Cultural and creative arts in Bali are extremely diverse, one of them is the art of dance and from various dances that exist in Bali, Legong dance is one of the dances that are worth to be watched. This dance is a Balinese cultural heritage that has undergone many developments.
Legong Dance in Bali culture is included in the type of classical dance, which at the beginning of its development originated from the royal palace in Bali. The dance was once only enjoyed by the noble families in their neighborhood in the palace as a dance entertainment. The dancers who have been asked to dance in front of the king will certainly feel a great pleasure, because not everyone is allowed to enter the palace.
The use of “Legong” word in the dance is a combination of the word ‘leg’ and ‘gong’. The word of ‘leg’ means flexibility and dynamically as the depiction of the dance movement that is performed by female dancers and “gong” means gamelan Balinese gamelan  as a musical instrument that accompanies this dance.
Fire dance is a dance that uses fire as a part of the performances. Balinese fire dancer becomes entranced and are able to dance on hot coals without feeling pain.
Currently many fire dances performed at various events in different places in Bali as an entertainment for the beauty and uniqueness.
Various expertises that they showed to play with the fire. The most interesting to see is when the dancers put fuel (karosene) into their mouth and spitting it to the fire sticks that they use for the show so can make very large fire.
In Bali, the Fire Dance, regularly performed for tourists, have origins in ancient rituals. The Fire Dance originated in a trance ritual dance whis is performed to ward off witches at the time of an epidemic.
Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park or commonly abbreviated as GWK, is a tourist park in the southern island of Bali that is located in Unggasan Hill, Jimbaran, Nusa Dua Cape, Badung regency, approximately 40 kilometers in Southern Denpasar.
Garuda Wisnu Kencana is above the limestone plateau, in height 146 meters above the ground surface or 263 meters above the sea surface. In the area of the cultural park is planned to set up a landmark of Bali, that is a giant statue of Vishnu God riding a Garuda (Big Eagle) and is as high as 12 meters. This giant statue is the work of renowned sculptor Bali, I Nyoman Nuarta. This monument was developed as park of culture and become an icon for tourism in Bali and Indonesia. Garuda Wisnu Kencana is the manifestation of modern culture and ancient traditions.
Garuda Wisnu Kencana is the largest mega project in Bali, plans to build the statue as high as 146 meters, with 66 meter eagle wingspan, estimated to have weighed 4000 tons. From the total land area of 200 hectares are planned, currently is managed 100 acres, and work is completed only about 15% up to now and newly completed the half-body statue of Vishnu God, Garuda bird’s head, and hands of Vishnu. Although only a small part of manufacture, but it already looked magnificent and beautiful.
Garuda Wisnu Kencana seems to be a mega project in Bali. Statue of Vishnu God is planned to be built with the position of riding Garuda. Mega projects that is planned to be completed within 10 years (1995-2005) run into congestion, and its development can be seen in a few years ago, now only half-formed head and body of Lord Vishnu and Garuda bird’s head. In 2009, the hands of Vishnu God had been sent to the location of GWK. Planned that when all components have been fully completed and sent to the location, the location of the statue which is currently half-finished, will be be moved to the appointed place, all components will be assembled and will be formed as the Statue of Garuda Wisnu Kencana in accordance to the replica.
Statue of Vishnu, the Hindus god is the Preserver god (Sthiti), the keeper of universe, who rides the eagle bird. A masterpiece inspired by the story of Adi Parwa, in the episode about devotion and sacrifice of the eagle bird to save his mother from slavery then the bird serve to Vishnu God to be his vehicle that finally is protected by him.
This statue has a visibility of up to 20 km, so this place can be seen from Kuta, Sanur, Nusa Dua to Tanah Lot and is made from a mixture of copper, brass and steel, in certain parts will be coated with a mosaic of gold weighing 4,000 tons. With a height of 75 meters and 60 meters wide it will show the size of an eagle’s head that is really very big. It’s hard to imagine that eventually the whole form of eagle will become very big, but this project had been halted due to funding problems.
