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    Balinese History and Culture.

Bali is very identical with its history and culture. This relation makes Bali as a magnet for visitors coming to Bali. Among them are certainly difficult to
distinguish religion, culture and art. As all of them are integrated into a unity. However, Hindu Religion in Bali seems to be a stream for the development of
culture, art and history in Bali.

The wave of foreign culture is sunk by the current of local culture. If it exists to be a new culture, it will be born as a new concept of culture that is more
delightful. Let us see, Patra of Egypt ( Egyptian Pattern ), Patra of China ( Chinese Pattern ) or barong ket, barong landung or young artists in Ubud.

When this transformation of value entered into ( bertiwikrama ) the system of Balinese culture, and it became a topic of conversation, it is very difficult to differ
whether their conversation involves religious, cultural or art issues, Balinese never care about them. Most of Balinese surrender their understanding on
conducts and duties to Hyang Widhi. They call it doing yadnya.

Balinese culture is very close with the traditional arranging system of value in the society, starting from water division, pattern of cultivation, yield division, sub
village system, place of shrines, color of clothes and so forth. The culture exists, borne, and develops in accordance with the dynamic life of Balinese society.
Culture is signaled with three important dimensions: idea, behavior and physic.
Therefore, sor-singgih ( level of language ), pawiwahan ( wedding ceremony ), subak ( traditional irrigation system ), dadia ( family group ) and so forth are
parts of Balinese Culture.

Creation of the Universe.

It is thought that the universe was created by the Big Bang about 13 billion years ago. Two studies using different methods have arrived at broadly the same
age. In 2002 Harvey Richter of the University of British Columbia presented evidence of fading star clusters called white dwarfs 7,000 light years away. They
are burnt out coals of stars, which were once eight times the size of the sun. After they exhausted their fuel, they collapsed into balls of cooling embers. They
will eventually turn cold and wink out of sight. By looking at the faintest and oldest white dwarfs, thought to be the first group of stars that formed in the Milky
Way galaxy, the home galaxy for the sun, early in the history of the universe, astronomers can use their known cooling rate to estimate the age of the universe.
Richter said that star formation did not begin until about a billion years after the Big Bang.

In 1998 another method was used by the Carnegie Observatories in California arriving at an age of 13 to 14 billion years. They measured the rate at which
galaxies are moving apart, an expansion which started with the Big Bang. It is believed that the age of the earth is about 4.5 billion years old. Matter was
created from the energy released by the Big Bang.


The alternative Hindu view is that the world began with Divine Oneness or perhaps Divine Nothingness. However, unlike Western religions, there is no certainty
about the matter. The Brahman poets in the Rig-Veda wrote courageously of their doubts in the Hymn of Creation:
But, after all, who knows, and who can say

Whence it all came, and how creation happened?
The gods themselves are later than creation,
So who knows truly whence it has arisen?
Whence all creation had its origin,
He, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not,
He, who surveys it from highest heaven,
He knows - or maybe even he does not know.
(translated by A.L. Basham)

From the Divine Oneness the Supreme Being, Sanghyang Widi Wasa, created the other gods, who in turn created the waters, earth, sky, sun, moon, stars,
clouds, planets and wind. Then, at the direction of the Supreme Being, Siwa, in the form of the Divine Teacher, Bhatara Guru, created the world. He created the
mountains, rice, trees, people, rain, fire, fishes, birds and animals - in that order. The order of creation indicates Balinese priorities.

So, unlike other religions, creation is not a bringing into being of something from nothing, but rather a dismemberment of the original Oneness. Creation
fragmented the unity of nature into countless limited forms. Hindus believe in a cycle of birth and death. The object of a Hindu's life is to escape this cycle and
merge into the Oneness from which the world has been fragmented.

Early Man.

Back to the modern Western world of science: there is a debate as to whether early humans evolved in Africa and then moved to the rest of the world, or
whether they evolved separately in Africa, Europe and Asia. Genetic research shows that early humans evolved in Africa. Man-like creatures, that is to say a
creature and species separate from animals, but not yet human, archaic human or hominid, originated in Africa about 7 million years ago, when a population of
African apes broke up into several groups. One of these groups, an unknown common ancestor, evolved into modern gorillas, a second group into the two
modern chimps and a third group into humans.

In 2001 fossil remains were found in Africa, which were older than previous finds by several million years. Sahelanthropus tchadensis, nicknamed Toumail,
was between 6 and 7 million years old, found in Chad. Orrorin tugenensis was 6 million years old and Ardipithecus ramidus kardaba was between 5.2 and 5.8
years old. Ardipithecus was more likely to be a member of the human family than Orrorin. Later came Ardipithecus ramidus ramidus at 4.4 million years old
and Australopithecus afarensis at 3.75 million years, the most famous example of which is "Lucy", found in Ethiopia in 1974.

Fossils indicate that the human-like creatures became substantially upright about 4 million years ago. Body size, relative to brain size, increased later about 2.5
million years ago. From this time these proto-humans are known as Australopithecus africanus, Homo habilis and Homo erectus, and they evolved into each
other in that order - probably. It is difficult to be certain whether they are in a direct line or they are branches along the way.

