Bali – Island of the Gods

Bali is one Island of Indonesia which has about 13,000 Islands in all. Bali is located just 2 kilometers away from the eastern tip of the Java Island and Lombok Island. The Island is home of approximately 4 million people. It is approximately 144 kilometers from east to west and 80 kilometers north to south. There are varied landscapes of hills and mountains, rugged coastlines and sandy beaches, lush rice terraces and barren volcanic hillsides which provide a picturesque backdrop to the colorful and deeply spiritual culture of this ‘Island of The Gods’.

The word “paradise” is used a lot in Bali. Eighty percent of international visitors to Indonesia visit Bali or visit Bali specially. The popularity is not without reason. The first Hindus arrived at Bali as early as 100 BC. So it is easy to understand why the Island has such a long time to develop its own culture. But the current chapter for Bali’s history begins in the seventies when intrepid hippies and surfers discovered Bali’s beaches and waves. Tourism soon became the main resource of income. Despite the shocks of the terrorist attacks in 2002 and 2005, the magical Island continues to draw crowds. Bali’s culture remains as spectacular as ever.

There are an estimated 20,000 temples (pura) on the Island, each of which holds festivals (odalan) at least twice a year and there are many other auspicious days throughout the year. There are always festivities going on. There are some large festivals that are celebrated Island wide, but their dates are determined by two local calendars. The 210-day wuku or Pawukon calendar is completely out of sync with the Western calendar while the lunar saka (caka) calendar roughly follows the Western year.

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