When the statue GWK is completed, it will be the biggest and highest statue in the world, exceeding the statue of Liberty in United States that it height is 46 meters and weight 204 tons.
Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue is expected to stimulate the balance, so the natural harmony can be created. Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue is a symbol of environmental and world rescue mission. Cultural park is also to educate people, especially the younger generation to preserve the national heritage.
Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park Bali, Indonesia
Bedugul is a tourist attraction that is no less interesting with other places in Bali. Located in the hills with a very cool weather, in the village of Yellow Temple, Baturit subdistrict, Tabanan district, approximately 45 km away from the center of the district (Tabanan), and the distance 50 km from Denpasar town to the northern region, following the temple area highway to go to the place which is located on the edge of Bratan/Beratan lake, the second largest lake in Bali. Boats are also rented for the visitors who want to enjoy the beauty of the lake.
As well as the other tourist attractions in Bali there are also some Hindus temples as a venue for religious events in this location. The famous temple in this place is “Ulun Danu (Ulun Lake) Temple” or is also named as a “Ulun Danu Bratan” temple.
The temple is characterized by the existence of several levels (11 levels) on the top of temple. The form of the temple can be described as a tower building , where the lowest level has the largest size. Each level has a special function for worship, level 11 for Vishnu, level 7 for Brahma and level 3 for Shiva (Hindus God).
Ulun Danu Bratan consist of 4 complex of the temples, that are: “Linga Petak” temple, “Pucak Penataran Mangu” temple, Terate Bang temple, and “Dalem Purwa” temple, which all functioning as a place of worship to The God in their manifestation as a Tri Murti (Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu) in order to invoke the grace of fertility, prosperity, human well-being and sustainability of the universe. The Hindus who is came there also for praying to “Danu Goddess”, the Goddess of water, to ask for fertility. Ulun Danu Bratan is known as a center of Balinese irrigation.
In the front left yard of Ulun Danu Bratan, there are sarcophagus and stone board that are came from megalithic era around 500 BC. At this moment both artifacts are placed on the top of Babaturan or terrace which is estimated as the location of Ulun Danu Temple and had been used as a place of ritual activities since the time of the ancient megalithic. Religious ritual ceremony still continues to this day.
Ceremony of Hinduism religion (Bali Customs) at Ulun Danu Bratan Bedugul Bali
Tanah Lot is one of the famous sights on the island of Bali, located in the Village Beraban, Kediri District, Tabanan Regency. The distance is about 13 km to the west of the city of Tabanan. From Ngurah Rai airport can be reached in less than 1 hours drive.
Tanah Lot is a tourist attraction in Bali that offers the natural beauty of the sunset. The uniqueness of Pura Tanah Lot is that the place is located in the middle of the sea about 300 meters from the beach which also there is the large rock with a large cave in the middle of it.
Here there are two temples located at the top of the large rock. One is located at the top of the boulder which, when the tide is high the temple will be seen surrounded by sea water and the other one is located on the north on the top of the cliff, jutting into the sea. This cliff becomes a liaison between the temple in the middle of the sea and the mainland which is shaped like a curved bridge.
Pura (Temple) Tanah Lot as a temple in the middle of the sea is the worship place to the guardian gods of the sea. Usually visitors will come in the afternoon to see the beautiful sunset.
Tanah Lot is derived from the word “Tanah” that is interpreted as the land, and “Lot” means the sea. So Tanah Lot interpreted as the land that is in the middle of the sea. Pura Tanah Lot was founded in the 15th century by a Hindus priest named Nirartha from the Kingdom of Majapahit (on Java Island) on his way to spread the Hindu religion from the land of Java in the 16th century. Before giving the instructions to set up a temple in this place, he felt the vibrations of purity and obtained spiritual perfection.
According to the Legend, Danghyang Nirartha who successfully strengthened the confidence of the local community about the teachings of Hinduism, the sacred leader in that place named Bendesa Beraban felt threatened because many of his followers became followers of Danghyang Nirarta. Then Bendesa ordered Danghyang Nirartha to leave Tanah Lot.
