The holy spring of Yeh Panas Penetahan

The holy spring of Yeh Panas Penetahan, about 12 km north of Tabanan. Japanese soldiers stationed in Tabanan used to visit this spring during the war to refresh themselves in its hot, pungent, sulphurous mineral waters. They widened the track to the spring, and built small bathing sheds.

In the 1960s luxury tourist villas were constructed at the best vantagepoints around the spring, but the project lacked financing and the buildings were abandoned. The shells were soon occupied by invisible spirits (memedi). The voices of women were heard whimpering in the night. To discourage these new occupants from settling in permanently, the remaining structures were used to shelter pigs and cattle.

Today, the delightful and relaxing Yeh Panas Natural Hotspring and Spa on the sylvan winding road (Jalan Batukaru) to Gunung Batukaru is Bali's only hot springs specifically designed as a spa. On the eastern side of the parking lot are two public hot water spouts, which anyone can use for free. No expense was spared in the construction of these nine separate and private outdoor spa enclosures. The pools are of different sizes, some accommodating four people, others eight.

Each spa is surrounded by a bamboo fence and has jets and blowers. For 'room service' you hit a 'kulkul'. The swimming pool is fed by fresh water and has a sunken bar and waterfall. There's a playground for children. The naturally hot water from the springs-probably Bali's hottest-contains sulfur, potassium, sodium, and small percentages of minerals, with no additives except an occasional dose of chlorine. The water, it is said, will relieve itching and heal skin diseases.

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Balinese Temples

Temples (Pura) - There are many stunning temples in Bali, and each with its own uniqueness and treasure to be seen. Take time to explore as many as you can - you will definitely not be disappointed. And remember, always show respect and dress modestly when entering temples.

Pura Ulu Danau Bratan is the most picturesque temple on the island. Situated on Lake Bratan, this half-Hindu, half-Bhuddist temple juts out onto the lake. An important irrigation temple dedicated to Dewi Danau, the Water Goddess. The 11 roofed meru is a spectacular sight at dawn or dusk. The nearby Botanical Gardens (Lila Graha) are a definite must-see.

Pura Kehen, located at the northern end of the town of Bangli, this three-tiered 11thC temple sits on the side of a hill and is ranked 2nd in importance to the Mother Temple, Besakih. The cool, lush surroundings emanate tranquility. Try to visit this temple mid to late afternoon when its at its best and the tourist buses have gone. The views are superb!

Pura Tegeh Koripan, situated on the edge of Gunung Batur (mountain), this temple is reputed to be the oldest on Bali. The temple lies at the top of a challenging yet rewarding 300 step climb up the hill, where you will find the temple, more often than not, covered in mist. The moss-laden steps and areas in the temple are slippery so be careful. Spectacular views and a mystical place at dusk!

Pura Luhur Batukaru is a beautiful garden temple with a seven-tiered pagoda similar to those found in Thailand. It’s a sacred mountain sanctuary surrounded by forests and invariably covered in mist. It lies some 700 metres above sea-level and is an important Subak temple. It has great views of Bali and beyond. It is best visited in the early morning or late afternoon.

Pura Bukit Dharma Durga is situated in the ‘Holy Land’ 500 metres north of the town of Blahbatuh, surrounded by Banyan trees. From the lower part of the temple, climb the 80 steps up the hill to the top where you will find the statue of King Airlangga’s mother. It is a funerary statue in the shape of the six-armed goddess of death, Durga.

Pura Sada is a beautifully decorated temple near the market in the village of Kapal. Originally a sanctuary of the Mengwi royalty, it dates to the Majapahit era (12th-14th century). It has a 16 metre high tower, but it is the 64 stone shrines that are the feature of this temple. They are believed to commemorate fallen warriors.

Pura Panataran Sasih is home of the renowned ‘Moon of Pejeng’, a 3rd Century BC bronze, single-cast Kettle Gong whose origin is unknown. There are numerous legends associated with the Kettle Gong. The temple itself was the main shrine of the old Pejeng kingdom and has numerous sculptures and statues dating from the 10th to 12th centuries.

Pura Goa Lawah was founded in 1007 by a holy man. The distinct feature of this temple is the bat cave and its associated legends.

Pura Taman Ayun is a magnificent garden temple, dating back to 1634 and is the second largest temple complex in Bali. The royal temples of the Raja of Mengwi, its main features are the many meru towers, the 29 ancestral shrines, as well as the beautifully constructed moats and gardens.

