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The island of Bali is nicknamed the island of the gods, due to its heavenly allure. Bali had been known to the world even before indonesia existed, and it can be said that the name “Bali” is still more popular than Indonesia.
Bali is one of the 17.000 island in Indonesia, located between Java and Lombok. The beauty of Bali, the island of the Gods, is world-famous. Bali’s allure can be found in its friendly people, its unique culture and religious tradition, and also its beaches and undersea scenery. No wonder that 80 percent of International tourists visiting Indonesia choose Bali as their main destination. Bali is very well-prepared with facilities and amenities for every kind of tourist.
The peak season in Bali is in August, September, and at the end of the year. Bali’s tourist epicenter is at Kuta, where the scene never sleeps. Kuta was also the site of terrorist attacks in 2002 and 2005 (Bali bomb 1 and 2) which claimed more than 100 lives. However, despite the terrorist attacks, Bali continue to attracts tourists. Those returning to Blai claimed they discovered new and interesting aspects at every visit.
Bali has thousands of tourist attractions: natural, cultural, history, culinary, and adventure. The people of Bali hold fast to their tradition. Offerings and rituals are the axis on which daily life revolves, an incessant declaration of gratitude to the Creator. There are 3 important rituals for the Balinese.
Nyepi is a holy day for Balinese Hindus. On he day they perform the amati geni, doing samadhi (a purification of the self from all sins of the past, believed to be washed into the sea. Ngaben is a cremation ceremony of the Blainese Hindus. It purifies the soul of the departed in fire.
HISTORY OF BALI
The history of Bali cannot be separated with the arrival of Hinduism in Bali, before the 8th century A.D. 1st century. The native Balinese used to have no formal religion. They engage in ancestor worship; the ancestor spirits are called Hyang. They were in a spiritual vacuum. People from outside Bali arrived at the island. They proselytize Hinduism and try to improve quality of life in Bali. One of the is an indian priest named Maharsi Markandeya. He built Pura Wasuki (Besukihan), The precursor of Pura Besakih.
8th century. Hinduism in Bali receives influence from central and east Java, as evidenced by the Sankrit stone incription discovered in Desa Pejeng, Gianyar, and statues of Siwa.
10th century. During this Ancient Balinese Age, Hinduism reaches its peak. Javanisation was under way: Old Balinese script gave way to Old Javanese. Hindu literature in Old Javanese was brought from Java and developed in Bali. The Ancient Balinese age ended during the reign of Astasura-Ratnabhumibanten, who was defeated by the Majapahit expansion led by Mahapatih Gajah Mada.
14th century. Majapahit life and tradition dominates in Bali. The book of Negarakertagam mentions “Bhumi Balya i sacara lawan bhumi Jawa”, which indicates the extent of Majapahit influence in Bali.
15th century. On 1579, a Dutchman, Cornelis de Houtman, embarked on an expedition to the Spice Islands in Indonesia. Houtman’s discoveries sparked interest of the archipelago in the Netherlands.
19th century. Bali becomes known to the world. Dutch colonialism on Indonesia from the 17th century has no marked effect on the religious and cultural life in Bali. Hinduism reaced another peak; the Balinese kingdom was centered in Gelgel, and then the capital moved to Smarapura (Klungkung). Bali becomes a Dutch possession after the defeat of the kingdom of klungkung in the Klungkung Puputan Battle, 1908.