The first confirmed direct ancestor of modern man is Homo erectus, who emerged in Africa about 1.7 million years ago. His brain was barely half the size of
ours. In early humans the human brain occupied about 500 cubic centimeters. In Homo erectus it occupied about 900 cubic centimeters. The brain increased
again between 500,000 and 200,000 years ago.

Homo erectus was the first species to leave Africa and spread throughout the world. The other creatures stayed in Africa. They were thought to have lived
mainly in the lands now known as Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia. The remains of an early hominid, given the name Toumail, was found, however, in Chad in the
Toros–Menalla area of the Djurab desert in 2002, so they may be more widespread than originally thought. Evidence from animal fossils in the same rock
strata shows that his habitat was wooded grassland at that time.

Homo erectus spread beyond Africa, perhaps in search of food, about 2 million years ago and migrated north. Within one million years ago, perhaps, even
before that, he had reached the warmer parts of the Old World. There are Homo erectus fossils in Europe. For some the desert of North Africa may have
blocked the way and they turned east towards Asia Minor. The journey across Asia may have taken between 10,000 and 200,000 years. It would have been a
kind of relay race. Asian skulls, of about 1 million years, are similar to African Homo erectus skulls.

Fossils of Homo erectus have been discovered in Ngandong, Java, where he is known as Java Man, and in Zhoukoudian, near Beijing, where he is known as
Beijing Man. Both are believed to be a million years old. Their general appearance and types of stone tools resembled those of Homo erectus in Africa. Some
people, called the multi-regionalists, think that Asian Homo erectus evolved further there and became the local Homo sapiens population. Genetic testing has
shown, however, that the rival replacement or “Out of Africa” school is correct. Homo erectus was totally replaced by Homo sapiens about 100,000 years ago.
No intermediate fossils have been found anywhere outside of Africa.

A recent excavation in Flores, which is east of Bali, has disclosed remains of human habitation dating back more than 800,000 years. His ancestor probably
reached China first and then moved down to Southeast Asia. That was during a time when the seas rose and fell many times and Africa, Asia, Europe and
America were one big landmass. At that time it was theoretically possible to walk from the south coast of England to Bali. Java and Sumatra were joined to the
Asian mainland. The Flores discovery shows that man had learned, by that time, to build watercraft and paddle them out to sea. The nearest island was at least
19 kilometers away, even when sea levels were at their lowest. In October 2004 it was reported that the fossilized remains of prehistoric hominids, only one
meter high, have been found in Western Flores in a cave. They have been given the name Homo Floresiensis. They had dark, scaly skin, making them a
breakthrough in evolutionary studies.

Australia and New Guinea.

Sea and the lack of sailing ability blocked off Australia and New Guinea from human penetration for a long time - until about 60,000 years ago. The Aboriginees
probably came from Southeast Asia and a fair guess is that they travelled from Bali and Lombok. Bali had been inhabited for a million years. Someone must
have crossed to Lombok and found that there was food, and that there were no tigers and that it was safe. They then probably moved on to Sumba when the
food in Lombok was exhausted.


The earliest evidence of humans in Europe dates to about half a million years ago, about the time that that Flores sea trip was taking place. African and
European skulls of this period are similar to ours. A new species had been born, our own, called by our own name, Homo sapiens. It is likely that one of the
most important spurs to development was the ability to speak and communicate information. This was enabled by the appearance of a pharynx, which
prevents food and air going down the same channel. It developed between 400,000 and 300,000 years ago. Languages were probably in existence 70,000
years ago.

Between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago anatomically similar people to us were in Africa, but not in Europe yet. In Europe there were the Neanderthals, Homo
neanderthaensis, cave-men, whose remains have been discovered in Europe and West Asia. They were there between 130,000 and 40,000 years ago. The
Neanderthals get their name from the discovery of remains in 1856 by workmen in the Neander valley near Dusseldorf in Germany.
Our ancestors and the Neanderthals may have lived together at the same time, but they were distinct. It is not known if they interbred, but if they did, they did
not produce any descendants. There is no known Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA in modern human beings. They reached a dead end and the last one died in
southern Spain about 28,000 years ago.

About 50,000 years ago there was another Great Leap Forward, probably caused by a large build up of population and environmental factors. The first modern
humans appeared in Europe, the Cro-Magnons, named after the cave site in France where their bones were first found in 1868. They invented representational
art, which is found in over 200 caves in France and northern Spain. They had advanced stone technology. The Cro-Magnons totally replaced the Neanderthals
and all modern Europeans trace their ancestry to them.


Archaeology, fossils and recently DNA are all providing evidence of man's remote past. In 1953 two young scientists working in Cambridge, James Watson and
Francis Crick, solved the molecular structure of DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, which paved the way. Until then DNA was thought of as unimportant, but it holds
the key to the chemical mechanism of heredity. DNA is confined to the chromosomes in the cell nucleus and contains instructions. Every cell has an equal
share of the chromosomes in the nucleus. It is the proteins, made up of amino-acids, which carry out the body's work. They are the enzymes, hormones,
collagens, haemoglobins, and antibodies. DNA provides instructions on how to make the proteins. The instructions are the genes, so, for example, there is the
keratin gene, which is the protein gene to make hair. There is one very special gene called mitochondrial DNA, which is only passed down the female line. As
time passes there are random mutations and by looking at the mutations the age of the gene can be estimated. By this method it can be estimated that the
human species is about 150,000 years old. All living human beings, therefore, have a common ancestor, who lived about 150,000 years ago.