He agreed but before leaving the Tanah Lot, with all his strength he moved the stone blocks to the middle of the beach and built the temples there. He also changed his scarf into a snake as a temple guardians. The snakes are still exist to this day and they are species of sea snakes that have a characteristic flat tail like a fish, striped black and yellow color. Bendesa Beraban was amazed and later became followers of Danghyang Nirartha.
In some small tunnels in the vicinity of the barrier reef of Pura Tanah Lot are places where the striped snakes that are benign are located and trusted by society as the guardian of the temple. Around the temple there are freshwater springs which can be seen during low tide. The existence of the spring water had been a major consideration when this place was chosen as the location of the temple.
Tanah Lot currently is managed professionally, equipped with various facilities. Entrance fee includes accident insurance and for every vehicle that enters the Tanah Lot location, accident insurance is directly covered by the pay parking fees.
Pura Uluwatu is one of the famous temples in Bali. The main attraction for the tourists of this temple is a spectacular panorama which is a blend of both natural and religious attractions. As one of the mainstay tourist on the island of Bali, Uluwatu is located at the southern tip of Bali island and towards the Indian Ocean.
The temple stands firmly jutting into the sea on rocks with a height of about 97 meters from the sea surface. In front of the temple there is a small forest called “Alas Kekeran”, which serves as a purity temple buffer. On the waterfront, visitors can see the marine atmosphere that comfort the soul and mind. The temple, located on the rock has become one of the historical attractions because it dates back to 1489 BC, beginning with the arrival of a priest from East Java named Danghyang Dwijendra.
To be able to enter into the temple, visitors must wear a sarong and scarf that can be rented in that place to respect the religious life of the Balinese who are mostly Hindus and have a great respect for the place of their worship.
The best time to visit Uluwatu temple is in the evening, at sunset time, so they can watch the spectacular scenery. In addition visitors can also see one of the cultural attractions that pretty typical in Bali Island, namely the Kecak dance which is quite popular both domestic and abroad. This Balinese dance become one of leading cultural attractions.
Kecak dance is performed by many of the male dancers, sitting in a circle and with a certain rhythm shouting and raised both their arms. The dancers that are sitting in a circle wear a plaid cloths around their waist. Besides the dancers, there are other dancers who portray the characters of Ramayana like Rama, Shinta, Ravana, Hanuman and Sugriva. Kecak dance songs are taken from the ritual dances sanghyang that is traditional dance. Dancers will be in an trance condition, communicating with God or the spirits of the ancestors and then convey the expectations of the spirits to the society.
Unlike other Balinese dance that uses the gamelan as a musical accompaniment, Kecak dance performances are only the art of combining sounds of the mouth or shouts like “cak cak ke cak cak ke”, so this dance called The Kecak dance. The Kecak dance can be found at several places in Bali, but at Uluwatu is the most interesting to watch, because the show performed at the sunset.
Next to Pura Uluwatu, there is the famous Uluwatu beach with the cool waves that makes Uluwatu beach become a haven for the Surfer.
Uluwatu beach is suitable to be used by sports fans of surfing and almost every year is held an international surfing competition. This activity also serves to facilitate promotion, especially to foreign tourists and many countries in the world to get to know more about Indonesia that is rich in cultures.
Around the temple complex there are a bunch of monkeys. The mischievous monkeys are generally prefer to take a wide variety of items carried by the visitors. Goods which often become the target are glasses, purse, wallet or anything that can be easily taken by them.
Turtle Island is on the south part of the beautiful island Bali, small island for turtle breeding area located near Tanjung Benoa, Nusa Dua, both Islands are still connected to each other. There, you can see the turtle up close and play with other animals.
Several places nearby also provide adequate water sports activities such as Jetskiing, Parasailing, Banana Boat, Flying fish and other aquatic tourist that is close to Tanjung Benoa, about 20-30 minutes.
To go to Turtle Island, you must hire a boat from Tanjung Benoa beach provided by the water sports operators. Admission into the Turtle Island is free, usually included the cost of boat transportation.
During the journey to Turtle Island, visitors can see directly the beauty of marine life, fish and beautiful coral reefs, from a specially designed ‘glass bottom’ boat. Inside the boat, is prepared bread to feed the fish. At a certain distance, the boat will stop and you can feed the fish.