Pura Uluwatu is precariously located at the point of a sheer cliff on the island’s southern peninsula. It is one of the oldest and most important temples in Bali, one of the six original khayangan temples on the island.

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Lakes in Bali

There are Batur, Bratan, Buyan and Tamblingan lakes. All of them are situated on the hilly area of the island, and all formed inside the crater of ancient mountains. Lake Batur is the biggest, located inside the crater of ancient Batur great mountain in the northeast of Bali, meanwhile the other three lay close together in Bedugul area in northwest part of Central Bali.

Lake Batur
Lake Batur is the old crater of Gunung Batur, a still active volcanoe next to it. It is located on the northern part of Bali. There is a hot spring right by the lake. You can enjoy the spectacular scenery of Lake Batur from Kintamani. Across the lake, only reachable by boat, lies the village of Trunyan, where the Bali Aga people live.

Lake Bratan
Lake Bratan is located next to Mount Bratan and Mount Catur. It is the second largest lake in Bali. The important temple of Pura Ulun Danu solemnly guards the lake. The resort area of Bedugul offers excellent views of the lake, as well as a number of water activities such as parasailing, swimming, etc.

Lake Buyan and Lake Tamblingan
Immediately to the northwest of Lake Bratan, Lake Buyan and Lake Tamblingan used to be one body of water, until a landslide separated them at the turn of the 19th century.

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Subak - Balinese Irrigation Management

Balinese rice cultivation is famous all over the world for its efficient use of irrigation water. At the heart of irrigation management are the water user associations called subak. They are the backbone of Balinese rice cultivation.

Subak has been described by several authors. It is commonly recognized as an autonomous socio-religious association which deals with matters related to the cultivation and irrigation of rice. They have evolved over centuries, organized by the farmers themselves without (or little) guidance from central authorities. The subak are considered to be one of the most effective irrigator organizations in the world.

The general Balinese philosophy guiding the subak system adheres to the principle of Tri Hita Karana which emphasises that happiness can only be reached if the Creator (God), the people (the farmers) and nature (the rice fields) live in harmony with each other. Based on this philosophy are the ceremonies which are a substantial part of the rice cultivation cycle. The ceremonies are carried out at the various temples which are associated with the subak.

The Tri Hita Karana philosophy is also the basis for the clearly defined rules of a subak, called awig-awig. This set of laws regulates rights and duties among the members. It includes public obligations, regulations concerning land and water use, legal transactions of land transfers, and collective religious ceremonies. For instance, all members have the right to the same share of water at all times. This principle of equitable water sharing is put into action by fixed proportional flow division structures.

Subak internal matters are handled by the pekaseh, the subak head who is democratically elected by all members of the subak. He is responsible to overlook the irrigation management within the subak area, to schedule cultivation cycles and to organise subak ceremonies. He is supported by several assistants, such as the vice subak head (petajuh), the secretary (penyarikan), the treasurer (petengen or juru raksa), the messenger (kasinoman), special helper (saye) and the heads of the sub-subak groups. Bigger subak are divided into sub-groups, called munduk. Munduk may have a separate inlet from the subak main canal. A munduk usually comprises an average of 20 to 40 farmers.

Every munduk is headed by a pengliman who receives direct orders from the pekaseh and is responsible for all matters related to the munduk. As a sub-group of the subak, the munduk has to follow the subak rules and regulations. However, certain organisational and water management issues can be decided autonomously on the munduk level. The munduk is an important dimension within the subak. Day-to-day cultivation decisions are made on this level and provide the fine-tuning of the subak water and crop management – not always following the subak laws by doing this. The relationship between subak and munduk is to facilitate top down and bottom up information flow.

Members of subak also form an informal group which is called sekaa, in order to make ease a certain working activity on the rice field by working together on a certain field and certain activity. For examples: sekaa numbeg (for land cultivation), sekaa jelinjingan (for water tunnel maintenance), sekaa sambang (for water and pest surveillance), sekaa mamulih (for seed plantation), sekaa majukut (for plants surveillance), sekaa manyi (for harvest work), sekaa bleseng (for carrying paddy to the barn). These sekaa may recruit workers outside subak members. The code of work in these sekaa is simple, “I scratch yours you scratch mine.”