Bryan Sykes has described his genetic research in The Seven Daughters of Eve. He shows that 95 per cent. of the 650 million modern Europeans are
descended from seven women, living between 45,000 and 10,000 years ago. This is clear through tracing unbroken genetic links. There are 26 other clans of
equivalent status throughout the rest of the world. There are, therefore, in total, 33. Out of those 33, 13 are from Africa.


An alternative Hindu view of the creation of Man is that Saraswati, the goddess of poetry, brought humans into existence by the use of writing.
It is interesting the main Western religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, which post-date Hinduism, also saw creation through the medium of the Word.
Genesis says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Ice Age.

Bali emerged from the seas in a series of volcanic explosions two to three million years ago.
Over the last 2 million years there have been 17 ice ages. During ice ages much of the ocean's waters are locked up in glaciers. Land is also locked up - the
last ice age covered the north of Wales and Scotland in ice and there was no life there. The South of England was like a polar desert. The last Ice Age started
about 25,000 years ago, began to thaw about 15,000 years ago and ended about 8,000 years ago. It caused sea levels to drop hundreds of feet and new islands
formed. England and Ireland were separated from Europe and each other, as water flowed into the North Sea, the Irish Sea and the English Channel. Sri Lanka
was cut off from India, and the Philippines split from Asia. Taiwan divided from China and eventually New Guinea separated from Australia.

Sumatra, Borneo, Java and Bali had been connected by dry land during the Ice Ages, which enabled men and animals to migrate. After the Ice Age shallow
seas formed between the islands and separated them all. Many of those on coastal plains would have drowned or seen their livelihood destroyed. Flood myths
permeate many mythologies. It may be that the end of the Ice Age gave rise to these stories.

About 11,000 years ago agriculture was invented in the Middle East and changed human life for ever. It reached Greece about 8,000 years ago and Britain and
Scandinavia about 5,500 years ago. In at least nine different parts of the world the domestication of wild crops and animals began. Sheep, goats, pigs, cattle
and horses were domesticated in Eurasia about 6,000 years ago. The result was an increase in population, the formation of villages and towns, specialisation
of occupations and outbreaks of new epidemics.

Continental Drift.

A young German meteorologist, Alfred Wegener, devised the theory of continental drift or plate tectonics in 1912. The theory holds that the surface of the earth
consists of seven large plates and many small ones. They are in constant irregular motion, drifting into and under each other. His theory was only accepted in
the 1960s.

The present continents are therefore not fixed but are gently moving together or apart. The Himalaya Mountains arose from the pressure of continents slowly
colliding into one other.

To the south of Bali is the Indian Ocean. The floor of the Indian Ocean, which is part of the Indian-Australian plate, collided, and then sank beneath the Eurasian
plate and this caused an earthquake zone between the two plates. The zone is about 100 kilometers (60 miles) below the surface in the south of Bali. It dips to
about 200 kilometers (120 miles) in the north of the island.

Bali Sits on a Turtle.

The alternative explanation for the cause of earthquakes is the Balinese belief that Bali sits on the back of a turtle, the world-turtle, Bedawang Nala, who
occasionally stirs and sets off earthquakes. Bedawang is flanked by two dragon-snakes, the Nagas, one of which is green or blue and the other is red. There
are many representations of Bedawang and the Nagas in Balinese paintings, carvings, shrines and cremation towers.

The Balinese bang pots and drums during an earthquake to wake up the Nagas, Basuki and Anantaboga, in case they have fallen asleep on the job of holding
the earth's foundations together.

Balinese Volcanoes.

The collision of two plates produces continuous seismic activity (earthquakes) and heat. When earthquakes are large, volcanism results, often with the
formation of magma or molten rock and gases. The magma or molten rock is under great pressure. Chains of volcanoes form if it is pushed up towards the
surface through weak parts. There is an arc of volcanoes, called the Ring of Fire, encompassing Indonesia, including Java and Bali. The vents of the volcanoes,
through which the magma reaches the surface, are plugged by solidified magma. This increases the pressure until there is a series of violent explosions.

Periods between eruptions are unpredictable. Mount Batur, 1,717 meters (5,633 feet), is live and can often be seen smoking and rumbling. It erupted twice in
the 20th century and as recently as the 1990s. Mount Agung, the highest mountain in Bali, at 3,142 meters (10,309 feet), exploded dramatically in 1963 and
killed over 2,000 people. Volcanic ash enriches the soil. It also helps that water is plentiful. The Balinese traditionally turn a blind eye to the risk of volcanoes,
perhaps blaming themselves for causing the gods to be angry. After an explosion they normally go back and try to continue farming.

Life Goes On.

Some large volcanoes plug themselves so well that huge magma chambers form. When they do eventually explode, huge vacant holes, like lakes, are the
result. These are called calderas after the Spanish word for "kettle". Mount Batur is an example of a double caldera and is one of the biggest in the world. It
has been partly filled by a beautiful lake called Lake Batur, the biggest in Bali, and another volcanic cone.