Feeding Fish from the boat
Arriving at Turtle Island, you can look straight to the pond of the turtle parents, and turtle babies are in the other pool. You will be given an explanation by the a local guide about breeding of turtles and turtles life.
You can get into the pool and take pictures with them. Turtle moms have a very large size. You are advised not to make a stress the turtles, such as a lot of movements that can make them shocked and also not allowed to throw trash to the pond.
Big Turtles in the pond
Besides turtles, there are several other animals, such as birds, snakes, monkey, iguanas, bats, and much more. You can take photos directly with the animals.
There is available a store that sells a variety of souvenirs from Turtle Island.
Ubud Monkey Forest (Wanara Wana)is a nature reserve and temple complex in Ubud-Bali. This park is home to approximately 340 monkeys which are known as long-tailed monkey (Macaca fascicularis). Ubud Monkey Forest is a sacred popular tourist attraction in Ubud and often visited by over 10,000 tourists per month.
Padangtegal Wenara Wana Ubud Monkey Forest Foundation and the villagers of PadangTegal work together to manage and operate Ubud Monkey Forest, and also to maintain the sanctity of the park and promote the holy site as a tourist destination.
The Monkey Forest attractions are located in Pakraman Padangtegal Ubud Village and have a total area of 10 hectares is the focus for the tourist, because this area has many forms of behavior patterns of nature and life with the religious atmosphere. In addition to the forest and see monkeys living directly in the wild, tourists who come there can also see that there are three temples in the jungle Monkey Forest tourism which is known by the worlwide, related with indigenous communities Padangtegal. The reason comes from an emotional connection in which this structure is a paradise where the Pura Desa Adat Padangtegal as a “source of sanctity” of the other temples there, named Pura (Temple) Agung Dalem.
Pura Dalem Agung is located in the southwest of the local forest. This temple is the main attraction in the hills of Padangtegal and is the most important place in the forest. In this area also exist Prajapati temple, the place where cremation is located in the east and along the parameter funeral are held. With the daily activities of people who live in traditional and religious ways, make the Monkey Forest has an area for tourism as cultural attractions.
In the monkey forest area there is also the Holy Spring Temple. In this Holy Spring temple you can make a wish by throwing a coin into the fish pond. The existence of Monkey Forest attraction development began around 1970. Conditions were much different at this time. At first the forest which full of monkeys did not get much attention. Box of donation is provided for contributing in financing and maintaining area.
The number of tourists that visit who want to see monkeys in the region make Monkey Forest in Bali become very popular. Further development in an effort to preserve the existence of attraction started with the enactment of admission tickets to the visitor and the price is very affordable.
At the entrance visitors can buy bananas to give to hundreds of monkeys in the jungle. Monkeys here are more benign than the monkeys in different places like in Uluwatu and Sangeh, because the guards routinely feed them 3 times a day. Upon entering the Monkey Forest tourism area or the Ubud Monkey Forest, visitors or tourists will be treated to views of lush forests. A river running through the woods adds to the attractions. Most visitors were attracted by the activities from various of monkeys in the forest.
Hundreds of gray monkeys in the forest are divided into five major groups which have territorial and have a different leader. Between one group to another group, monkeys live apart within the limits of their territory. If a monkey passed through to the other monkey boundaries, there will be a fight between groups of monkeys. The seriousness of the traditional village to manage this attraction can be seen from the more professional treatment of the area.
The Monkey Forest in this case not only as a tourist attraction, but traditional villager are now trying to open the tourism region to develop the existing village. One way is to establish the Center for Data and Information Padangtegal Indigenous Village.
Monkey Forest in addition to the attraction is also a center for research and conservation. The monkeys are in that place not only as a spectacle, but also as an important component in spiritual and community life which is also used as a research site of research institutions around the world.
From the results of studies that have been carried out, the monkeys are often nomadic. Each group has its own life. Group leader is always followed by the members. Monkeys Bali are mostly females (matrilines) while the male monkeys usually migrate.