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Taro Elephant Safari Park

One of the many attractions for tourists in Bali is an elephant ride into the jungles of Taro. This day long tour lets you ride an elephant and takes you on a tour of the jungles of Taro. Sit on a teak wood chair perched on the back of the elephant as you ride through the park appreciating the splendour and beauty of the jungles. You will come across a variety of flora and fauna and colourful birds.

Opened officially in year 2000, the park covered an area of 2 hectares in the middle of national forest. It has quite a facilities, such as information centre, and museum with a numerous collections of elephant memorabilia and the only Mammoth Skeleton in South Asia. You can also visit gift shop in one of the corner of the park that stand besides a 200-seat restaurant where you can watch the elephants.

There is a basket ball field where you can see the elephants shows off their intelligence by drawings or paintings (not a really nice picture, though). Close to this field is where you can have photos with them and next climb one of the elephant to start your ride accross Taro village. You can also hand feed the elephant or touch them as they are very gentle and obedient to their trainers. You will also see a big pond where the elephants play and bath in the water.

The company that operates this park and the elephant safari is Bali Adventure Tour owned by an Australian; Nigel Mason. They also do other things, the white water rafting in Ayung river which has grade 2 or 3; suitable for beginner. You can combine both activities white water rafting in the morning, and elephant ride in the afternoon. It is a great way to spend your holiday in Bali.

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Bali Bird Park

The Taman Burung Bird Park situated in Batubulan, is home to more than a thousand birds (250 exotic bird species) from indonesia and all over the world. It is set in two hectares magnificent gardens filled with the tropical plants, water features and spectacular Rain forest in aviary.

Birds aren't the only exciting creatures at the Park. Rare Komodo dragons also make their home here. Set in magnificent botanical gardens the Bali Bird Park offers more than just a glorious myriad of bird life; a backdrop of ponds and waterfalls creates a perfect environment for not only our birds, but also a lotus and Water Lily collection.

As you stroll throughout the park, your eyes will continually alight on a multitude of diverse palms and rich tropical flora. Wander through the mist-shrouded walk-in aviary, home to free flying birds in a dense rainforest setting. With the advanced nursery and fully trained staff, Bali Bird Park is a caring home for birds and an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

[Photo]At the end of your adventure, you can take your pictures with the birds (parrot and cockatoo) in your shoulder and in your hand. You can also have it printed on T Shirt, it’s available in the park. A restaurant is another facility you can find here. This is a good place to rest, and order a few Bintang beer to unwind after your "jungle" adventure. Oh, no need to worry, those birds won’t snatch your food or drink.

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Sukawati Market

One of art markets that are already popular among visitors is Sukawati art market. Sukawati road-facing market located in the Gianyar Regency has a strategic position as it is passed through during the tour to some destinations to the east. Sukawati art market is close to the village of Celuk, the center of gold & silversmiths. You can drop in after watching barong and kris dance performance in the morning. It can be accessed through bemo transport, tour bus or taxi.

It is just like a myriad of art shops that offers wide range of products. Simply one stop-shopping. Many items sold in Kuta or other areas originate from here and are considerably cheaper if bought here. One outlet may provide more than one item, like garments, souvenirs, paintings (unframed), basketry, colorful kites and so on.

Buying giveaways to commemorate the holiday has to be a must. So take advantage the holiday time to find out something memorable on the art market of Sukawati. This market is very unique as it is already open in the early morning and visited by both domestic and foreign visitors. It is very close to other destinations in the Gianyar Regency.

A good place to explore the shopping experience in a natural way, get in touch with common people and see how the locals go about the art of negotiation. Yes, shopping is also an art of experience. On the one hand, you may enjoy many kinds of art products all in one spot. It reflects the diversity of local art and crafts and the creativity of its people.

You will get a new experience in the 'art of buying'. You must bargain the price eventhough the vendor offers you a "morning price." Meaning especially low, to start off the trading day with a few sales already and make the day a successful one.

It does not mean you have to accept it as it is, it's not a fixed price. If you are good at bargaining you will get the best price you can afford and the vendor keeps "smiling and thanking you". If they don't smile anymore, you know his cost is higher than your offer. Good at bargaining is a bit
more than insisting on a price. You need to provide a logical reason why your offer is so low and still should be accepted.