Lake Batur is the source of an underground network of water channels, which feed into sacred springs on the slopes of Mount Batur. There is a tunnel running
through the property, below Murni's Villa, on the slope to the stream, which forms the western boundary to the property. We believe this comes from Lake
Batur and feeds Ubud.

1917 Earthquake.

There was a very, very bad earthquake in 1917. Ubud was flattened and the whole of Ubud palace was destroyed. No houses were left standing. Luckily it took
place early in the morning when most people were already up and working in the rice fields. This saved a lot of lives.

Indonesian Volcanoes.

There are five active volcanoes in Bali, including Batukau, 2,276 meters (7,467 feet) and Abang, 2,152 meters (7,060 feet). According to an expert from the local
Department of Meteorology and Geophysics, Bali recorded 52 earthquakes in June 2002, recording an impressive 516 tectonic events in the first six months of

Indonesia has more active volcanoes than any other country in the world. During the last 10,000 years, at least 132 have been active and 76 eruptions have
been recorded (that is to say 17 per cent. of the world's recorded eruptions).

Tambora, on the island of Sumbawa, to the east of Bali, blew its top in 1815, killing more than 90,000 people. It is said to have created the loudest noise ever
heard. It vented so much material into the atmosphere that Europe lost its summer growing season.

Krakatau, which is between Java and Sumatra (not east of Java as the movie said), erupted four times on 27 August 1883 and killed 36,000 people. It is near
the Java Trench, an active sub-duction zone. There the oceanic plate beneath the Indian Ocean is moving northward, plunging beneath the continental plate.

Every seismograph in the world recorded that explosion. The shock waves reverberated around the world thirteen times. The northern two-thirds of the island
of Krakatau was blown away. The eruption produced tidal waves up to 37 meters high. A dust cloud exploded 80 kilometers (50 miles) into the atmosphere.

By 9 September, it had encircled the earth, causing atmospheric effects that lasted for over a year. It is estimated that over 21,000 cubic meters of debris were
ejected. All that was left the next day was a deep 250 meter crater and the remnant of an island.

Indian OceanTsunami.

Worse than any of the above was the Indian Ocean tsunami. On 26 December 2004 at 0058 hours GMT, 7.58 am local time, a strong earthquake, which had a
magnitude of 8.9 on the Richter Scale, occurred off the west coast of Northern Sumatra.

A subsequent tsunami hit South, Southeast Asia, and East Africa causing a large number of deaths and serious, widespread damage to buildings, roads, and
power lines.
Several countries bordering the Indian Ocean were affected including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar),
Tanzania, Seychelles, Kenya, and Somalia. Areas in Indonesia (Aceh province), Sri Lanka (northeast, east, south and southwest coastal areas), India (coastal
states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Kerala and the Union Territories of Pondicherry and Andaman and Nicobar), the Maldives (two thirds of Male,
including the airport), and parts of Thailand (Phuket, Phi Phi Island, Krabi, and other smaller islands in the vicinity) were hardest hit.


Despite the terrible effects, Bali can thank the volcanoes for her civilisation. Tropical soils tend to be poor because heavy rains wash away the nutrients. Bali,
however, has been spared this disadvantage. Continuous eruptions throw fertile ash over the island.
Mountains also cause rainfall. Moisture-laden air rises, cools and then rains. Rain falls on the south of the island. The northern third is in the rain shadow and
so is rather arid. So, thanks to the mountains, Bali has fertile soil and good irrigation.

Sacred mountains.

Sacred mountains date back to India. Mount Meru was the center of the world, where heaven and hell met. Gods, demons, and men travelled back and forth on
Mount Meru.

The islands of Java, Bali and Lombok were not stable according to legend. To stop their wobbling Mount Meru was transferred to Java where it became known
as Mount Semeru. It is the highest mountain in Java. Part of the mountain was carried to Bali where it became Mount Agung and part to Lombok where it
became Mount Rinjani. The god of Mount Semeru, Pasupati, is the father of the god of Mount Agung and that of Mount Rinjani. Mountain symbolism appears
worldwide. They are reflected in the Egyptian pyramids, the Babylonian ziggurat, and the Tower of Babel. There are sacred mountains in China and Japan.

Mountains are represented in many forms in Bali. The Wayang Kulit shadow play opens with a puppet representing a mountain. Offerings are commonly
shaped as mountains. Penjors are in the shape of a mountain. Balinese gates are believed to represent Mount Meru. The outer split gate, candi bentar,
represents the two halves of Mount Meru split by Siwa to allow passage. The inner covered gate, normally surmounted by meru roofs, is the reunion, following
entry. Another view is that the split gate represents the diversity of God and the covered one his oneness.

Balinese Orientation.

It is no surprise therefore that mountains have acquired a very deep religious significance for the Balinese. Towards the mountains, kaja, is the most sacred
direction; towards the sea, kelod, is the reverse. Every building on the island is positioned according to orientation rules based on this dichotomy.

Further, every Balinese is aware at all times of his own physical position in relation to the mountains and the sea. The Balinese give directions using this
terminology. They even ask for things to be moved by reference to the north, south, east or west. It can be a little confusing for a person from north Bali visiting
the south of Bali, as he will receive his directions by reference to the mountains. The mountains are to the north for the southerner and to the south for the
northerner. People can get hopelessly lost in Bali for this reason.

    Ubud:   Bali’s Cultural Heart.

