, the Dutch were advancing to Denpasar while bombarding the city from their ships. The population fled, leaving the Rajah with only two thousands men. Realizing his army was outnumbered and his weapons no match for cannons, the Raja sought the only honorable solution, To Die a dignified death. Abiding by the tradition the Rajah scorched the earth by commanding that everything of value be destroyed and his palace set on fire. He told his people that anyone who wished to follow him into a Puputan, "a fight unto death". Thus the king, his priests and generals, and all his relatives, men and women, adorned themselves with jewels and the dress of warriors (short with loincloths caught between the legs) and set out amidst the flames. The procession was resplendent with the panoply of a great feudal lord. The Rajah, borne on the shoulders of a retainer and holding a golden Kris studded with rubies and diamonds, led his glittering retinue directly onto the rifles of the Dutch militia. The commanding officer, astonished by such a spectacle of chivalry, sent interpreters to beg the Balinese to halt, but their pleas had no effect on an entranced people wedded to a code of valor. The battle was suicidal. One by one, the satrias were gunned down at the enemy's feet. In the end the Dutch were left horrified at a cairn of bodies sprawled out before them. Wounded princes and princesses had crawled to die, piled upon their king's body.
1942: The Japanese occupied
1945: On August 17, 1945 on behalf of all Indonesians, national leader Soekarno proclaimed
1946: Te famous battle of Marga was led by I Gusti Ngurah Rai,
1949: The Dutch officially recognized
1963: The great eruption of
1965: The attempted communist coup brought about far-reaching consequences in
1976: Tourism started to soar in
1979: The great ritual purification ceremony called Eka Dasa Ludra was held at the Mother temple Besakih. The ceremony takes place every 100 years.
Balinese grow up with speaking two related languages based on Malay. Balinese language is spoken in the homes and among the villages and the national language Bahasa Indonesia is used exclusively. The people near tourist resorts and everyone who are related to the tourist industry speak English. Meanwhile those advancing in the tourism industry study other foreign languages like Japanese, German, French, and Italian.
Pura Desa is the temple to honor the God in his manifestation as Dewa Brahma - the creator.
Pura Puseh is for honoring the manifestation as Dewa Wisnu - the protector. And,
Pura Dalem is dedicated to the Dewa Siwa - The Destroyer.
Besides that there are number of different temples which are built in special sites that is considered to be a holy spot such as holy spring, sacred trees, holy mountains, etc. the major temples are found almost all over the island that is annually visited during the festival day and other special occasion by the Hindu followers. Pura Besakih is the mother
It takes place every 210 days according to the Balinese lunar calendar. It is an annual joyful celebration where people renewing their ties to the Gods and also reinforce their relationship and friendship with each other through elaborate preparations and ceremonies. The villages from few days before the Odalan prepare offerings, temple area is cleaned and decorated for the festival. On the Odalan day, everyone arrives beautifully dressed, presenting the deities with food, music, prayer, devotions and the best entertainment to amuse them during their sojourn on earth. After three or four days, the deities return to heaven and the temple empties until the next holiday.
One of the major Balinese Hindu festival which takes place every 210 days, which always falls on Wednesday of Dungulan week of Pawukon calendar to celebrate the victory of Dharma/the light forces against Adharma/the dark forces. Each day before Galungan is marked by a special activity, ripening fruits, making offerings and slaughtering animals.
A celebration for the New Year of the Balinese calendar, which falls usually in March, is a day of silence and contemplation. On Nyepi day, people are not allowed to go out on the street, no fires are lit, no light at night, visiting and entertainment are not permitted, people stay at home to meditate. It continues until the following day when normal activities resumes. The ceremony actually starts from one day before Nyepi with a great purification ceremony and a parade of terrifying effigies named Ogoh-Ogoh to chase away demons.
it is a blood sacrificial ceremony for the evil spirit but has been abused for a little gambling lately. It is mostly done to complete a religious ceremony in the villages around the island.
is passage from this life to the next in the soul's journey to heaven. A death is the time for sharing one's feeling, when all the people gathered in the home of the deceased, night after night while the corpse is still kept in the house they stay up till late hours to keep the family company. Men and women help prepare refreshments and necessary offerings for the purification of the body. When the date of the cremation approaches, everybody in the village is engage in making the offerings, coffin, and huge tower, all beautifully decorated to emphasize the importance of the grand send-off. The Balinese people believe that the human body is made by the five elemental substances, solid, liquid, radiance, energy and ether. It is only when the body is destroyed the soul can be released and reincarnated. Of all the Balinese rituals, the cremation is the most complex and culminating with spectacular burning of the corpse and the vast quantities of valuable ritual objects especially created for the ceremony.
Over the years Bali has become one of the most popular islands in the Far East. It is one of the 13,677 islands which make up the Indonesian archipelago that stretches over 5000 km along the equator, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. With its only 140 kilometers length and 80 kilometers width, Bali is well known all over the world for its coral fringed beaches, lush tropical forests, hot springs, volcanoes, hidden temples and mountainous landscapes all waiting to be explored. With such a variety of landscapes and rich culture you can easily spend a couple of weeks enjoying it. And throughout central Bali you can visit colorful markets, learn about Balinese culture, see countless temples, experience religious festivals and traditional dancing.
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