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Drinking in Bali

Every culture has their way of drinking, there even rules for drinking, Balinese also has a way in drinking, especially for traditional liquors- Tuak and Arak. Tuak is a sweet wine made from the coconut palm flower, while Arak is strong liquors distilled from tuak. For Balinese drink liquors is men prerogative. In old days there is no woman drinks arak or tuak but with the passing of the time women start to drink tuak but never arak (too strong for woman) it is not discrimination, Balinese believe that arak is dangerous for womb. Women usually drink tuak secretly or in house compound not in public (warung stalls, on the road side, or balai banjar/sub village public hall) as men do.

Drinking for Balinese is usually for recreational purposes. We drink to strengthen the friendship among friends and to make a friend among strangers. There is an old saying among teenagers, it runs “cigarette and liquors are tools for making friends. It is common for Balinese to invite a stranger to join a “drink circle”. (We usually sit in a circle while drinking).We seldom drink for stress relieving purpose or Drink for Drunk (drink for the sake of getting drunk) drinking for recreational purpose can be a very creative way of drinking. Balinese usually sing while drinking, this habit originated genjek tradition.

Genjek is a traditional form of singing in which a group of men (usually 6 to12) sitting in a circle, some of them singing, while the rest of them imitating the sound of musical instruments. The songs are mainly about love and everyday life. Genjek is usually performed in wedding ceremony. The genjek performers have to be half drunk before the show begin. It is believed that the quality of the song depends on the level of intoxication of the performers. High level of intoxication means a high quality song.

In drinking Balinese have a certain code of conduct such as an offering of small quantity of liquor have to be made before Balinese start to drink. We usually pour a small amount of drink on the ground or floor in order to pacify bhuta kala (negative nature force) so it will not disturb the drinking activity. The way of drinking tuak is slightly different with arak. In drinking tuak every participant has his own kélé (a mug made of bamboo) and uses it privately. While in drinking arak we use only one small glass for all the participants, we drink in turn. An exception is made when someone from higher caste (Brahmana, Ksatrya, or Weysya) join the circle, an offer to use a private glass have to be made. An offer for private glass is a sign of respect for him. We welcome him into the circle whether he use private glass or not. An offer to taste a glass of arak for passing stranger is often made. If you want it, do not hesitate take it as soon as it is offered. Say thank you if you do not want to join the circle. If you want to join the circle, ask for it after you finish the offered drink. If you do not want to taste the offered liquor, refuse it with a good reason. Medical or religious prohibition is the best excuse.

In eastern part of Bali, tuak is a substitution for water. An offer of drinking tuak is a part of politeness there. It is considered to be impolite to turn down the offer without a proper apology and a good reason. Again, Medical or religious prohibition is a preferred excuse to hear by the host. But accepting the offer will be a perfect way to interact with the community.

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Jatiluwih

Approximately 20 kilometers from Tabanan, the road climbs up high into the hills to a small village named Jatiluwih. With a height of 850 meters above sea level, the view here is one of the finest imaginable. Bali’s terraced paddy fields stretch into endless contours over the hills and valleys as far as the eye can see.

It is strech from the foothill of the volcano of Batukaru to the south coast. The name Jatiluwih originally mean “sangat indah” in Indonesian or ” truly marvelous”. It is deserve the name as along the way you will be amazed with the real part of Bali, the wonderful of true Balinese ambience, paddies harvesting, the flock of the duck, water buffaloes, farms houses, all that images to remember Bali in your heart.

The rice terraces are the most magnificent and striking features of the landscape. When you are lucky to see the Balinese working on rice planting or harvesting, you will be welcome to join the activity, just to taste a little bit their fascinating life.

Along the way, you can observe many tropical fruits and vegetation. There is also a good restaurant for you, with offcourse the background of Jatiluwih rice terrace and the sacred volcano Batukaru in a distance.

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Hiking Mount Batukaru

This 2,278 meter peak towers over the local landscape, and strongly influences local spiritual beliefs. All local temples have a shrine dedicated to the spirit of the “coconut shell” mountain, and high on its slopes is the public (Kayangan Jagat) temple of Pura luhur Watukaru.

Hiking to the summit of Batukaru is a 6 - 7 hour trip to the summit, and 5 hours to return. A medium to high level of fitness is required - it can be very steep in parts of the climb. A day return trip should be started around 6 am to allow time to return in daylight. Alternatively, an over night stay at the summit in tents or under the stars can make the trip a more enjoyable experience.