When tourism caught on in Bali back in the 1930's most foreign visitors came to the island for its beaches. But a handful of the more discerning came, not for
sand and sun, but for the culture and art of the island.

Those tourists made Ubud, a small city in the mountainous interior of Bali, home -- and reinforced that city's claim as the seat of Balinese Culture.

In the 1930's there was no hotel in Ubud: visitors stayed in cottages provided by Prince Gde Agung Sukawati for use mostly as an art colony of sorts. The
colony was begun by Walter Spies, an ethnic German born in Russia who taught painting and music, and dabbled in dance. He came to Bali for a visit in 1927
and stayed there until the outbreak of World War II.

The Ubud of today is far from undiscovered. Hotels are plentiful; home stays and Indonesian guesthouses (losmen) are easily available to the foreign tourist.
Ubud is popular in part today because it is the best place in Bali to break out of the tourist mode and get off the beaten path.

Ubud is attractive to tourists for a variety of reasons. On a relatively small island with a horde of attractions, Ubud is centrally located; many tourists simply
base their entire stay in the city and travel to other destinations from Ubud. Accommodations in Ubud are also somewhat more reasonably priced than in the
beach towns of Bali. But atmosphere is perhaps the major attractions. One writer once summed it up this way:  Kuta is madness, Sanur is sterile, and Nusa
Dua is culturally isolated;  but Ubud is the place to go.

A culture that many visitors to Ubud in Bali are introduced to is Arts, and there is a good share of Art Museums in Ubud.

Neka Art Museum - it is the place for the finest collections of art on the island. Its location is about another one km further up the main road. It is named after
the founder- Suteja Neka, who herself, besides being a school teacher, is regarded as one of Indonesia's; foremost art connoisseurs. There are nearly over
400 artworks.

The first gallery - classical narrative wayang style paintings, then works with signs to Western art influences - Walter Spies and Rudolf Bonnet.
There is also a large building devoted to the work of Arie Smit, whom is like the Gauguin of Bali". Arie Smit is a Dutch born artist who later became an
Indonesian citizen and was the one influential in forming the group known as the Young Artists.

Young Artists depicts different aspects of Balinese life through strong oil colors. Then there is also a special gallery featuring black and white photos taken by
an American, Robert Koke, whom also built the first hotel on Kuta Beach.

Agung Rai.

Easier to remember as ARMA as it was opened by an art dealer named Agung Rai.

The name Agung implies he is of the satria nobility, former rulers of the island. Yes, the castes system is still prevalent on the island. So, to digress, the names
that you comes across, could provide a person's standing in society, but anyway, of the four castes, only around three percent belongs to the upper three:

Brahman ( Ida Bagus /Ayu )
Satria ( Agung, Dewa, Cokorda )
Wesya ( Gusti )
All others belong to the Sudra.

The lush grounds will certainly impress you. There are two floors, with the upper floor, dedicated to Indonesia's traditional paintings from the 30s, and works
by the then Pita Maha artist association. ( Pita Maha, has a long history and held in high esteem ).
The lower floor features wayang style works, but of the early 1900s. In ARMA, you will be able to see works by Walter Spies and paintings of other foreign born
artists who had lived and worked in Bali.

Seniwati Gallery.

This Gallery is the first gallery, formed by an English woman living in Bali and married to the Indonesian artist Abdul Aziz. She realized that female artists
received almost no recognition in Bali, so Seniwati Gallery came about in 1991. Seniwati means Women Artists. So women artists have thanked the effort of
Mary Northmore.

Blanco Renaissance Museum-- it is the musuem behind the residence of the maestro- Antonio Blanco. The museum is adorned with gold painted statues and
stained glass windows. Blanco’s paintings style is rather erotic as his favorite models were his wife and daughter.

    Bali - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - edited in parts.

Bali is an Indonesian island located at 8°25′23″S, 115°14′55″E, one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, and one of the country's 33 provinces. It is in a chain with Java
to the west and Lombok to the east. Bali is a tourist destination and, along with Java, known for its highly developed arts, including dance, sculpture, painting,
leather and metalworking, and music, especially that played on the gamelan.


Bali lies 3.2 km east of Java and about 8 degrees south of the equator. The island is 153 km long and 112 km wide (95 by 69 miles), with a surface area of 5,633
km². The highest point is Mount Agung at 3,142 m (10,308 feet) high, an active volcano that last erupted in March 1963. Mountains cover from the centre to the
eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Mount Batur is also still active. About 30,000 years ago it experienced a catastrophic eruption — one of
the largest known volcanic events on Earth.

The principal cities are the northern port of Singaraja and the capital, Denpasar, near the southern coast. The town of Ubud (north of Denpasar), with its art
market, museums and galleries, is regarded as the cultural center of Bali.
In the south the land descends to form an alluvial plain, watered by shallow rivers, dry in the dry season and overflowing during periods of heavy rains.

Its population of over 3 million is mainly (about 93%) Hindu, but a very small part is Muslim (mostly coastal fishermen). The main tourist locations are the town
of Kuta (with its beach), Sanur, Jimbaran, Seminyak and the newer development of Nusa Dua. The Ngurah Rai International Airport is located near Jimbaran, on
the isthmus joining the southernmost part of the island to the main part of the island. There are major coastal roads and roads that cross the island mainly
north-south. Due to the mountainous terrain in the island's center, the roads tend to follow the crests of the ridges across the mountains. There are no railway

The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west black sand. The beach town of
Padangbai in the north east has both: the main beach and the secret beach have white sand and the south beach and the blue lagoon have much darker sand.

Pasut Beach (Tabanan), near Sungai Ho and Pura Segara, is a quiet beach 14 km southwest of Tabanan. The Ho River is navigable by small sampan. Beautiful
black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the famous seaside temple of Tanah Lot, this is not yet a
tourist area.

Most of the Balinese people are involved in agriculture, primarily rice cultivation. Crops grown in smaller amounts include fruits, vegetables and other cash
crops. A significant number of Balinese are also fishermen. Bali is also famous for its artisans who produce batik and ikat cloth and clothing, wooden carvings,
stone carvings and silverware.


Balinese people are descendants of a prehistoric race who migrated through mainland Asia to the Indonesian archipelago, presumably first settling around
2500 BC. Though no artefacts or records exist that would date Bali as far back as the Stone Age, it is thought that the very first settlers to Bali emigrated from
China in 2500 BC, having created quite the evolved culture by the Bronze era, in around 300BC.  This culture included a complex, effective irrigation system, as
well as agriculture of rice, which is still used to this day.  

Bali’s history remained vague for the first few centuries, though many Hindu artefacts have been found, which lead back to the first century, indicating a tie
with that religion.  Though it is strongly held that the first primary religion of Bali, discovered as far back as 500 AD, was Buddhism.  

Additionally, Yi-Tsing, a Chinese scholar who visited Bali in the year 670 AD stated that he had visited this place and seen Buddhism there.
The end of prehistoric period in Indonesia was marked by the arrival of the Hindu people who brought their influences at that time. The first centuries AD until
the year of 1500, (i.e. with the fall of Majapahit kingdom) constituted the Hindu influence period. With the Indian influences, the Indonesian prehistoric period
was ended as there was written information about the existence of the Indonesian people.

Based on this information found on an 8th  century AD inscription, it could be said that the Ancient Balinese historical period covered the time between the 8th
and the 14th  century AD when the Majapahit's Gajah Mada expedition invaded and defeated Bali.

The name Balidwipa is not a new name, it allready existed since immemorial time. This has been discovered by various inscriptions among others the Blanjong
charter which was issued by Sri Kesari Warmadewa in 913 AD in which was mentioned the word Walidwipa. Similar evidence was from King Jayapangus
charters, such as Buwahan D inscription and Cempaga A inscription of 1181 AD.

Bali's historical periods are divided into three phases, the 882-1343 periods, the 1343-1846 periods and the 1846-1949 periods.
882-1343 Period.

During that period, Bali was governed by the following Kings:

Singhamandawa Dynasty
Warmadewa Dynasty
King Sri Kesari Warmadewa
Queen Sri Ugrasena
King Candrabhaya Singa Warmadewa
King Dharma Udayana Warmadewa
King Marakata
King Anak Wungsu
Sri Maharaja Sri Walaprabu
Sri Maharaja Sri Sakalendukirana
Sri Suradhipa
Sri Jaya Sakti
King Jayapangus
King Sri Astasura Ratna Bumi Banten

The System of Government.

Among the Balinese kings who left a lot of written information which described the structure of government at the time were Udayana, Jayapangus, Jayasakti
and Anak Wungsu. In running the government, the king was assisted by a Central Advisory Board. In the oldest charter 882 AD - 914 AD, the board was called
panglapuan. Since Udayana's time, the Board was called pakiran-kiran i jro makabaihan. The Board members comprised several commanders’ senapatis and
Siwa and Buddhist priests.

The 1343 -1846 Period.

This period started with the coming of the Gajah Mada's expedition in 1343. The details of this period is as follows:
Gajah Mada's expedition to Bali was done when the Bedahulu kingdom under King Astasura Ratna Bumi Banten and Patih Kebo Iwo governed Bali. After killing
Kebo Iwo, Gajah Mada and The Comander Arya Damar led the expedition and the troops of the Aryan people assisted them. The attack resulted in a battle
between Gajah Mada's forces and the army of the Bedahulu kingdom which was led by Pasungripis. The king of Bedahulu and his son were killed in this battle.
After Pasungripis surrendered, there was a vacancy of government in Bali. For this reason, Majapahit appointed Sri Kresna Kepakisan to lead the government
in Bali under the consideration of the existence of a blood relation between him and the people of Bali Aga.

Samprangan Period.

Arriving at Bali, Sri Kresna Kepakisan chose Samprangan as the center of the government. This event began in Balinese history The Samprangan period. The
kings, during the Samprangan period, were Dalem Sri Kresna Kepakisan (1350 - 1380) and Raden Agra Samprangan (1380). Raden Agra Samprangan was the
eldest son of dalem Sri Kresna Kepakisan.

Gelgel Period.