The trek to the summit for the most part is shaded by tropical rainforest and the trail is narrow and unsealed. You will climb from 700 m ascending to 2200 m, you will pass small mountain temples on the way, that can only be entered if you are wearing a sash.

On the trek you will see Giant Fig trees, Native Orchids, epiphytes and incredible Pandanas trees. Although this is the home of the small deer (Kijang), wild cats (civet) and Rhesus/Leaf eating monkeys the only likely evidence that you will see is their droppings on the trail. From the summit on a clear day you will see the crater of Batukaru, the lakes of Bedugul, Lombok, Java and Bali.

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Krambitan

The village of Krambitan, southwest of Tabanan, was once an extension of the ruling Raja’s court and is still a cultural stronghold, with music groups maintaining ancient customs of music and dance, using bamboo instruments.

The puri (palaces) of Krambitan have opened their doors to tourists who wish to experience life in a Balinese palace. The Puri Agung Wisata has cheaper rooms, but the Puri Anyar is recommended. Don't expect hotel-style service, however, as the palaces have no trained staff-which actually adds to their charm.

Puri Anyar Krambitan. 9 rooms. The saren bungalows are where the royal family used to live, so this is not a typical hotel. They prepare lunch and dinner for 25 and 35 euro, respectively. The Puri Anyar stages fantastic torch lit dance dinners on request or for the big Nusa Dua hotels. They also offer village cultural tours and kite flying parties. 75 euro with breakfast.

Beebees Restaurant and Bungalows. 6 bungalows in Tibubiyu, Krambitan. Bungalows set in lush tropical greenery with ocean and village sounds harmonizing in the distance. Very peaceful. 21-25 euro, including fruit and breakfast.

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Rambut Siwi Temple

Rambut Siwi Temple. Is one a cliff top overlooking a breathtaking panorama of paddy fields on one side and the black sand beach on the other. Two caves overlook the sea, each with a view of the fisherman’s boats and seabirds hovering above. The temple itself was built by Dang Hyang Nirartha. According to legend, he made a gift of his hair to the temple. Hence the name Rambut Siwi, which literally means "Hair Worship!"

The complex of Pura Rambut Siwi consists of three temple enclosures, which are Pura Luhur, Pura Penataran and Pura Melanting. The entrance of this temple is guarded by beautifully carved wild boar and dragon statue. The Pura Luhur where Danghyang Nirartha’s hair is kept is the first temple the visitors will encounter as they enter the temple complex. Pura Luhur is the largest and most important temple in this complex. A majestic candi bentar or split gate on the southern wall of the inner courtyard opens onto the cliff, offering dramatic views of the surf lapping below. Inside are shrines to Dewi Saraswati, the Goddes of learning and Dewi Sri, the rice Goddes.

Following a path to the east along the top of the cliff to a winding stone stairway that descends to Pura Penataran, the original temple where Danghyang Nirartha is believed to have prayed. Since 1993 this temple has became the site of permanent painting exhibition.

Following a path to the west, the visitors will encounter a small shrine at the entrance to a cave in the cliff wall. This cave is inhabited by duwe (mystical animals or holy beast of the temple). A well at the mouth of the cave (goa tirta) is a source of holy water for the ceremony in this temple. The path leads to the stairway that ascends to the Pura Melanting. Pura Melanting dedicated to the Dewi Melanting, goddess of prosperity.

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Sidemen Village

Deep inside Karangasem Regency, in Sidemen District, surrounded by fascinating ricefields, Patal Kikian and Sacred Mountain Sanctuary is built and situated in the middle of the ricefields. There is only afew accommodations in Sidemen area. But the hotel is most wanted by travelers and students from all over the world. You can learn about Traditional Balinese Irrigation, that is Subak, in Sidemen area. All are set up to be friendly with the environment.

Sidemen is one of the most important place in Bali history. Former, Sidemen is one of the small pallace above Klungkung Pallace. The Sidemen Royal Family have strong relationship with Klungkung Pallac e because the ancestor of both place is a brother. Sidemen also have many unique place with great view. Every part of Sidemen is wonderfull.