Due to the failure of Raden Agra Samprangan to properly rule of the kingdom, Dalem Ketut Ngulesir, who moved the center of government to Gelgel, replaced
him. This was the beginning of the Gelgel period and King Dalem Ketut Ngulesir was the first regent. The second King was Dalem Watu Renggong (1460-1550)
who took the throne and inherited a stable kingdom. Therefore, he was able to develop his ability and integrity to bring prosperity to Gelgel kingdom. Under the
reign of Watu Renggong, Bali (Gelgel) achieved its highest point. When Dalem Watu Renggong died, he was replaced by Dalem Bekung (1550-1580). Meanwhile,
the last king of Gelgel period was Dalem Di made (1605-1686).

Klungkung Kingdom Period.

The Klungkung Kingdom was actually the continuation of Gelgel dynasty. The rebellion of I Gusti Agung Maruti resulted in the wrecking of the Gelgel kingdom.
This occurred after the son of Dalem Di Made grew up and be able to defeat I Gusti Agung Maruti and Gelgel palace was not restored. Gusti Agung Jambe as
the son who had the right to the throne, was unwilling to reign in Gelgel, on the other hand he chose a new place as the center of government, i.e. his former
hiding place, Semarapura. As the result of it, Dewa Agung Jambe (1710-1715) became the first Klungkung king. The second king was Dewa Agung Di Made I,
while the last Klungkung king was Dewa Agung Di Made II. During this Klungkung period, the kingdom was divided into small kingdoms. These small kingdoms
then became autonomies (numbering eight) which during the time of independence were known as regencies.

The 1846--1949 Period

The War Against the Dutch - that era constituted with the period of fighting against the Dutch in Bali. Those years were marked by the out break of various wars
in Bali. The wars could be described as follows:

Buleleng (1846)
Jagaraga (1848-1849)
Kusamba (1849)
Banjar (1868)
Puputan Badung (1906)
Puputan Klungkung (1908).

When the Dutch won all their battles and the Klungkung kingdom fell into their hands, it meant that Bali as a whole was under foreign influence.

Dutch Colonization Period.

When Buleleng fell down into the Dutch's hands, the Dutch government began to intervene in the management of the government in Bali. This was done by
changing the name of the king as regional head to regent for Buleleng and Jembrana areas and placing P.L. Van Bloemen Waanders as the first “controleur” in

The government in Bali remained ingrained in the traditional structure, i.e. continuing to activate customary leadership in running the government in the
regions. For Bali, the position of the king constituted the highest holder of power which during the period of colonial government was accompanied by a
“controleur”. In the matter of responsibility, the king reported directly to the Resident of Bali and Lombok which domiciled in Singaraja, while for South Bali, the
kings reported to the Assistant Resident which had his  domicile in Denpasar.

In order to meet the need for administrative personnel, the Dutch government opened the first elementary school in Singaraja (1875) which was known as the
“Tweede Klasse School”. Then, in 1913, a school that was called “Eerste Inlandsche School” was also opened. It was then followed by the opening of a Dutch
school named “Hollandsche Inlandsche School” (HIS) where students mostly came from the aristocratic and the wealthy families.

The Birth of the Movement Organization.

As the result of educational influences, students and some people who had jobs in Singaraja initiated the founding of an organization called Suita Gama Tirta
with the purpose of educating Balinese people in science through religious teachings. Unfortunately this organization did not last long. Then several teachers,
who were still hungering for religious education, founded an organization which was named Shanti in 1923. This organization published a magazine called
Shanti Adnyana which was later changed to Bali Adnyana.

In 1925, an organization named Suryakanta was also founded in Singaraja and published a magazine called Suryakanta. Like the Shanti organization,
Suryakanta also expected that Balinese people would make progress in science and eliminate traditions which were no longer suited to the progress of the

In the meantime, in Karangasem, an organization which was called Satya Samudaya Buadana Bali Lombok was founded with whose members were civil
servants and the public. Their purposes were to raise and save money for study fund.

Japanese Occupation Period

After going through several battles, the Japanese army landed on Sanur Beach on 18 and 19 February 1942. From Sanur, the Japanese army entered Denpasar
without encountering any resistance whatsoever and then, from Denpasar Japan controlled Bali entirely. At first, the party that established Japanese power in
Bali was the Japanese Army (Rikugun). Later, when the situation was in a stable time, the power of government was handed over to a civilian government.

During the Japanese occupation, since the situation was in a conflict, all activity was focused on the war effort. Young people were trained to become Country
Defending soldiers (Tentara Pembela Tanah Air - PETA). For Bali, PETA was established in 1944 where programs and conditions of education were formed
after PETA in Java.


Following the Proclamation of Independence, on 23 August 1945, Mr. I Gusti Ketut Puja arrived in Bali by bringing the mandate of his appointment as Governor of
Sunda Kecil. It happened since his arrival in Bali that the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence in Bali was spread throughout the villages. It was the time
that preparations for the arrangement of government in Bali were made as the Sunda Kecil with Singaraja as its capital.

The first attempt to remove weapons from Japanese hands was carried out on 13 December 1945. However, the effort failed. For this reason, it was decided to
seek assistance and weapons in Java. This was carried on by I Gusti Ngurah Rai and his people. After Ngurah Rai returned from Java, the entire struggle in Bali
was merged into one principal force "Dewan Perjuangan Rakyat Indonesia Sunda Kecil" under the command of Komando Markas Besar Oemoem (MBO).