There is not many accommodations in this place. But the hotel is most wanted by travelers and students from all over the world. If you want to life like in Bali some decades before but still comfortable with good facilities you must visit this village. You can also feel the fresh air because the situated far away from hustle and bustle within the cool atmosphere, Sidemen is around 1 hours 30 minutes drive from the Ngurah Rai international airport. Sixty years ago, the renowned painter Walter Spies moved from Ubud to the Sidemen area to seek peace and inspiration. He felt that Ubud had already become too crowded. In Sidemen he found his place.

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Kedonganan Bay

Kedonganan bay or jimbaran bay will be interesting for people who would like to enjoy fresh seafood with beautifull panorama of sunset, Beeing a part of legendaris indian ocean jimbaran bay offer you a complete activites of seafood product.

It is about 3 kilometers south of Bali International Airport ngurah Rai. The fishing village of Kedonganan. At the northern part of the beach could be seen a traditional fish market and great number of anchoring “Jukung” or traditional fishing boat which present an interesting view. To experience sailing around the gulf here by traditional sailing boat give us the picturesque image of west Bali’s cresent beach.

The new arising tourist resorts at Jimbaran now have more option to dine out. Along the Jimbaran to Kedonganan Beach there are many cafes operated by local people. It is something like night markets where visitors can choose a wide range of seafoods. Nearly all cafes provide special seafood menus with local recipes or combination with the western one. Fish is supplied by a nearby fishermen village at Kedonganan. Some vendors there still sell their fish until to the afternoon.

When the west horizon turns yellowish red, the cafes spread their colorful chairs on the sand overlooking the beach. Slowly the activity on the beach reduces, while other activities begin at cafes. And when the night arrives, it starts getting to be romantic. Candle lights and live musicians enhancing the atmosphere. There are many small and big jukungs that are ready to sail and will become an artistic background for your dinner.

The shining stars in the sky, candle-like lights from the resorts on the hill and the spotlight from the airport has changed Jimbaran Beach to something like a celebration night. Taste the grilled fish on the sand of a open-air beachfront café and enrich your dining experience with one not usually available at 5 star hotels . You can choose the kind and size of fish and other seafood yourself. The local characteristic of the recipe is that grilled fish is topped with Balinese raw spices (basa matah). It is then traditionally accompanied with stir-fried water spinach and white steamed rice.

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Candi Dasa

Candidasa is most often compared to Kuta as Kuta was some 15 years ago - Candidasa is a small village with few inhabitants on the beach with a several - mostly inexpensive hotels that cater to more adventurous tourists looking for a more laid back atmosphere. Being some 85 km from the airport ensures some tranquility, however as more people discover that there is quite a bit to see and do in Candidasa, the area is developing rapidly with many first class hotels now sprouting up. Besides being near many top dive spots, Candidasa is near many cultural treasures - Pura Besakih and Tenganan Village. For those looking for a holiday off the beaten track a few days in Candidasa would be perfect.

There is no certain report about the historical backgound of the name. However, it is assumed that the choice of this name is connected with the story of “lingga” inside the temple lies on the top of Candidasa hills. An old manuscript found here mentions that Candidasa Temple was built on the 12th Century. There is a remain called “lingga” inside the temple, which is believed as the symbol of God Siva. In this holy place hermits often received their highest solitude or “heaven” by uttering 10 (Dasa) letters called “Dasa Aksara”.

Another story says that the name Candidasa was inspired by a statue near the lingga. It is a statue of Goddess Hariti that surrounded by 10 children. It is believed that Goddess Hariti could give blessing of welfare and prosperity to the people who pray here.

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West Bali National Park

The area of Taman Nasional Bali Barat (West Bali National Park) situated at the Edge of north Bali Island is the stretch of green ground along the 150 km road that link Gilimanuk and Denpasar or Gilimanuk and Singaraja. It is located between district of Gerokgak in Buleleng regency and district of Melaya in Jembrana regency. It is reachable from Gilimanuk as the main entrance to West Bali, and from Denpasar. This 77,000-hectare park was established in 1941.

Lush forests still grow on Bali's southern and western slopes. West Bali National Park (covers 50,000 hectare on the western tip of the island. It also includes another 7,000 hectares of coral reef and coastal water. Considering in the small size of the island as a whole, the National Park is a major commitment towards attempting to preserve the wildlife found on Bali. The forest in this area has been determined as " Nature Park" - later on known as Taman Perlindungan Alam Bali - based on the decision of " Raja-Raja di Bali" (Kings in Bali) dated 13th August 1917 noE-1/4/5. This regulation is intended to preserve the flora and fauna in this area.

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Barong Dance

Barong is probably the most well known dance. It is also another story telling dance, narrating the fight between good and evil. This dance is the classic example of Balinese way of acting out mythology, resulting in myth and history being blended into one reality.



No one can explain the meaning of the word Barong. The name of the Barong depends on the animal represented. If the mask is of a tiger (in Balinese: Macan) the Barong is then called Barong Macan, and so if the mask is of 2 boar (in Balinese: Celeng or Bangkal) the Barong is then called Barong Bangkal.

Barong, a mythical creature with long swayback and curved tail, represent the affirmative, the protector of Mankind, the glory of the high sun, and the favorable spirits associated with the right and white magic.Barong, a mythical creature with long swayback and curved tail, represent the affirmative, the protector of Mankind, the glory of the high sun, and the favorable spirits associated with the right and white magic.

Rangda, the widow-witch, is its opposite complement. She rules the evil spirits and witches who haunt graveyards late at night. Her habitat is darkness and her specialties lie with the practice of black magic, the destructive force of the left.

Both figures are of the same earthly substance, possessing strong magical prowess. Somewhere in a mythical past, the Barong was won over to the side of humanity, and in the dance, fights on behalf of the people against the intruding death forces of the Rangda.

The barong play represent an eternal fight between Good and Evil; the Barong represent Good the Rangda , the mythological monster, represents Evil. It stages the story of Kunti Sraya, a favourite theme of drama, depicts from the main episode of the famous Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. This special story is about Dewi Kunti, the mother of the five Pandawas who for some reasons, has promised to sacrifice Sadewa, one of her five sons to Rangda.

Somebody can die or get seriously injured in a Barong dance. It is said that if Rangda's spell is too strong, a weak soldier may not be able to resist it, even with the help of Barong. He may end up hurting himself with his own keris.

The masks of Barong and Rangda are considered sacred items, and before they are brought out, a priest must be present to offer blessings by sprinkling them with holy water taken from Mount Agung, and offerrings must be presented.

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Tirta Empul, The Holy Springs

Located in Tampak Siring, Gianyar regency beside President's palace, there's a temple named Tirta Empul where its pond is believed to cure some sickness. Tirta empul means water that comes from the earth naturally. And until this day Balinese still believe the miraculous healing powers of the water.

According to Usana Bali, an ancient Balinese manuscript, there was once an evil king named Maya Denawa who did not believe in god, and objected to the people worshipping gods. The gods sent a punishment in the form of the warriors of Bhatara Indra, who arrived to attack Maya Denawa and overthrow him. However, Maya Denawa poisoned the warriors and they lay dead. Seeing this, the god Indra pierced the earth to create a spring called amerta. When the water was sprinkled over the dead warriors, they became alive back. This water source is believed to be the source of life and prosperity to this day. That's how the temple of Tirta Empul got started.

Temple inscriptions mention that Tirta Empul was constructed in 960 AD, when the king Chandrabhaya Singha Warmadewa ordered its construction.

And when there is a festival or ceremony in this temple you can see many people bathing in the ponds that has seven pancuran. The source of the water is from the sacred spring in the middle area. Not only can the water cure sickness but can also purify sins.

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Goa Gajah, The Elephant Cave

Located in a short distance of former princedom Bedulu or Beda-Hulu, this unique ancient and mysterious site is fantastically carved into the rock-face which possibly date around 11th century.

The origins of the name Goa Gajah are uncertain. Some claim that the name comes from the world 'Lwa Gajah' recorded in ancient Javanese writings saying the cave was the home of an important Buddhist priest. Another opinion suggests that the name originates from the statue of Gannesha which is located in the western corner of the cave, part of the statue being an elephant's trunk.

Whether it was originally a Buddhist or Hindu hermitage cannot be answered with certainty, for there are both Hindu and Buddhist sculptures inside or outside the cave. Perhaps monks of both religions had hermitages close to one another. In pre-Majapahit Java and Bali, the two religions, both influenced by Tantric beliefs and practices, had begun to amalgamate into what is called the Siwa- Buddha cult. Buddhist practices and doctrines survive to this day amongst a small segment of the Brahmana broken bas-reliefs of stupas and a tiny cavern priests who are mostly found in East Bali.

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