Since the landing of NICA in Bali, Bali had always been in a fighting arena. In the battle, the Indonesian forces used the guerilla system. Therefore, MBO as the
mother force was always on the move. In order to strengthen the defense in Bali, Indonesian Navy assistance was sent from Java which later joined forces
with those in Bali. Because of the frequent battles, the Dutch sent a letter to Rai to negotiate, but Balinese fighters refused and continued to strengthen their
defense by involving the people.

To facilitate contact with Java, Rai applied the strategy of removing the Dutch attention to eastern Bali. On 28 May 1946, Rai sent his force to the east and
became known as the "Long March". During this "Long March", the guerilla force was often ambushed by the Dutch power so that battles frequently occurred.
The battle that brought victory to the winners was the Tanah Arun battle, i.e. a battle that broke out  in a small village at the foot of mount Agung, Karangasem
Regency. During the Tanah Arun battle which broke out on 9 July 1946, many Dutch soldiers were killed. After the battle, Ngurah Rai's force moved to the west
and they arrived in Marga Village (Tabanan). In order to save energy because of limited weapons, some members of the force were ordered to fight with people


When MBO staffs were in Marga, Ngurah Rai ordered his force to take NICA police weapons in Tabanan. The order was carried out on 18 November 1946 (at
night) and they made it finally. Several weapons and ammunition as well were taken and a Nica police commandant joined with Ngurah Rai's forces. After that,
the force returned to Marga Village.

On 20 November 1946, the violence started by at dawn and the Dutch force began to encircle Marga Village. The battle between Nica force and Ngurah Rai's
lasted for 10.00 hours. In the war, many members of the Dutch advanced force were killed. The Dutch immediately asked for some help from all of its other
forces in Bali and also bombers which were sent from Makasar. In this serious battle which involved all members of Ngurah Rai forces, the people were
determined not to leave the battle field until their last drop of blood. It was here that Ngurah Rai forces held Puputan and where all 96 members of this force
were killed, including Rai himself.
together with about 400 members of the Dutch forces. To commemorate the event, a Hero Monument was constructed on the former battle ground.


The Denpasar Conference took place at the Bali Hotel from the 18 until the 24 of December 1946. The conference was opened by Van Mook with the purpose of
forming the Eastern Indonesia State (NIT) with it’s capital Makasar (Ujung Pandang).

With the formation of the Eastern Indonesia State, the structure of government in Bali was re-established as it was during the periods of the kings. Such
a`government was held by the king who was assisted by patih, punggawa, perbekel and also with the lowest government which was called the kelian. Besides
that, there was a council in which the position the king was one step behind and was called the council of kings.


The first military aggression against the Indonesian government forces was carried out by the Dutch on 21 July 1947. The Dutch again did the second
aggression on 18 December 1948. During the second aggression, continually efforts were being focused on Bali with the purpose of establishing a more
effective guerilla fighting movement. In connection with this, on July 1948, a fighting organization called Gerakan Rakyat Indonesia Merdeka (GRIM) was
formed. Then, on 27 November 1949 GRIM merged with an other fighting organizations called Lanjutan Perjuangan. This name was then changed again into
"Pemerintah Darurat Republik Indonesia (PDRI) Sunda Kecil.

During the RIS (Republik Indonesia Serikat) period, the East Indonesia Military Commission tried to settle the problem of freedom fighters in Bali, especially
those who remained in the mountains. The commission tried to call the members of DPRI who remained in the mountains to be included in an army force called
Arjuna (15 January 1950). On the other hand, KNIL (Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger) was renamed the Army of the Republik Indonesia Serikat in June 1950.
In the meanwhile, the Round Table Conference, (KMB) which was based on the agreement between Indonesian-Dutch Union started at the end of August 1949
and finally followed by the 27th of December 1949 where the Dutch recognized RIS sovereignty. Then, on the 17th of August 1950, RIS was changed into the
“Republic of Indonesia”.

On October 12, 2002, there was a car bomb attack in the tourist resort of Kuta, killing 202 people, mostly foreign tourists. Another series of terrorist bombings
occurred nearly three years later at Kuta and nearby Jimbaran; see 2005 Bali bombings.
Another increasingly important source of income for Bali is what is called "Congress Tourism" from the frequent international conferences held on the island,
especially after the terrorist bombings of 2002; ostensibly to resurrect Bali's damaged tourism industry as well as its tarnished image.


The population of Bali is 3,151,000 (at 2005).


Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 92% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existing local beliefs and
Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. Minority religions include Islam (5.7%), Christianity (1.4%), and Buddhism (0.6%).


Balinese and Bahasa Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali where as many Balinese people are bilingual or even trilingual. English is a
common third language owing to the island's large tourism industry. In the past, the Balinese language was heavily influenced by the Balinese caste system,
but this is becoming less and less pronounced.


Bali is famous for it’s dance, as well as painting, scuplture, and woodcarving cultures whilst it’s Balinese gamelan music is highly developed and varied. The
dances portray stories from Hindu Epics such as Ramayana. Famous Balinese dances include Pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barong, and Kecak (the monkey
The problem the Balinese culture is facing today is from the tourism industry. Today the culture is slowly changing to attract tourists and it’s original form is
gradually fading away.We

Note: We have tried everything to be accurate in our collection of information, if however you find any mistakes on the above subject please let us known, so
we will be able to correct this.
Thank You.
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